September 7, 1945
Near Fritzlar, Germany

No. 50 (continued)

Dear Folksies,

           When finally the Gestapo did catch up with Yvette and Jean Guy, they really had all the dope on them, including most of their aliases. When they were confronted with all that information, they knew the jig was up. They were both taken to prison, and that was the last they saw of each other.  Yvette asked them why they didn’t just kill them right away, but she was told, just as she was being driven past the Arc de Triomphe (for the last time she thought) that they didn’t want to make it so easy for her, but were going to send her away to a camp where she would live an existence worse than death, finally dying in a much more horrible manner.

            I did not question her, nor did she happen to mention some of details that George Baumann [Yvette’s father] had told me about months ago, including her being taken a prisoner when she was 8-months pregnant, being questioned, denying everything except her Jewish heritage, and then being raped by the German. [After three weeks at Drancy, alone in her cell, Yvette delivered a still-born baby girl.] Nor did she mention the episode concerning her rescue and re-capture.

            While in prison, before being sent to Germany, fearing that she was going to divulge things of importance while under torture, and also wishing to die right then, Yvette slashed her wrist terribly with a small razor she had managed to hide.  She slashed her left wrist, bled considerably and passed out.  However, she had failed to hit the radial artery, and someone found her soon anyway, but she did do herself a great deal of permanent damage.  She has several slash marks across her left wrist, all healed with jagged scars. The tendon to her middle finger is entwined in the scar at the wrist, so that while her middle finger is moved, it pulls on the scar at the wrist in an unnatural way.  She has anesthesia on the palmer aspect of her thumb, index and middle fingers with some slight feeling on the dorsum of these fingers.  She is unable to flex her index and middle fingers, but can adduct her thumb, though not forcibly. As a consequence, whenever she grasps things with her left hand she is apt to drop them, if she does not concentrate, for, without feeling, she does not realize that she has anything in that hand.  She also gets terrific pain in her wrist that runs up to her elbow, this pain being produced mainly on pressure, just proximal to one of the scars.  Apparently what she has there is a neuroma, which, of course, is extremely sensitive.  She is planning to have an operation on the wrist in October, but the only thing I can see that they will be able to do to give her relief is to remove that neuroma.  They are not going to be able to improve her nerve supply, nor are they going to be able to do much towards improving the function of her hand.

            Another thing that bothers her terribly is that, when the weather is cold, her hand aches, and feels much colder than the other one. Of course, that is due to the poor circulation which resulted when she cut the vessels in her wrist, for, though she didn’t get the radial or the ulnar, she must have cut several small branches. How Yvette could do the work that she was forced to do during all the time she was a prisoner, how she could do it with that hand, I know not.  But she did it! Wielded a pick, a shovel, broke up rocks, etc.

                           Loads of love,

rene-transparent

.

Watch for more of  this letter
September 8, 1945

Yvette and Jean-Guy last saw each other on January 28, 1944 – the night they were arrested by the Gestapo in their Paris apartment.

As Yvette was driven past the Arc de Triomphe, on the night of her arrest, she thought she would never see this iconic Parisian monument again.

Her destination that night was Drancy Prison, where she would stay (except for a brief period after a daring escape) until April 29, 1944, when she was loaded on a transport train headed to Auschwitz, Poland.