France / Paris and Surrounding Areas

Drancy

Drancy deportation monument

Square de la Libération, 93700 Drancy, France

Drancy Shoah Memorial

Avenue Jean Jaurès – Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, 93700 Drancy

The Deportation Monument (Le Monument de la Déportation), a work by the sculptor Shlomo Selinger erected in 1976, serves as a reminder that the buildings in this northern suburb in Seine Saint Denis wre used as a concentration camp during the occupation. Tens of thousands of French Jews who were sent to the extermination camps transited via Drancy. The last remaining building form this episode was put on the historical register in May 2001.

In the center of the piece, the block represents ten figures, the ten men needed to recite the kaddish. The wavelike pattern at the foot of the sculpture evokes the fire in which so many Jew died. Two stairs, each with seven steps, symbolize the seven degrees of suffering and the seven degrees of the elevation of the soul. On the right hand side, the man’s beard forms the letter lamed and the woman’s hair a vav. These Hebrew letters have a numerical value of thirty-six and so recall the Thirty-six Righteous Individuals who, according to Jewish tradition, support the world. Close by the monument, a cattle car used during the deportation houses photographs and documents pertaining to the conditions of internment and the history of the convoys to the death camps.

After a campaign by the Fondation pour la mémoire de la Shoah, the Drancy Shoah Memorial opened to the public on September 23, 2012. It is now an appendice to the Shoah Memorial in Paris.