November 28, 1944
Epinal, France

No. 69

Dear Folksies,

            Tonight I am a bit more calm and collected and yet again with rather mixed emotions.  When I awoke at 5 P.M. this afternoon, I found awaiting me on our desk, a card from Lilice, and in it considerable news for which all of us have been waiting for a long time, so here it is:

            Lilice, George, Claudine and her 23-month-old little girl, Dominique, are fine and in Grenoble.  Claudine’s husband, Gilles Aronson, having been in the resistance (FFI) is now in the French Army.  Yvette and her husband were both taken in February of this year [actually it was January 28, 1944] — they were both chiefs in the FFI.  Mathilde died in March in Nice with Jeanne and David near her.  Jeanne and David are now in Paris, living at Mrs. Weill’s at 7 rue Raynouard.  Sadie, strangely enough, had been taken to Germany [deported] after Henry’s death.  Lilice says they have nothing left in Paris, everything of theirs having been stolen there. 

            Lilice asks after all of you, of course, individually, and then George added on a short note in typical tiny writing which reminds me strangely of one R.B. Sr.

            I have already sent a card off to Jean-Pierre and will answer Lilice tonight. Golly, receiving those two cards in the last two days has certainly been a thrill….

            Regarding the visits to where Serge was going to try to go – well they didn’t go there. As I understand it, no member of the Armed Forces can go to Switzerland without being interned – they keep as internees all air-men who land there accidentally or otherwise. Strict neutrality stuff, you know!

            As for the election, I had to laugh when I received Gram’s letter in which she says that she was the only one in the family to have voted for F.D.R. I kind of thought that that was probably to be an “I told you so,” since it was pretty much of a foregone conclusion what was going to happen. 

                                                                                       Loads of love,

rene-transparent

.

Watch for my next letter
December 1, 1944

Another letter, this time from Lilice Baumann (René Sr.’s first cousin) gives René Jr. more news to relate to his family back in the U.S. Again, there is good news and terrible news.

The good news is that Claudine (René’s second cousin) is well and living with her 23-month-old daughter, Dominique, in Genoble. Claudine’s husband, Giles Aronson is in the French Army. (Claudine and Giles are pictured above before the war.)

Georges Baumann (Lilice’s husband) is also well and living in Grenoble.

The terrible news, which René is learning for the first time, is that Sadie Bine (René Sr.’s cousin) was “taken to Germany.” He doesn’t yet know that she died in Auschwitz on July 15, 1944.