Frida Wattenberg, French figure of Jewish resistance, has died of coronavirus

Frida Wattenberg, a figure of the Jewish resistance, died after being infected with the coronavirus, reported the Paris Holocaust Memorial.

Born on April 7, 1924 to Polish Jewish parents, Frida Wattenberg was to celebrate her 96th birthday. She grew up in the Parisian Jewish neighbourhood of the Marais and joined the Hashomer Hatzaïr movement in the 1930s.

During the war, she joined the Children’s Aid Organization (OSE), for which she made false identity papers.

After her mother was arrested during the Rafle du Vel d’Hiv and interned in Drancy camp, Frida managed to secure her release by proving that she worked in a workshop supplying clothing to the German Army.

In 1943, Frida then went to the city of Grenoble, located in the Italian occupation zone, where she joined the Jewish resistance, leading groups of children to Annecy for their passage to Switzerland. She was transferred to Toulouse and joined the resistance organization of the Jewish Army, which distributed false papers and participated in the Liberation fighting.

After the war, Frida Wattenberg worked at the Protection of Jewish Children (OPEJ), which cared for children whose parents died in deportation. She also fought fervently for the creation of the State of Israel and was involved in helping the Jews of the Exodus.

Later, she volunteered at the Holocaust Memorial, where she worked for over 20 years, and testified for years for the students.

Frida Wattenberg was awarded Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite and Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur. She received a Resistance Volunteer card and a Veteran card and was a member of the Association of Elders of the Jewish Resistance (ARJF) and “Jewish Memory of Paris”.

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