Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2010/03/05

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Subject: [Leica] OT: my French family in film
From: lluisripollquerol at (Lluis Ripoll Querol)
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 00:59:08 +0100
References: <>

A really interesting history Nathan, thanks for sharing, if there is  
any possibility to see this film in Spain, please let me know.

Enjoy Paris, and I hope everything is going well in Jardins of  


El 05/03/2010, a las 7:05, Nathan Wajsman escribi?:

> Around 1920 my granduncle Shmuel (Samuel) Wajsman emigrated from  
> Lublin in Poland to Paris in search of a better life. There, he and  
> his wife did indeed build a new life, under the name Weismann,  
> courtesy a French immigration official who had trouble with our  
> Polish-Yiddish name. In Paris, they had 3 children, two girls and a  
> boy, the latter named Joseph and born in 1931.
> In 1942 the Vichy government rounded up French Jews at the behest of  
> the Germans. Most ended up in the gas chambers at Auschwitz,  
> including Joseph's entire family. But not Joseph. He escaped the  
> French holding camp together with another boy. They made their way  
> back to Paris only to find empty apartments, and parted company  
> there. Joseph eventually was whisked off to a village in the Loire  
> Valley where he was taken in by the villagers and pretended to be  
> just another French village boy.
> After the war, Joseph settled in Le Mans and became an apprentice in  
> a furniture shop. He later took over that shop and built a  
> successful business on that basis. For the first 10 years or so  
> after 1945 he was unaware that any part of his family in Poland had  
> survived the war. He assumed that everyone had met the same terrible  
> fate as his parents and sisters, and anyway he had never had any  
> contact with his Polish family as a child. Then, one day in 1957 or  
> 58, my father "found" him. How it happened is another story. But it  
> did happen, and Joseph discovered that he was not alone in the world  
> as he thought. Since then he has been incredibly devoted to the  
> whole family. He attends all family gatherings and major events,  
> whether in Europe, the US or Israel.
> Since he retired, Joseph has devoted much of his life and energy to  
> telling the story to schools, civic groups etc. around France. He is  
> usually one of the people who gives a little speech at the annual  
> 8th May celebration in front of the prefecture in Le Mans. During  
> the past couple of years he has been collaborating with the director  
> and screenwriter of a feature film about his life:
> It may not be a Hollywood blockbuster, but it is a substantial film  
> with some well-known actors. For Joseph, who has strived so much to  
> tell the story, this is of major importance--this film will be seen  
> by a 100 times more people than he has reached so far with his  
> message of "never again".
> And now the big moment has arrived. The film will be released in the  
> Francophone world on Wednesday, and on Monday evening there is the  
> "official" avant-premiere organized by Gaumont on Champs-Elys?es. We  
> will be there together with our French family, to celebrate this big  
> event on our family's history.
> Over the years, I have shown many pictures of Joseph here on the  
> LUG, for example:
> (the last one at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin in the summer of  
> 2008)
> This is all a long way of saying that I am off to Paris on Saturday-- 
> besides the film, I want to take my daughter to the Louvre and I  
> want to visit the graves of two very different musical geniuses at  
> the P?re Lachaise cemetery, Chopin and Jim Morrison. And, if the  
> weather permits, to violate French laws and take some people  
> pictures in the Jardin du Luxembourg and other similar spots.
> Nathan
> Nathan Wajsman
> Alicante, Spain
> Books:
> Blog:
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> See for more information

In reply to: Message from photo at (Nathan Wajsman) ([Leica] OT: my French family in film)