Paris, July 1942, and the Vel d’Hiv Roundup

Ryan Woodward, Library & Education Associate

July 16-17 marks the 80th anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv roundup, an important piece of French Holocaust history. Vel d’Hiv is an abbreviated name of the Vélodrome d’Hiver (Winter Cycling Stadium) where Jews in Paris were held after a mass arrest by French police on July 16 and 17, 1942. Over 13,000 Jews were arrested,including more than 4,000 children. Conditions at the Vel d’Hiv were extremely poor, unsanitary, and unsafe. In the days following the roundup, prisoners were relocated first to local internment camps and eventually to the extermination camps of the east.

The events of the Vel d’Hiv roundup stand as a reminder of an extremely dark time in French history, in particular the role of local police and gendarmes who willingly and efficiently arrested thousands of Jews at the Nazis’ behest. The following works can help our audience and supporters gain a better understanding of not only the specific details of the Vel d’Hiv roundup, but of the general conditions, attitudes, and experiences of Jews in France during the Holocaust.

Les Guichets du Louvre or Black Thursday (1974)
directed by Michel Mitrani.

Monsieur Klein or Mr. Klein (1976)
directed by Joseph Losey,

La Rafle or The Round Up (2010)
directed by Roselyne Bosch.

Elle s’appelait Sarah or Sarah’s Key (2010)
directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner.

The Vél d’Hiv Raid: The French Police at the Service of the Gestapo
by Maurice Rajsfus, Levi Laub, et al. (2017) ISBN-13: 978-0997818468

Sarah’s Key
by Tatiana de Rosnay (2008) ISBN-13: ‎978-0312370848

French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial
by Serge Klarsfeld (1996) ISBN-13: ‎978-0814726624

A Bag of Marbles: The Graphic Novel
by Joseph Joffo (2013) ISBN-13: ‎978-1467707008

After the Roundup: Escape and Survival in Hitler’s France
by Joseph Wiesmann (2017) ISBN-13: ‎978-0253026910

Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation
by Anne Sebba (2016) ISBN-13: ‎978-1250048592

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