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Maurice Blindt

Maurice Blindt was born on February 20, 1924, to Samuel and Fajga Blindt, both of whom were originally from Poland. He had a sister, Lucia, born in 1919, and a
brother, Henri, born in 1926. On the eve of World War II, Lucia left Paris to live in Algiers. When Germany invaded France in May 1940, the Blindts fled Paris. In the process of fleeing, they encountered heavy gunfire and arial bombings, and Fajga had a nervous breakdown.

The family separated at the moment of France’s surrender to the Nazis, but reunited several weeks later in Paris. Fajga was hospitalized, and wasn’t released until 1956. In Paris, Maurice engaged in propaganda activities for the illegal communist party. After his arrest in October 1941, he left Paris to go into hiding in the south of France.
Samuel and Henri were arrested during the Vélodrome d’Hiver roundup in Paris. Deported to Auschwitz in July 1942, they never returned. After crossing the demarcation line in Vierzon, Maurice walked to Marseille. Hoping to flee to Algiers to join his sister, he left Marseille on February 11, 1942. He completed the journey hidden in a
barrel in the baggage hold of the Sidi Aïssa, a passenger ship, arriving in Algiers on February 17. In September 1942, he worked as an operator at Radio-Algiers. He then enlisted as a parachutist for the rest of the war in the Free French Forces. He received military training in Tripoli, Libya, then, in November 1943, in Scotland. Having
completed his military training in June 1944, he participated in the Normandy landing, the liberation of France, and the campaign for Holland. He was demobilised in September 1946.

Back in Paris in 1946, Maurice reunited with his mother, still in the hospital. His sister returned from Algeria, profoundly shocked by the loss of her father and brother and her mother’s illness, and passed away. Maurice cared for his mother, who passed away in 1981. Sixty-five members of his family lost their lives in Nazi extermination
camps.

Maurice was married and had a daughter, Arianne. At the time of the interview, he had two grandsons.

The interview was conducted in Nogent-sur-Marne, France on July 30, 1997. The interviewer was Samuel Grosman and the cameraman Guy Elkrief.