Friday, April 20, 2012

Buchenwald Survivors (2)

Jakob Rybsztajn (now Jacques Ribons)
Date: Circa Jul 1945 - Aug 1945 
Locale: Ambloy, [Loir-et-Cher] France 
Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Jacques Ribons 
Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Buchenwald children were a group of approximately 1000 Jewish child survivors found by American troops when they liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945. Most of the children were originally from Poland, though others came from Hungary, Slovenia and Ruthenia. Unsure of what to do with the child survivors, American army chaplains, Rabbi Herschel Schacter and Rabbi Robert Marcus, contacted the offices of the OSE (Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants), the Jewish children's relief organization in Geneva. They arranged to send 427 of the children to France, 280 to Switzerland and 250 to England. [Vivette Samuels reverses the figures for England and Switzerland in her monograph, "Sauver les Enfants."] On June 2, 1945 OSE representatives arrived in Buchenwald, and together with Rabbi Marcus escorted the transport of children to France. Rabbi Schacter accompanied the second transport to Switzerland. Because of the difficulty in finding clothing for the children, the boys were clad in Hitler Youth uniforms. This created a problem, for when the train crossed into France, it was greeted by an angry populace who assumed the train was carrying Nazi youth. Thereafter the words "KZ Buchenwald orphans" were painted on the outside of the train to avoid confusion. On June 6, 1945 the French transport arrived at the Andelys station and the orphans were taken to a children's home in Ecouis (Eure). The home had been set up to accommodate young children, but in fact only 30 of the boys were below the age of 13. This was only one of the many problems faced by the OSE personnel, who were not prepared to handle a large group of demanding, rebellious teenagers who were full of anger for what they had experienced.


  1. Please note this is NOT Jacques Ribons, not sure of his name, but he is one of the Buchenwald Boys-from Jacques' daughter

  2. This is NOT Jacques Ribons-but it is one of the Buchenwald Boys-Jacques is the boy listed as Buchenwald survivor (6)

    1. Thank you so much for the information; my source must have been wrong. Anyone who knows more, please drop me a line. Thanks