Diving into the past
Joseph and Gitta, enjoying Joseph’s release from Surgères prisoners’ camp
My history is hesitant here. The back of the photo says 1941. But as Léo says, the picture must have been taken in 1940. The family story is that the German army were so overwhelmed by their victory and the huge amount of prisoners they had, that anyone who could claim a home in the Surgères area was released. My mother hastily took and passed her driver’s license and drove down to Charente-Maritime, from Deauville where she lived with the rest of the family, to get my father out of the prisoners’ camp. They settled in Niort for a while, where they were sheltered and helped by Jeannette Raiton, a school-teacher whose husband was imprisoned near Toulouse, for being an anarchist.