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Rudolf Hoess
Hoess' Letter
Children Of Izieu
Letter to God
Jacques' Letter
Georges' Letter
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In 1944 Rudolf Hoess exterminated the children of a French orphanage known as La Maison d'Izieu: forty-two children, aged between four and seventeen, and five supervisors were gassed in Auschwitz.

The Children's Home was a perfect idyll and the Jewish children led a happy life with plenty of time for playing, drawing and painting. But on the morning of April 6, 1944, as the children all settled down in the refectory to drink hot chocolate, the Nazis entered the home and forcibly removed the children and their supervisors, throwing the crying and terrified children on to the trucks like sacks of potatoes.

As a witness later recalled: 'I was on my way down the stairs when my sister shouted to me: it's the Germans, save yourself! I jumped out the window. I hid myself in a bush in the garden. I heard the cries of the children that were being kidnapped and I heard the shouts of the Nazis who were carrying them away...'

Following the raid on their home in Izieu, the children were shipped directly to the 'collection center' in Drancy, then put on the first available train towards the death camps in the East. They were gassed in the extermination camp of Auschwitz.

One survivor of Auschwitz revealed after the war what happened to the children: 'I asked myself where were the children who arrived with us? In the camp there wasn't a single child to be seen. Then those who had been there for a while informed us of the reality. 'You see that chimney, the one smoke never stops coming out of  ..  you smell that odor of burned flesh ...'

While in Izieu some of the children wrote letters to their parents and eleven-year-old Liliane Gerenstein wrote a letter to God.







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