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« My father screamed every night »

Renée Borycki

Born on July 16, 1936, Renée turned six on the day of the Vel’ d'Hiv' roundup, it is on this day that she received the yellow star that all children of that age had to wear. She and her mother escaped the roundup in extremis, thanks to some neighbors. Initially boarding with an abusive woman, she was later reunited with her mother, with whom she spent two and a half years hiding in a closet until the end of the war. Renée would suffer the physical after-effects of these years in hiding for the rest of her life, but she would also keep a deep affection for the "granny" who saved their lives by taking them in. When her father, who had been arrested during the Green Ticket roundup, came back from Auschwitz, their reunion was painful: Renée was terrified by this thin, sickly man, whom she did not recognize. Little by little, they rebuilt a relationship, but their conversations would always revolve around the memories of Auschwitz, which would haunt him for the rest of his life.

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