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New book on ICRC's role during Second World War

17-12-1999 News Release 99/50

The ICRC welcomes the publication of Serge Klarsfeld's latest book, Recueil de documents des archives du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge sur le sort de Juifs de France internés et déportés (1939-1945) – a collection of documents from the ICRC archives detailing the internment of Jews in France during the Second World War.

Mr Klarsfeld and the association which he heads, Sons and Daughters of Jews Deported from France, were among the first to express interest in conducting extensive research in the ICRC archives after the organization decided to open its files in 1996. The ICRC and MrKlarsfeld's association have since developed a close working relationship.

This new publication launched on 15 December is part of Mr Klarsfeld's life work of providing a comprehensive record of what happened to Jews in France during the war. More than 76,000 French Jews were deported to Nazi concentration camps and the vast majority of them were killed.

ICRC delegates made numerous visits to internment camps in France between 1939 and 1945, and their reports, published in this book for the first time, provide a valuable insight into the conditions in which Jews were held. After repeated approaches to the French authorities, the ICRC was able to provide the internees with food, medicine and clothing, undoubtedly saving many lives. 

The ICRC is grateful for the research which Sons and Daughters of Jews Deported from France has conducted in its archives and looks forward to further collaborative work with Mr Klarsfeld, his associates and other researchers.