Lucienne BERNARD, 1922-1944
We are a group of six 12th grade students from the Galilée high school in Combs-la-Ville, in the Seine et Marne department of France. As part of our civic and ethical education class, we became involved in the “Convoy 77” project. Our history and geography teacher, Ms. Surget, assigned us the task of compiling the biographies of Georgette Bernard and her two daughters.
As part of our project, we had the opportunity to go to the Shoah Memorial and the Pantheon, both in Paris. We are also intending to visit Auschwitz if circumstances permit.
The difficulties that we encountered
Before we present the biographies of Georgette Bernard and her two daughters, Denise and Lucienne, we feel we should point out that we were faced with a number of difficulties due to a lack of source material!
The Convoy 77 association provided us with 13 official documents concerning Georgette Bernard, 10 for Lucienne and 9 for Denise. Among these few documents, we were lucky enough to find a witness statement from another deportee, Chaïm Borycky, certifying that the three women had been selected to go to the gas chamber as soon as they arrived in Auschwitz. We then contacted the town halls in Hayange (their place of birth) and Les Lilas (where they last lived), but we came up against a lack of information there too. The Lilas town hall gave us the number of the veterans’ association, which we contacted, but to no avail, since they did not call back.
We managed to contact the researcher Alexandre Doulut, via our teacher, to tell him of our dismay at the lack of information about this family.
He explained to us that unfortunately we had little chance of finding any further documents about Georgette Bernard and her two daughters. The reason given was that they were French deportees who had been arrested by the French police. This explains the absence of records, because after the war the police destroyed the all records that they had kept on Jews during the Occupation.
We also tried to track down Gabrielle Cahin, who lived at 7, rue du Centre in Les Lilas in 1946, and who had contacted the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs, but to no avail. We also discovered, from the documents provided by the Convoy 77 association, that no one had ever requested that the family be recognized as having been political deportees, which is unusual, according to Mr. Doulet and Ms. Surget.
We were upset by this research (and the lack of documents). How could we give back an identity to these three women and tell the story of their family when there were no records? It is almost as if they had never existed. They were on the last large convoy to Auschwitz and yet have only a few lines in their biographies. It’s awful!
Lucienne Bernard was the first daughter of Georgette LEVY, (married name Georgette Bernard) and Lucien Lazard Bernard. She had a sister, Denise, who was born on March 18, 1926 in Montigny-Lès-Metz.
She was born in Montigny-Lès-Metz, on February 22, 1922 and was a French citizen.
Her mother was born on February 7, 1890 in Hayange in the Moselle department. Her father was born Augny, also in Moselle, in 1880. He was a cattle merchant.
Her parents were married in Metz on June 2, 1921.
Her father, Lucien Lazard Bernard, died in Montigny-lès-Metz in 1940.
His widow, Georgette Bernard and her two daughters moved to the Paris area to be near her sister, Gabrielle Levy, whose married surname was Cahin. They lived at 7 rue du Centre in Lilas, in the Seine-Saint-Denis department.
She was arrested at the same time as her mother and sister on July 29, 1944 and interned in Drancy camp . She was deported on racial grounds on July 31, 1944, on the last of the large convoys: Convoy 77  to Auschwitz  in Poland.
She was gassed on arrival, together with her mother and her sister Denise on August 2, 1944 as evidenced by a handwritten testimony by Chaïm Borycky , a Convoy 77 survivor.
On November 21, 1946, Gabrielle Cahin, who was living in Le Lilas, made a request to have Georgette declared a “non-returnee” . The certificate of non-return was issued on November 26, 1946 and states that Georgette was from Lorraine and had been deported on racial grounds.
Gabrielle Cahin received a reply from the Ministry of Veterans and Victims of War on June 24, 1949, confirming that Lucienne Bernard had been declared dead by the courts .
 Document provided by the Convoy 77 association.
 Drancy camp: Drancy was used as an internment camp and assembly point for French Jews before they were sent to concentration camps and killing centers. Nearly 63,000 of them were deported from Drancy.
 Convoy 77 was the last of the large convoys (carrying 1306 deportees) from Drancy to Auschwitz. It left on July 31,1944
 Auschwitz-Birkenau was a major concentration camp and killing center in Poland. More than 1.1 million Jews were murdered there.
 Israël Chaïm Borycky, who was born in 1902, survived and returned from the Auschwitz camp. He wrote this witness statement on November 21, 1946
 From 1945 onwards, when it became clear that many deportees had “disappeared”, their families were encouraged to request missing persons certificates, which were then followed by legal decrees confirming the death, rather than the usual death certificates.
It was decided arbitrarily that the place of death would be given as the place where the future deportees had been interned (Drancy, Pithiviers etc), and the date was given as the departure date of the convoy, which was not correct in this case.
 She was declared dead “according to convention” 5 days after her departure from Drancy. However, we know from Mr. Boricky that she was murdered on August 2, 1944 as soon as she arrived in Auschwitz.