Myriam HOLZ

1935-1944 | Naissance: | Arrestation: | Résidence:

Myriam HOLZ

Myriam Holz was born in Nancy, in eastern France, on August 25, 1935. Her family was of Polish descent; she later became a French citizen. Her father, Moses Chain Holz, was born on August 15, 1897 in Mosciska, Poland (where he worked as a merchant, and later as a waiter in Nancy); her mother, Blima Rosenfeld, was born on December 27, 1902 in Konskie. After they were married in 1930, they first lived, with the bride’s very religious family, on Place La Fayette in Nancy. They went on to have six children: David, Joseph, Jacques, Myriam, Paul and Emmanuel. David was born on February 23, 1931, Joseph on August 26, 1932, Jacques on December 28, 1933, Paul on June 23, 1937 and Emmanuel on March 6, 1940. All of the children went to the Didion school, which was the nearest to their home on rue de la Salpétrière in Nancy. They were foreign Jews, but had residence and work permits: Polish immigrants were widespread in eastern France at the time.

At the start of the Second World War, as the persecution of foreign Jews intensified, the family was placed under house arrest in a camp near Poitiers in the Vienne department, where all the children were confined. In 1941, however, the children were released for a time thanks to their mother, Blima, who asked that they be freed because they had all become French citizens and were all under the age of 14. (Paul Lévy’s research on the Limoges road camp reveals the conditions that Régine had put up with during her time there. We know that the internees were malnourished and that life in the camp was unhealthy, as most of them were riddled with lice). The Nazis wanted to kill systematically all Jews over sixteen, as part of the so-called Final Solution; they thus allowed the children, who were under sixteen, to be released and reunited with their grandparents further north in the Vienne department, where they was staying in the Manoir de Vayolle, a chateau near the village of Berthegon.

On July 20, 1942, their father was deported on Convoy No. 8, while their mother was deported on September 23 of the same year on Convoy No. 36. After their parents were deported, the children were separated and placed in various homes for Jewish children run by the U.G.I.F. (Union Générale des Israélites de France, or General Union of French Jews). The UGIF was a Jewish organization set up to provide assistance, welfare and social services. The prefectures and the Gestapo made it compulsory for all Jews to join the U.G.I.F, and at the same time all pre-existing Jewish organizations were closed down. The U.G.I.F. ran its own children’s homes, the first of which were founded at the time of the Vel d’Hiv round-up on July 16 and 17, 1942. Children who were “liberated” from the camps at Drancy, Pithiviers, Beaune-la Rolande and Poitiers had to be placed in U.G.I.F. homes. Estelle was one of these so-called “blocked” children, entrusted to the U.G.I.F. Blocked children’s names were listed in a special police register, and these particular “liberations” were, in reality, a sham. Such children could only be sent to UGIF homes, it was the German authorities who decided where to place them, and they and the Vichy regime kept strict control over them. They were thus assigned to the various UGIF homes: Louveciennes, the Rothschild orphanage, the Zysman boarding house in La Varenne, Saint-Mandé, Neuilly, rue Vauquelin and the vocational school on rue des Rosiers in Paris, and in Montreuil. Myriam and her brother Paul Holz were placed at the Louveciennes home, David, Jacques and Joseph went to the Secrétan home in Paris, while Emmanuel was sent to La Varenne.

However, on the night of July 21 to 22, 1944, these three UGIF homes were raided: Aloïs Brunner, the commandant of Drancy camp, issued the order for a series of roundups of all the UGIF homes for Jewish children, in retaliation for the failed attempt on Hitler’s life on July 20, 1944, and for various Resistance operations in France. On the night of July 21-22, 1944, the Gestapo carried out a sweep of the U.G.I.F. children’s homes, which housed the children of French Jews, most of whom had already been deported and murdered, and some foreign Jewish children. During this crackdown, eight children’s homes were raided, and both residents and staff were taken prisoner and subsequently deported. More than three hundred innocent children were arrested that night. On July 31, 1944, after being interned in Drancy, the children were deported to Auschwitz in Poland on Convoy 77. They arrived there on August 3, 1944, where they were all executed in the gas chambers.


Further reading:


This biography was researched and written by the 12th grade students at the Victor Hugo high school in Poitiers, in the Vienne department of France, with the guidance of their teacher, Cédric Germain.

Reproduction of text and images

Any reproduction, even partial, of a biography must require prior written agreement from the association. To request authorization, please complete the form below : Form

For any use of an image from the Defense Historical Service (SHD), please go to their online service “Request a duplication”.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


hébergement Umazuma - OVH

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?