A historical question, a memory project

« AUGIER Nora, AUGIER Nuta, FINKENSTEIN, FURMANSKI David KAMINSKY Adolphe, KAMINSKY Paul KAMINSKY Pauline, KAMINSKY Solomon : Auschwitz ? disappeared ».

These eight names are mentioned in one of the reference books on Vire’s history during the Second World War, Vire se souvient… *.

If, in fact, the city « remembers » this dramatic period, it remains that this memory has a double dimension, both progressive and selective. From 1945 until the early 1970s, all memory momentum is indeed on the civilian victims of the bombing of June 6, 1944 and the Resistance. Since the 1990s, and so far, it is the memory of American veterans who takes over : the ambivalence of a release in the destruction has apparently been exceeded.

The political prisoners were listed at the end of the year 1945. The list ot the five hundred Vire’s inhabitants died under Allied bombs during the battle of Normandy or deportation is clause in 1958. About the history of the Jews of Vire, about the deportees : nothing. Nothing outside these incomplete lines. At Montchamp, on the main monument memorial of the bocage inaugurated in 1953 by general de Gaulle, there is no Jewish deportee’s name among the sixty « Patriots victims of the nazis ». It remains only a question mark in the book witch is mentioned above and this mention: « disappeared ».

We have to wait for the main book of Yves Lecouturier (Shoah in Normandy, 2004) to learn more about the Jews of Vire’s fate : we learn that they come from Poland, Bulgaria and Argentina. We learn also that some of them have escaped to the deportation : this is the case of Adolfo Kaminsky, who joined resistance in January 1944 and became an expert in the manufacture of false papers. It remains that at the local scale, the question of anti-Jewish persecution remained buried, inert in terms of memory. It is very revealing to discover in the municipal archives that four deported Jews are cited in the official list of Vire’s inhabitants « dead to the France ». In accordance with representations and legal conceptions of the post-war period, they are cited as « political prisoners », with a misspelled surname  for three of them also…

The starting point of this project therefore revolves around two questions : who are these arrested Jews between spring 1942 and autumn 1943 on the outskirts of the city ? Why this silence from 1945 until today ? It is from this questioning and walk, froe Neuville to Auschwitz, that we have tried to reconstruct their « route »…

1939-1956 Vire se souvient…, édition de la Section cartophile de l’Association des Collectionneurs Virois, 1993, p. 96.