Dora Bruder

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Authors: Patrick Modiano
Tags: Biography
    17 JUNE 1942
    Dora Bruder was restored to her mother on the 15th of
this month, courtesy of the Clignancourt police.
    In view of the fact that she has repeatedly run away it
would seem advisable to remand her to a juvenile home.
    The father being interned and the mother in a state of
penury, police social workers (Quai de Gesvres) will take the
necessary action if required.
    Thus, after her return to the maternal domicile on 17 April
1942, Dora Bruder had run away a second time. We have no
means of knowing for how long. A month, a month and a half,
stolen from the spring of 1942? A week? Where, and in what
circumstances, had she been arrested and taken to
Clignancourt police station?
    Since 7 June, the wearing of the yellow star had been
mandatory. Jews whose names began with A and B had been
collecting theirs at police stations since Tuesday 2 June,
signing the registers opened for the purpose. Would Dora Bruder
have been wearing the star when she was taken to the police
station? I doubt it, remembering what her cousin had said
about her. A rebel, independent-minded. And besides, in all
likelihood she had been on the run long before the beginning
of June.
    Was she stopped in the street for not wearing the star? I
have found the circular dated 6 June 1942 specifying the lot
of those picked up for violation of the eighth statute relating
to the wearing of the insignia:
From the Directors of the Criminal Investigation
Department and the Metropolitan Police:
    To Divisional Chief Superintendents, Superintendents
of street police for each arrondissement,
Superintendents of Paris districts, and all other metropolitan and
criminal investigation departments (copies to
Directorates of Intelligence Services, Technical Services, Alien
and Jewish Affairs  .  .  .
    1—Jews—males aged 18 and over:
    Any Jew in breach of the law shall be remanded to the
Dépôt by the street police together with a specific and
individual transfer warrant in duplicate (the second copy
to be sent to Divisional Superintendent Roux, chief of
the Motor Vehicles Department—Dépôt unit). This
document is to specify, in addition to the place, day,
time, and circumstances of the arrest, the surname, first
name, date and place of birth, family status, occupation,
domicile, and nationality of the statutory detainee.
    2—Jewish females and minors of both sexes aged between
16 and 18 years.
    The above shall also be remanded to the Dépôt by
the street police under the terms and conditions stated
    Dépôt personnel are to send the original transfer
warrant to the Directorate for Alien and Jewish Affairs,
which will rule on each case after consultation with the
German authorities. No release may be effected without
written orders from the said directorate.
    That June, hundreds of adolescents like Dora were arrested
on the street in accordance with Tanguy’s and Hennequin’s
precise and detailed instructions. They passed through the
Dépôt and then Drancy on their way to Auschwitz. It goes
without saying that the specific and individual transfer
warrants of which Superintendent Roux received copies were
destroyed after the war, or even, perhaps, as each arrest was
completed. All the same, a few remain, inadvertently overlooked.
    Police report dated 25 August 1942:
I am dispatching the following to the Dépôt for
failure to wear the Jewish insignia: Sterman Esther, born
13 June 1926, Paris 12th, 42 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois.
    Rotsztein Benjamin, born 19 December 1922,
Warsaw, 5 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, arrested Gare
d’Austerlitz by inspectors of the Intelligence Service,
Section 3.
    Police report dated 1 September 1942:
From Inspectors Curinier and Lasalle to the Chief
Superintendent, Special Branch:
    We are dispatching Jacobson Louise born

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