As a child, I used to climb with my little friends to the "burnt house" on the path above the school where Ms.Brunet, our teacher, taught. This place, whose history we didn't know, impressed and frightened us. Unconsciously, we sensed that something dramatic had happened there.


Extracts from "La Dépêche du midi" dated 2011/10/31

... " On June 28, 1944, the Gestapo raided the Café Metges, an information center for Resistance fighters, and arrested Esther Lévy, who worked there. The same day, at the Lévy home, the Nazis discovered two Spanish maquisards who were immediately executed: Pedro Sanchez Guiteirrez and Francisco Jaime Cruanes Salvador. The Lévy family, whose home was burnt down by the Nazis, was also cruelly affected: Joseph was arrested, detained in Cahors, undoubtedly tortured and then executed. The son, Maurice, aged 18, suffered a fate just as terrible as his father. Brought back to the scene of his arrest by his torturers on July 2, after terrible torture, he was shot on the spot. He is buried in Arcambal. Also shot on the same day was Gilbert Fréjaville, a Resistance fighter and maquisard. Three of Joseph Lévy's four daughters, Esther, Judith and Odette, were deported to Ravensbrück. Odette was later transferred to Bergen-Belsen. Violetta escaped deportation thanks to the help of Ms.Camille Brunet, the village schoolteacher, who still lives in Arcambal. Odette Lévy didn't cry on Saturday. The grandmother recalled what a young girl she was when the foul beasts decided to stop in Arcambal: "I was 13 and of course it's still buried inside me. I can still see the scene. It was hard for me to talk about it for a long time, because it was in me: the arrest, the camps, the death of my family. Along with Simone Veil, I'm one of the few survivors of the Bergen-Belsen camp. After going through all that, you have to hang on. At her side is her daughter, Marthe Garmer: "I've taken up the torch and discovered a lot of interesting things and documents about this story. You know, people who have lived through the horror of the camps don't often talk about it. That was the case with my mother. Today, for our whole family, it's a tremendous emotion". 67 years on, Arcambal has proved that the duty to remember is not just something to be found in books or learned symposia. By touching the stele at the top of this road that climbs up, it's history that we're making vibrate".
The stele unveiled on Saturday morning at Arcambal, on the very site of the tragedy of June 28 1944, bears the names of Resistance fighters and civilian victims of Nazism during the Occupation. Pedro Sanchez Guiteirrez, Jaime Salvador Cruanes, Maurice Lévy and Gilbert Fréjaville were shot. Joseph Lévy, missing, René Borie, killed in action, and Esther, Judith and Odette Lévy, as well as Elise Jouve and Léon Labarrière, all deported.

My thanks to Mr. Alain Maas for sending the photos of the burnt house.
In mid-September, Christian Verdun and Alain Maas will publish a comic strip recounting the story of "the burnt house".

"Making our children aware of the reality of war is a responsibility that falls to all of us".

Mr Jérome Dietsch - Mayor of Arcambal
(excerpt from the preface to the comic book)

We can only agree with these responsible and meaningful words.


Testimonial  from L.I.C.A

My mother, Marjanna remarried in 1966.

my father-in-law's parents, Jean and Hélène Lagrèze received this letter as a testimony of their action towards wanted Jews whom they had temporarily lodged in 1943.

Jean Lagrèze, teacher and holder of the "Palmes académiques", was mayor of Arcambal from 1947 to 1961.


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