"Sarah’s Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay on David's Voice.org

Publié le par Blogsarah

Tatiana de Rosnay published the story of France’s role in the Holocaust in a book called "Sarah’s Key". The novel was released in July 2007 and tells the harrowing story of two families who are intertwined and haunted by this dark period in France’s history. Tatiana de Rosnay explores the Vel’ d’Hiv’ Jewish round-up and the flood of emotion during this painful event. Tatiana de Rosnay lives in Paris. She writes for French Elle, and is a literary critic for Psychologies magazine. Sarah’s Key is her first novel written in English and has been translated into 15 languages.

What happened at the Velodrome? The Vélodrome d'Hiver (or Winter Velodrome) was an indoor stadium situated on the rue Nélaton, near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Famous cycling races were held here. The building was generally referred to by its contracted name : "Vel' d'Hiv". In June 1942, the French government of Vichy working under Nazi orders planned to arrest 30,000 foreign adult Jews with the help of 9,000 French policemen. Arrests started at dawn on July 16th. The round up's code name was ironically poetic: "Operation Spring Breeze". 13,000 Jewish people were arrested that day (including 4,000 children, most of them born in France). According to all accounts one can read, inside the Vel d'Hiv was sheer hell. People went crazy, committed suicide, died, women gave birth. Some people, but only very few, were able to escape.

Describe the life of Jewish families in France during 1942? It was certainly not an easy life for Jewish families living in France in 1942. In 1940, the Germans had invaded France and occupied its northern half, including Paris. The French government passed a set of anti-Jewish laws called the Statut des Juifs. Jews of France were slowly but surely eliminated from civil service, handcrafts, the press, banking professions, finance, trade, publishing and entertainment. There was a curfew for Jews from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

How does this novel aid our understanding of the Holocaust? I believe my novel sheds a truthful light on what happened in France during those dark years of collaborationism. 70,000 Jews were deported from France. Among them, 11 000 children. For years, the French government declined to apologize for the role of French policemen in the Vel d'Hiv round-up. This has now thankfully changed. On July 16th 1995, Jacques Chirac, was the first French president to acknowledge the role the French state played in the persecution of Jews.

Source :

http://davidsvoice.org/page.aspx?id=187733&page=4

Publié dans Publication USA

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Robert Taylor 04/01/2011 18:04



Tatiana;


My apologies for not writing in French.   I am still learning the language.   However, i just finished your book "Sarah's Key" and was mesmerized and startled at the beauty of the
story, the relevance of it's message but also it's surprising connection to my own life. I now consider myself a character in your story for reasons that will become evident in a moment.


The story of Sarah's loss resonates with one of my own in which i lost my husband quite suddenly and prematurely at the young age of 49.   I have moved to Paris to discover a new world in
which the unfamiliar can be a welcome escape from memories.  


I found understanding and compassion in the book's portrayal of loss and strength in Sarah's perseverance.  But I also found myself personally enveloped in Tatiana's unfolding story as I
currently live at 26 Rue de Saintonge in the fourth floor apartment.


Please write me at my e-mail address as I hope you can appreciate, i have many questions for you.


Robert Taylor