Noma (or Dona, according to the source) Czarka was an 11-year-old girl who died as a result of the deportations during the Second World War (1939-1945).
Childhood and the beginning of the Second World War
Noma was born on September 12, 1932 in Scarbé, a district of Brussels, where she spent her childhood. She lived with her mother, Sura Brandla Zyskind (born in 1906 in Kielce, Poland), her father, Majer Czarka, a furrier (born in 1909 in Warsaw, the capital of Poland), and her brother Denis (born in 1936). The Czarka family was Jewish.
Then, at the start of the Second World War, the Germans began to invade neighboring countries. Belgium was invaded on May 10, 1940.
The deportation of the Czarka family
Noma appears to have been interned in Drancy camp, together with her parents.
However, the earliest records we have from Drancy relate to the deportation of her parents. Her mother, Sura, was deported from Drancy to Auschwitz on August 28, 1942, on Convoy 25. Her father was also deported from Drancy to Auschwitz some months later, on November 11, 1942, on Convoy 45. Her address at that time was listed as 45 rue de l’Église in Brussels. Noma must have been separated from her parents in France.
Noma was then transferred from Drancy and place in the care of the the UGIF (Union générale des Israélites de France, or General Union of French Jews). She was initially placed in the UGIF home “30 Guy-Patin” (at 9 rue Guy-Patin) from February to April 1943, then in the UGIF home “28 Lamarck” (in Montreuil-sous-Bois, Seine-Saint-Denis, east of Paris) from April to June 1943. On several occasions, while she was staying at the Lamarck home, she was allowed out to spend time with the Osztreicher family at 13 rue des Rigolles, in the north of Paris. It is not known whether she met up with any of her real family while she was there.
We have no pictures of Noma herself, but we know she is one of the girls in this photo:
Remembrance and commemoration
To pay tribute to all the children who were deported that day, the town of Montreuil has installed a commemorative plaque on the front of the former UGIF “center 28”, the Lamarck children’s home. Below is a screenshot taken from Google maps at its current address, 21 rue François Debergue in Montreuil, in the eastern suburbs of Paris:
It begins: “During the war, this school was a home for Jewish children. On July 22, 1944, the Gestapo arrested 21 children and their 3 teachers: 18 of them were deported by convoy no. 77 on July 31, 1944, and exterminated at Auschwitz Birkenau. The left-hand column shows the names of Dona/Noma and Denis. It goes on to say that three of the children survived.
- Source: Defense Historical Service, AC 21 P 482 365, Individual file on Dona Czarka.
- Entry register begun on July 28, 1942 at the Guy-Patin children’s home (received without a reference number).).
- Register of admissions to the Lamarck center (received undated and with no reference number).