Testimony of Jean Boijentin, deported to Mauthausen (number 53 636)

« It was imperative to remember the registration number because when there was a call-up, it was with the registration number that one had to answer. Nobody knew German too well. I don’t need to tell you that 53,636 was my number, in German it means drei und fünfzig tausend sechs hundert sechs und dreissig . But if we didn’t answer automatically, it was a slap in the face, because we hadn’t answered. We didn’t have a name anymore. The names no longer existed.

Testimony of Jean Serventie, deported to Mauthausen (number 42 545)

« We were stopped in front of the entrance for a while. A Spanish deportee who spoke French asked us if we were all French. We told him yes and asked him questions. The only thing he said was: « Here we go in through the door and out through the chimney. « The door opened and we were let in. It was a terrible sight. I was afraid. Dying people, dead people, everywhere in the snow.

Testimony of André Fortané, deported to Buchenwald, then Dora (regimental number 41 631)

« We worked as little and as hard as we could. Out of 25 V2s (flying bombs) completed daily in the assembly line, about 15 were refused at the exit control. To suppress this elusive sabotage, the SS began to hang. From February to April 1945, 550 deportees were hanged in the camp, in the factory or in the Kommandos dependent on Dora. We had to witness the death of our comrades.

« Testimony of Germaine Tillion, ethnologist, deported to Ravensbrück (matricule n° 24 588)

« The camp did not only provide cheap labour to the company managers whose workshops were near Ravensbrück, it also sent them, on order, throughout Germany. This was called transport. For the agreed price, the trader or industrialist received the 500 or 1,000 women he requested, as well as the Aufseherinnen [auxiliary guards] armed with clubs and trained dogs, capable of working exhausted and unfed women twelve hours a day until they died. They were then replaced by others at no extra cost to the employer. But, thanks to the dogs and the beatings, they had gone, before dying, to the end of their strength, and there was no loss in this impeccable circuit.