Today is the 100th birthday of my mother’s first cousin, Germaine Davys. Germaine was murdered in 1944, as she – according to an eyewitness – tried to flee from Auschwitz. She was born in Bucharest, had apparently been an active youth leader in the communist cell in Bucharest before leaving for Paris to study for her doctorate in philosophy at the Sorbonne.
In 1942, she was arrested by the French police, who at the behest of the German authorities rounded up Jews and delivered them to the SS for deportation to Auschwitz.
Her mother, my great-aunt Feli, told me how for years, whenever she heard steps in the Garden, she would instinctively look out hoping that it was Germaine who had survived and come back.
This portrait of Germaine
hung in my great-aunt Feli’s small flat in Tel Aviv.