Jean-Claude (known as Claude) Heymann
Claude (Jean-Claude, Léopold) Heymann was the son of Flore and Benoît Heymann. He was the brother of Nicole Heymann (married name Elbaz). He was born on June 6, 1926 in Strasbourg (now in the Bas-Rhin department of France) and went to the Kléber high school in Strasbourg. His family moved to 248 bis rue Duguesclin in Lyon, in the Rhone department of France, where he went to school at the Ampère Bourse high school at 149 avenue de Saxe, 69003 Lyon. In the school year 1940-41, he was enrolled in 9th grade, class B1, in 1941-42 in 10th grade, class B1, in 1942-43 in 11th grade, and in 1943-44 in 12th grade, class B3.
His parents managed the “le Refuge” retirement home for members of the Jewish community, known as “the Refuge House”, at 77 rue de la Villette in Lyon. During the war they helped to hide Jewish adults and children rescued by the UGIF, the Union Générale des Israelites de France, or Union of French Jews (Altar, 2019 and 2020). One of the people who was hidden at the Refuge House was Régina Zylberberg, (who was known as Régine, was born on December 26, 1929 in Etterbeek, Anderlecht, Belgium and died on May 1, 2022, in the 17th district of Paris). She fell in love with Claude: “He was extremely talented; he was 16 at the time, and I was 12. […] on June 6, 1944, he went to see his uncle to tell him that when I turned 15, he was going to marry me. And then as he was leaving his uncle’s place, they were arrested and he never came back.” (Source: “La parenthèse inattendue” (“The unexpected interlude”), France 2, 21/05/2014).
Claude was in fact rounded up, at the age of 18, on June 13, 1944, at the Tillsit synagogue, at 13 quai Tilsitt in Lyon. He was then interned in the Montluc prison in the “Baraque aux Juifs“, or “Jews’ Barracks” and subsequently deported to Auschwitz on Convoy 77 on July 31, 1944 together with his uncle, Benjamin Dreyfus (born on July 11, 1891 in Wissembourg), a Jewish officiating minister.
The following people were also arrested at the Tilsitt synagogue and deported on Convoy 77: Emile Cahen (born on March 19, 1876 in Mulhouse), head of the office of the Jewish Social Assistance service in Lyon, Isaac Maurice Eisner (born on April 14, 1894 in Łódź, Poland) and his wife Fajga Eisner née Marmersztajn (born on November 19, 1898 in Przedbórz, Łódź, Poland) and Perla Zandt (born on March 18, 1913 in Warsaw, Poland).
“In Lyon. Mr. Eugene Weill testifies […]: The militia broke into the synagogue on Quai Tilsit on June 14, 1944, in the late afternoon. The militiamen arrested the secretary of the Consistory, Emile Cahen, the first officiating minister, Benjamin Dreyfus, his nephew, Mr. Heymann, the janitor, Mr. Eisner, his wife and the cleaning lady. All of them were deported.” (La persécution raciale, (Racial persecution) 1947; Altar and Le Mer, 2020).
In 1947, a missing person’s certificate was issued and in June 1953, Claude’s family was given a card in his name stating that he was a “political deportee”, which is to say that he had been deported for political reasons. In 2005, the CDDEJ (Centre de Documentation sur la Déportation des Enfants juifs, or Documentation Center on the Deportation of Jewish Children) contributed to the installation of a plaque at the Ampère high school in Lyon.
“Died during deportation” listings from the Journal officiel, or French Official Gazette:
Heymann (Jean, Claude, Léopold), born on June 6, 1926 in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin department), died on August 25, 1944 in Auschwitz (Poland).
Dreyfuss (Benjamin), born on July 11, 1891 in Wissembourg (Bas-Rhin department), died on August 5, 1944 in Auschwitz (Poland), rather than “died in August 1944 during deportation”.
Cahen (Emile), born on March 19, 1876 in Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin department), died on August 5, 1944 in Auschwitz (Poland) and not on July 1, 1946 (with no further details).
Eisner, born Marmersztajn (Faiga), born on December 20, 1898 in Przedborg (Poland), died on August 5, 1944 in Auschwitz (Poland).
Eisner (Isaac, Maurice), born on April 14, 1894 in Ùniev (Poland), died on September 26, 1944 in Auschwitz (Poland).
- Altar S. (2019) Être juif à Lyon et ses alentours (Being Jewish in Lyon and the surrounding area) 1940-1944. Ed. Tiresias.
- Altar S. and Le Mer R. (2020) Le spectre de la terreur. Ces Français auxiliaires de la Gestapo (The spectre of terror. The French Gestapo assistants). Ed. Tiresias.
- Altar S. (2020) La résistance oubliée des Juifs en France (The forgotten resistance of the Jews in France). Ed. Tiresias.
- La persécution raciale, 1947, Service d’information des crimes de guerre, (Racial Persecution, 1947, War Crimes Information Service). Office français d’Edition.
- Centre de Documentation sur la Déportation des Enfants Juifs de Lyon (Documentation Center on the Deportation of Jewish Children)
- Crimes ennemis en France – La persécution Raciale, Documents pour servir à l’histoire de la guerre (Enemy Crimes in France – Racial Persecution, Documents for use in the history of the war), 1947