Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WWII Lessons to Remember an Interview with Leon Malmed

Leon Malmed

"My parents were born in Poland. They immigrated to France in 1931 to get away from the programs, the anti-Semitism, the hatred of the general population and from a bleak life with no future. They married shortly after their arrival in France. For 11 years they lived a happy in Compiègne, a town of about 20,000 people, 45 miles north of Paris.  My father was a tailor and my mother a seamstress.  My sister Rachel was born in 1932 and myself in 1937.

WWII was declared on September 3rd of 1939. Though, our father was still a Polish citizen, he immediately enlisted in the French army and was sent to the front. France surrendered three weeks after the beginning of the hostilities. All soldiers caught in uniform were taken prisoner. They spent the next 5 years in German prison camps. Our father who was able to change in civilian clothes escaped and rejoined us.

July 19, 1942 at 5AM, two French policemen knocked at the door of our apartment and asked our parents to follow them to the Police station. No reason is given.  “What about our children?” our parents ask hysterically. Our parents were still Polish citizen. My sister and I were French citizens having been borne if France.  The commotion wakes up our neighbors, the Ribouleau family, from the floor below. They quickly come up the flight of stairs to see what the noise is all about.  Monsieur Ribouleau, our 2nd floor neighbor, we hardly knew, said: “Mr. and Mrs. Malmed, do not worry, we will take care of your children until you return”.  
These few words saved our lives.

Years later we found our parents were sent to Drancy and then to Auschwitz.  Our mother either died in transport and or was gassed on arrival.  His father was alive in 1944 but no other clue as to what happened to him. For two years we lived with the Ribouleau family.  This couple put their lives and the lives of their two sons, René, 20 and Marcel, 17, in mortal danger.  We escaped roundups and endured many hardships.  When the war was over I was almost 8 years old." -Leon Malmed

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com


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