Resistance in Stalag
For this almost unknown aspect of the fight, we briefly mention some typical cases. The first condition was to keep a good morality and maintain among others. It should also apply to poor job performance and then move to sabotage of the production ...


Michel Grojnowski’s testimony:


Grojnowski Michel, a very active unionist, and highly popular among workers in Paris clothing, became general secretary of the Union of Jewish Societies (1938-1939).
Volunteer, he was taken prisoner on June 22nd 1940, sent with thirty other French soldiers in Reichenbach, in East Prussia ... Michel was the only one who spoke German. Gradually, the conversations gave the Germans to think. The Kommandantur, made aware, prohibits all discussions with the French.
This was our first activity of Resistance, without organization and without prior discussion. Having seen our success, we were encouraged, and despite the ban, we often discussed politics with workers. Michel acquired German newspapers prohibited to prisoners.
Every night, he gave the news to prisoners who discussed and commented those.
Working or not ? That was the question that arose from the very beginning ... Michel managed to get in touch with two anti-Nazi Germans, a watchmaker and a pharmacist, who listened to radio news from London and Moscow. The news was communicated to all members of the French commando. From the watchmaker, they learned the news from the Russia front collected from German soldiers on leave.
The Gestapo learned that the German population knew the information transmitted by ally radio, managed to back up the chain to Grojnowski Michel. The group was immediately dispersed in the region, but it formed-up again ...

The Stalag we knew the best, the Stalag III B in Furstenberg on the Oder, we believe was the most characteristic of the Resistance in general and of Jewish Resistance in particular. From the start, and despite the Geneva Convention, the Jews were isolated in the Judenbarack together with the Jewish prisoners from the BIII C from Küstrin ... The Jews were forced to work harder than their French peers, namely the construction of the port of Fuestenberg, where should rise a mass stone monument destinated to celebrate the final victory of Hitler over the allies, and its dominance for 1 000 years ...

It should be noted that the work for the construction of the port and the monument that should have been erected to the glory of Hitler was never completed ... The network of resistance in the Stalag III B took expand inside and outside, through links provided by commandos working on construction sites and on farms.
The Stalag BI was located in Hohenstein in East Prussia, near the Dutch town of Preussich. Since the very arrival of the French prisoners in 1940 the reception was rather hot: rifle butts and insults. In the state farm where a number of French were sent, the German captain made them a speech with this ending: "The Jews must be exterminated, EX-TER-MI-NA-TED." The Jewish prisoners were perplexed. But the French officers and NCOs to prepare the files declared all Jews as Catholics, they had seen clear ...
A large organization of resistance was organized in the camp. At its head was Coquel (CGT trade-union) Solfray, a man trusted by French prisoners,a genuine patriot, Gromb-Kenig (before the war editor of the New Press) and dozens of Jewish soldiers. Then "Catholic Jews", knowing tospeak German, were very useful to the clandestine organization ...

Also, in this region, scattered Jews such as Grojnowski, Kenig, Gurtfinkel, David Lejzerowicz, succeeded to meet from time to time in farms. In this Stalag, as well as on the front, Jews remained patriots and fighters for the independence of France ...


Excerpt: The Jews in the French Resistance 1940-1944 (With weapons or without weapons) by David Diamond The Roger Maria Editor