1922-1945 | Naissance: | Arrestation: | Résidence:



This biography was researched and written by Jeanne-Camille Armanet, a 9th grade student at the Marengo middle school in Toulouse, in the Haute Garonne department of France, in May 2022

I. Raymond Grunbaum’s family background
II. His life from 1922 to 1944
III. The deportation
IV. Remembrance
V. Sources


I) Raymond Grunbaum’s family background

Raymond Grunbaum’s family was Jewish. Originally from Poland, they emigrated to France in the early 1900s.

His paternal grandparents, Raphaël Grunbaum and Schifra Beresin, were both born in Poland. His maternal grandfather, Berck (Bernard) Sagel, was born in Poland in 1873 and died in Paris in 1933. His maternal grandmother, Hanna Tchosniak, was born in Poland in 1875 and died in Paris in 1934.

His aunt, Berthe Sagel (Esther Sagel’s sister), was born in Paris in 1905 and died in the 7th district of Paris on January 11, 1989.

His parents arrived in France sometime between July 1902 and June 1905. They were married on May 31, 1917 in the 14th district of Paris, and became French citizens by naturalization in 1927.

His father, Jacob (Jacques) Grunbaum, was born in 1882 in Opotchensk, Poland, and died on November 15, 1973 in the 10th district of Paris. He was best man at the wedding of his sisters-in-law, Eva Sagel in 1920 and Rosa Sagel on January 20, 1925 in the 4th district of Paris. He was also a witness at the wedding of his brother-in-law, Georges Sagel, on January 18, 1937, which provides an insight into his occupation and where he lived over the years.

In 1917, when he got married, he was living at 139 rue Oberkampf, in the 4th district of Paris. He was working as a cobbler at the time. In 1920, he changed his first name to Jacques. At that time, the family was living at 15 rue Mélingue in the 19th district of Paris, and Jacques Grunbaum was working as a shoe salesman. In 1937, the family moved to 75 boulevard de la Villette in the 10th district of Paris, where Raymond’s father worked as a shopkeeper until 1939, at which time the entire Grunbaum family fled to Toulouse, which was in the “Free Zone””.

His mother, Esther (known as Fanny) Sagel, was born on October 12, 1896 in Lentchitch in Poland. She died in Paris in 1981.


Jacob Grunbaum with his wife Esther and children Fernande and Raymond. Photo taken in France in 1936. Left to right: Fernande, Esther (seated), Jacob and Raymond.

His elder sister, Fernande Grunbaum, was born in Marseille in 1918 and died in Paris in 2002. Prior to 1939, she worked for the French Ministry of Labor.

His younger sister, Janine Grunbaum, was born in France in 1937.


Raymond Grunbaum walking with his sisters Fernande ( on the right) and Jeanine ( in the center), on a street in Toulouse, in the Haute-Garonne department of France. Photo taken in France in March 1944.

II) His life from 1922 to 1944

Raymond Grunbaum was born on July 13, 1922, in the 10th district of Paris. In 1939, he graduated from high school and went on to study medicine.

“Raymond was a brilliant student. He had done a preparatory year of PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and intended to study medicine,” said his sister


Raymond Grunbaum in a public garden in France in 1937

When the war broke out, Raymond’s family fled to Toulouse, which was in the unoccupied “Free Zone” in the southern half of France. In 1940 or 1941, he moved into an apartment at 1 Place Saint-Pierre in Toulouse. In a 1942 photo donated by Janine Grunbaum to the World Shoah Memorial website, he can be seen standing on a building site run by some young members of the UJJ (Union de la Jeunesse Juive, or Union of Jewish Youth). In 1944, he joined the Resistance in Toulouse. He was second lieutenant and worked as a liaison officer.


Raymond Grunbaum (in the front row) with a group of unidentified young men on a youth work site at Le Cannet-des-Maures, in the Var department of France in April 1942.

III) The deportation

On May 17, 1944, the French militia arrested Raymond on the Boulevard de Strasbourg in Toulouse, as a result of a tip-off. However, the militia’s involvement is not clear: a report from the Toulouse Security Service states that he was arrested by an “unidentified organization”.

According to a French government report dated April 16, 1954, a group of “German soldiers” arrived at the family home (luckily, they were not at home at the time) “probably with the intention of arresting the various members of the Grunbaum family”. The same report states: “According to the information gathered, Mr. Grunbaum’s deportation was for racial reasons. This document was only issued on April 16, 1954, some four months before it was acknowledged that Raymond Grunbaum had been deported for political reasons, echoing other documents stating that he had been arrested as a member of the Resistance.

  •  May 17 to June 15, 1944: May 17 to June 15, 1944: Raymond Grunbaum was imprisoned in the Caffarelli barracks in Toulouse, together with a number of other Jewish families.
  • June 15, 1944 to July 6, 1944: He was interned, along with many other Resistance members, at the Royallieu camp, a former military barracks in Compiègne, in the Oise department of France.
  • July 6, 1944: He was transferred by bus from the Royallieu camp to the Drancy internment camp in the north of Paris.
  • July 6 to July 31, 1944: Raymond Grunbaum was interned in the Drancy transit camp, also known as the “antechamber of death”. Officially run by the Police Headquarters, the camp was in fact supervised entirely by SS personnel. Dannecker, Röthke and Brunner succeeded each other as camp commanders.
  • July 31 1944: Convoy 77 left Bobigny railway station, bound for Auschwitz. The convoy was made up of 30 cattle cars, some of which contained a bucket of water, a few boxes of extra food or a couple of mattresses. There was some straw scattered on the floor.
  • August 3, 1944: Convoy 77 arrived at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, in present-day Poland.
  • On an unknown date, Raymond Grunbaum was transferred by cattle car to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, about 20 miles north of Berlin, in Germany.
  • February 16, 1945: He was transferred by cattle car to the Mauthausen-Güsen extermination camp in Austria.

Raymond Grunbaum was assigned to Kommando Güsen II, a satellite work camp attached to the Mauthausen camp. There were underground armaments factories and a bakery, which explains why, in the camp records, Raymond Grunbaum is listed as a baker. Güsen II was known as the “Jews’ camp” because there were so many Jews there, alongside some Polish and Russian prisoners. Raymond Grunbaum died at Güsen II on March 10, 1945, less than two months before the camp was liberated, at the age of 22 years, 7 months and 28 days. The causes and circumstances of his death are not known, but the work in the camp was very hard, and there was little in the way of food or medical care. An estimated 30,000 deportees died there. Raymond Grunbaum’s body was never released to his family. His death certificate was officially issued in October 1948, three years after he died.

IV) Remembrance

Although Raymond’s body was never recovered, and even though there is no grave, some traces of his life are still with us, 78 years after his death. His family has made a point of raising awareness of his life, and has worked hard to preserve his legacy by publishing various memorial works.

Janine Grunbaum, his sister, donated some photos of Raymond to the World Shoah Memorial website.

His sister, Fernande, provided a testimonial to Yad Vashem in 1991. His cousin, Philippe Isapof, did the same in 2001.


His parents were keen to highlight his commitment to France and the circumstances of his death. They requested the words “Died for France” be added to their son’s death certificate, which was issued in 1948. In 1995, the words “Died during deportation” were added.

His mother also applied to have him recognized as having been a “political deportee”, as proof of his involvement in the Resistance. This was granted in 1954, 10 years after his death.

Since there is no actual burial site, his family had his name engraved on the Alliance Israélite (Jewish Alliance) memorial in the Bagneux cemetery in Paris, as well as on the Wall of Names at the Shoah Memorial in Paris, which was inaugurated in 2005. His name is also listed on the Yad Vashem World Memorial website.

  1. V) Sources
  • Paris archives (birth, marriage, naturalization and death certificates)
  • Photos posted on the World Shoah Memorial website by his younger sister, Janine Grunbaum. Testimonials by his sister Fernande and his cousin Philippe Isapof on the Yad Vashem website.
  • Official records from the Mauthausen camp describing his stay in the concentration camp.
  • His mother’s application for him to be granted the title of political deportee.
  • French Ministry of the Interior report describing the circumstances of his arrest.
  • Janine Grunbaum’s testimonial letter



This biography was researched and written by Jeanne-Camille Armanet, a 9th grade student at the Marengo middle school in Toulouse, in the Haute Garonne department of France, in May 2022.

Reproduction of text and images

Any reproduction of a biography, even in part, must be approved in advance and in writing by the Convoy 77 association. To request permission, please fill in the form here: Form
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