A total of 12,884 non French Jews, 3,031 men, 5,802 women and 4,051 children were rounded up in Paris for deportation to the death camps in Poland. For a whole week, 6,900 of them including the 4,051 children, were confined in the huge sports stadium, the Velodrome d'Hiver, a stadium designed for cycle sports, on the Boulevard de Grenelle. Without food and little water and only four toilets, the victims were in a deplorable state for five days before being transferred to the camps at Drancy or Pithiviers on the outskirts of Paris. Here the Vichy French police separated the children from their parents. The parents were then transported to Auschwitz to be gassed. The children followed soon after. When the Red Army liberated Auschwitz on January 26, 1945, they found 2,819 inmates still alive but only thirty of the 6,900 non-French Jews were alive. Sadly, none of the 4,051 children survived.
It is estimated that around 60,000 Jews from 37 countries perished in France under the German occupation. This includes 22,193 French Jews and 14,459 Polish Jews who had fled to France earlier. Prior to this, on June 11, 1941, three hundred Jewish boys, aged between fourteen and nineteen were arrested and sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. Of the three hundred, none survived. On May 15, 1944, a fifteen cattle-truck train left Paris (Convoy-73) heading for Kovno in Lithuania. On board were 878 male Jews including 37 boys aged between thirteen and eighteen. On arrival at Kovno 400 were taken to the slave labour camp at Pravieniskes where many were executed by Lithuanian SS auxilliaries. The other 478 were taken to Reval in Estonia where sixty of the prisoners were shot in a nearby forest. A hundred more, judged too sick to work, were also murdered. The rest ended up in the Stutthof concentration camp where many died. After the war it was found that only twenty-three of the original 878 deportees had survived.
During the Nazi occupation of France around 36,000 Gendarmes were in service. A total 338 gendarmes were executed by the Nazis, over 800 were deported and some 400 died fighting during the Liberation. Many were summarily executed by the Resistance without a trial. Their crime, 'anti-French behaviour' i.e. being forced to guard camps such as Drancy and in rounding up Jews for deportation.
Thanks to George Duncan’s research
Greeting deportees returning from the camps at the Velodrome d'Hiver