Portrait photo of Paul Gevertz (Source: Shoah Memorial in Paris).
We would like to introduce you to a Jewish child from Paris who was arrested during the Second World War. His name was Paul Jacob Gevertz.
Paul Jacob Gevertz was born on August 20, 1931 in the 10th district of Paris. He was the oldest of five children, all of whom were born in Paris, although we know only two of their names: Jacques, who was born in 1938 and Madeleine, who was born in 1940. Their mother was Rosa Henriette Goldeberg and their father was Wolf Gevertz, born on October 12, 1902 in Warsaw, Poland). Paul was a French Jew. He lived at 1 rue Fernand Laborie in Paris.
1940 – 1944: The beginning of the Occupation and the round-up
In 1940, when Paul was nine years old, the Wehrmacht (the army of the German Third Reich) occupied Paris, the French capital.
On July 20, 1944, Paul Gevertz was arrested at his home. He was rounded up simply because he was Jewish. There were witnesses to his arrest. He was then interned for ten days in Drancy camp, where he was assigned the registration number 25,317.
July – August 1944: Deportation and execution
On July 31, 1944, Paul, his mother, his brother Jacques and his sister were deported on Convoy 77 from Drancy to Auschwitz, a concentration camp and killing center. During the war, between 1941 and 1944, Drancy was an internment center and the main gathering point for Jews from in and around Paris, who were then deported to Nazi concentration camps and killing centers.
As soon as he arrived at Auschwitz in early August, 1944, Paul was asphyxiated by poison gas because he was too young to work. Auschwitz was the largest concentration camp complex of the Third Reich, located in the province of Silesia, some thirty miles west of Krakow, in occupied Poland).
Paul Gevertz was murdered at the age of 12, almost 13. His official date of death is August 5, 1944. He was one of the victims of the Holocaust during the Second World War. His mother Rosa, brother Jacques and sister Madeleine also died at Auschwitz. The number of Jewish victims is estimated at between 5 and 6 million.
In what ways was Paul’s death officially recognized?
On March 5, 1947, Paul’s death was officially recorded in the Paris registry office and a death certificate was issued.
In 1962, his father Wolf requested that Paul be posthumously granted the title of “political deportee”. Wolf survived the war. On November 25, 1963, the French Ministry of Veterans and Victims of War awarded Paul Gevertz the status of “political deportee”.
Paul was also awarded the status of ” Died for France “, which is attributed when there is proof that the person’s death was the result of an act of war, either during or after the war itself.
Paul Gevertz’s name is inscribed on the Wall of Names at the Shoah Memorial in Paris. It can be found on slab no. 14, column no. 5, row no. 2, beside those of Rosa, Jacques and Madeleine:
This Wall of Names is made up of three stone walls engraved with the first names, surnames and birth years of 76,000 Jews, including 11,400 children, who were deported from France by the Nazis. The high number of Jews deported was due to the collaboration of the Vichy government, which was in power from July 1940 – August 1944 and was led by Marshall Philippe Pétain.
- Source : SHD, AC 21 P 455 197, Dossier individuel de Paul, Jacob Gevertz.