Tuesday 8 January 2019

What happens when fascists and Nazis take over

Martin Rozen

There is a report in the archives of the

‘département’ of the Vendée in western France

which says that:

on 31 January 1944,

officers Salomon, Mazouin, and Cabanetos

under command of Adjutant Le Papu,

from the Fontanay-le-Comte station,

in the Sainte-Hermine Brigade

acting on instructions from

Prefect Monsieur Gaston Jammet

according to the ordinance of Jan 20 1944

called at 2.30 in the morning

at the living quarters of Martin Rozen

in a property owned by Mme Bobières née Meunier

in the village of Sainte-Hermine in the Vendée.

The officers say in their report that Martin Rozen

opened the door and that

they took him and drove him to the station.

Martin Rozen, the report goes on, was:

“...born on 18 August 1890

at Krosniewice in Poland.

Jeweller, son of Jonas and Rachel,

naturalised French, Jewish race.

1 metre 62

brown eyes

oval face

straight nose

regular mouth

dressed in yellow cotton trousers and grey cotton jacket

wearing a Basque beret and low-heeled shoes.

Scar on his left cheek.

He was taken to the Parish Hall at La Roche-sur-Yon.”

...where he met up with 30 other Jews taken that night.

They were taken to the train station,

put on a wagon for La Rochelle,

then Poitiers, then Drancy internment camp.

From there he was taken to Paris Bobigny station,

put on Convoy 68 on February 10 and taken to Auschwitz.

From the Archives of La Vendée there is more:

On March 28 1944,

Madame Bobières wrote to the Prefect of the Vendée

at Roche-sur-Yon, Monsieur Jammet,

informing him that the ‘Feldgendarmerie’

and the Gendarmerie

came to her house on January 31st

and took Mr Rosen, of Jewish nationality,

who had been staying in her house for more than a year.

“A wicker basket containing some linen

belonging to Mr Rosen has been left in the room,

which had been sealed up by the Gendarmes.”

In this room, Mme Bobières writes:

"is my furniture, including a large cupboard,

containing things that are indispensable for my personal use:

sheets, clothes, linen, blankets and family papers.

Besides that, Rosen’s brother-in-law who lives in the next room,

and who is French, would look after the wicker basket,

which is the only piece of furniture belonging to Rosen.

I am 71 years old and infirm.

I have the honour of soliciting your goodwill

in taking off the seals to this room.

I thank you, Monsieur Le Préfet and

hope you will accept my respectful compliments.

Mme Bobières."

On the 15 April

the Prefect

Monsieur Gaston Jammet

(who was the person who sent out

the ordinance to round up the Jews in the Vendée)

informed Mme Bobières

that she would only be able to take the seals off

as and when the Occupation authorities will allow it.

Gaston Jammet

who had sent out orders to round up

the Jews of the Vendée,

had been ordered to do so by

Monsieur Louis Bourgain, Prefect of the region,

who had received orders to do so from

Pierre Laval, Chief of Government in conjunction with

the chief of the Regional Security Police,

(the Sicherheitspolizei), Karl Hermann Herold

who acted under instructions from

his superior officers, Helmut Knochen,

and Heinz Röthke both based in Paris..

Martin Rozen is my father’s uncle.

He didn’t return from Auschwitz.

His name is engraved on the commemorative wall at the

Museum of the Shoah in Paris.

There is a plaque on the wall in La Roche-sur-Yon

where the Parish Hall used to be

commemorating the round-up of

January 30 and 31 1944.