” every time I take the floor in front of the students, I tell them that it is not a day that I remember that I had a family. “This” every time ” is still very common for Benjamin Orenstein, 92 years old, a survivor of Auschwitz. Thursday 18 October, it intervened in a private school of Lyon, the city of his adoption. For the coming school year, its goal is to respond to fifty invitations. “Almost as much as last year,” he says in the outline of a smile.
In large brown envelopes he keeps in the office of his apartment, where he received the 10 October, the honorary president of the association of former deportees to Auschwitz (Rhône department) collects the letters from teachers who flock from all over France. He tries to respond to each, still moves, ” everywhere “, up to Lausanne or London.
Each response is challenging but ” absolutely necessary “, he says, to help hundreds of young people for whom it crosses the route to school ” cookies for a cookie “.
” I try to adapt my story to the age of the students. I give for example less detail in class CM2 in 3rd, but I like very much to intervene at the primary school. Children are more spontaneous, less conscious of the gaze of the fellow teens. “
Benjamin Orenstein, always begins by naming his village, Annopol, in the south-west of Poland. Then he explains that he is “coming from a jewish family religious and practicing,” which was comprised of nine members. He called his parents, his sister, his three brothers, but also his sister-in-law and her daughter – my niece, a baby I do not even remember the name ” – none of whom survived.
“Number B 4416”
It has not yet 15 years old when, in the summer of 1941, it takes the place of his father interned in a labour camp Ieniszow, a few kilometres from the…