Salomon Buch recalls the “green ticket” roundup during which his father was deported.
Source: Montreal Holocaust Museum, 1997
The eldest of five children, Salomon Buch was born in 1923 in Paris, France. His parents Ephraim Buch and Doba Arbeit immigrated to France from Warsaw, Poland in the 1920s. While their children were all French citizens, Ephraim and his wife never got French citizenship. Ephraim was an artisan handbag maker and he worked from home while Doba looked after the children. In the mid-1930s, Ephraim went to work in a handbag factory. Salomon went to school until the age of 12 and then joined his father in the factory.
In May 1940, the German army invaded France and a month later France capitulated. Men were advised to leave Paris, so Salomon and his father fled to the unoccupied zone in the south of France. However, they were worried about the family members they left behind, so they decided to return to Paris. As of the fall of 1940, Jews in France were subjected to a growing number of anti-Jewish measures. They were also obliged to register with the police.
In May 14, 1941, Salomon’s father was arrested in the first roundup of foreign Jews called the “green ticket roundup” because of the green postcards on which the orders were sent. Five thousand men were arrested in this roundup and sent to either the Pithiviers or the Beaune-la-Rolande internment camps. Salomon’s father spent a year in the latter and was deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1942. He died after a few months in the camp.
In July 1942, Salomon made his way to Lyon, close to the demarcation line in the free zone. There, he stayed with family friends who had moved from Paris and worked in their handbag factory. His mother and three of his sisters were arrested in the Vel d’Hiv Roundup in Paris on July 16, 1942. They were deported to Auschwitz and killed shortly after their arrival.
Salomon’s eldest sister Denise was not arrested in the roundup, and she joined Salomon in Lyon a few months later.
When the Germans occupied the free zone of France in November 1942, the siblings got false ID papers. Although people around them knew they were Jewish, nobody betrayed them. They were active in the Jewish underground resistance movement, helping families in need and orphans by forging ration cards for them.
The 14th of May 1941, the night before, constables came to deliver a convocation to 5,000 Jews in Paris, foreign Jews.
After the liberation, Salomon and his sister returned to Paris. Salomon got married in 1949 and they had a daughter. The family immigrated to Canada in 1952 and Salomon’s sister followed them with her husband a few months later.
Salomon took an accounting course and worked as an accountant for 40 years. Salomon and his wife Anna had two more children and five grandchildren.