Les Derniers - Denise
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Denise

« When I came back, my parents told me "a girl doesn't go to school, you'll be the maid"  »

Denise Velmont

Denise was born in 1932 in Paris into a family of 4 children. As her mother was suffering from tuberculosis, the public welfare authorities decided to take the three youngest children and send them to foster families in the Pyrénées (southwest of France). This was supposed to be only for a few months, but the declaration of war changed the plan. Denise was then sent to a small village near Orthez. On discovering the tiny house in the middle of nowhere, with its dirt floor and no running water, Denise was shocked, having previously lived in a comfortable and modern apartment. But Catherine, the modest lady who welcomed her, would do everything she could to make the little Parisian happy. So much so, that at the end of the war, Denise didn't want to leave Catherine. Having been separated from her parents from the age of 7 to 13, Denise had a hard time reconnecting with her parents. Her mother never got over the death of Denise’s older brother in a camp, and was never able to love Denise again.



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