December 5, 1944
Epinal, France

No. 70 (continued)

Dear Folksies,

           The rest of the news which I can give you has all come from Jean Pierre and Jacqueline Marx, rather than direct from Lilice as I had hoped – tho’, of course, none the less – and probably more authentic.

            Lilice, George and Claudine remained in Paris until things there got too hot for them, the reasons for which I shall tell you soon, and then they went to Nice, but there, after the capitulation of Italy, things got bad also. You see, until Italy capitulated, the Riviera was watched over by the Italians, rather than the Germans and the Gestapo.  It seems that the Italians were always very tolerant and no one there was molested.  When the Germans moved in, Lilice and the others moved out, going a bit further north to near Montelimar and then sometime before the “Liberation”, they moved to Grenoble where, apparently, there were not many Germans and they were left pretty much alone. 

          Of course, they had nothing at all except what they had on their backs and the money that they had with them.  George had had some jewels, but those got left in some clothes that had to be left behind, and then were never recovered.  (These were jewels he was selling, as that had been his business before.)  They, too, have had their narrow squeaks.  They are living in a regular old-fashioned boarding-house at Grenoble and plan going back to Paris when conditions permit — how long that will be, no one knows, but at the moment it is apparently impossible to get any apartments or living quarters there.

            Claudine’s baby is a 23-month-old girl – the name of which I forgot to write down. [Her name was Dominique.] Gilles Aaronson, Claudine’s husband, was in the FFI actively and is now a Lt. in the French Army and has something to do with transportation in it.  As a matter of fact, while I was with J.P. they got a telegram from Lilice saying that Gilles had a few days off and was going with Claudine to visit Gilles’ mother in Lyon, just a day after I left there. Gilles has a small Italian Fiat in his position and apparently they were coming via that mode of transportation.

                                                                                       Loads of love,

rene-transparent

.

Watch for more of this letter
December 6, 1944

René tells his parents that the Baumann’s — Lilice (above) and George (below) remained in Paris “until things there got too hot for them.” Lilice is René Sr.’s first cousin.

At the beginning of the German occupation, Claudine Baumann Aaronson (René Jr.’s second cousin) shown above with her husband Gilles, remained in Paris with her parents (Lilice and George). But eventually Claudine, George and Lilice moved to the South of France and then to Grenoble. Gilles Aaronson was in the French Resistance Group FFI (French Forces of the Interior).