Martin Rosen by Michael Rosen
Martin Rozen There is a report in the archives of the ‘département’ of the Vendée in western France which says that: on 31 January 1944, officers Salomon, Mazouin, and Cabanetos under command of Adjutant Le Papu, from the Fontanay-le-Comte station, in the Sainte-Hermine Brigade acting on instructions from Prefect Monsieur Gaston Jammet according to the ordinance of Jan 20 1944 called at 2.30 in the morning at the living quarters of Martin Rozen in a property owned by Mme Bobières née Meunier in the village of Sainte-Hermine in the Vendée. The officers say in their report that Martin Rozen opened the door and that they took him and drove him to the station. Martin Rozen, the report goes on, was: “...born on 18 August 1890 at Krosniewice in Poland. Jeweller, son of Jonas and Rachel, naturalised French, Jewish race. 1 metre 62 brown eyes oval face straight nose regular mouth dressed in yellow cotton trousers and grey cotton jacket wearing a Basque beret and low-heeled shoes. Scar on his left cheek.” He was taken to the Parish Hall at La Roche-sur-Yon.” ...where he met up with 30 other Jews taken that night. They were taken to the train station, put on a wagon for La Rochelle, then Poitiers, then Drancy internment camp. From there he was taken to Paris Bobigny station, put on Convoy 68 on February 10 and taken to Auschwitz. From the Archives of La Vendée there is more: On March 28 1944, Madame Bobières wrote to the Prefect of the Vendée at Roche-sur-Yon, Monsieur Jammet, informing him that the ‘Feldgendarmerie’ and the Gendarmerie came to her house on January 31st and took Mr Rosen, of Jewish nationality, who had been staying in her house for more than a year. “A wicker basket containing some linen belonging to Mr Rosen has been left in the room, which had been sealed up by the Gendarmes.” In this room, Mme Bobières writes: "is my furniture, including a large cupboard, containing things that are indispensable for my personal use: sheets, clothes, linen, blankets and family papers. Besides that, Rosen’s brother-in-law who lives in the next room, and who is French, would look after the wicker basket, which is the only piece of furniture belonging to Rosen. I am 71 years old and infirm. I have the honour of soliciting your goodwill in taking off the seals to this room. I thank you, Monsieur Le Préfet and hope you will accept my respectful compliments. Mme Bobières." On the 15 April the Prefect Monsieur Gaston Jammet (who was the person who sent out the ordinance to round up the Jews in the Vendée) informed Mme Bobières that she would only be able to take the seals off as and when the Occupation authorities will allow it. Gaston Jammet who had sent out orders to round up the Jews of the Vendée, had been ordered to do so by Monsieur Louis Bourgain, Prefect of the region, who had received orders to do so from Pierre Laval, Chief of Government in conjunction with the chief of the Regional Security Police, (the Sicherheitspolizei), Karl Hermann Herold who acted under instructions from his superior officers, Helmut Knochen, and Heinz Röthke both based in Paris.. Martin Rozen is my father’s uncle. He didn’t return from Auschwitz. His name is engraved on the commemorative wall at the Museum of the Shoah in Paris. There is a plaque on the wall in La Roche-sur-Yon where the Parish Hall used to be commemorating the round-up of January 30 and 31 1944.