The green ticket roundup: France marks 80 years since its first mass arrest of Jews

·1-min read

It was a small green-coloured ticket, signed by the police commissioner. The summons instructed recipients to present themselves at 7am, along with an ID card and accompanied by a relative, at six different addresses in Paris. Little did they know that they had been handed a ticket to Auschwitz. On Friday, France marks the 80-year-anniversary of its first mass arrest of Jews, also known as “the green ticket roundup”.

On May 14, 1941, some 3,700 Czech and Polish Jews in and around Paris obeyed a summons in the form of a green ticket to present themselves at police stations to “verify” their statuses. Many thought it was a simple formality. But upon their arrival, they were immediately arrested and sent to camps in the Loiret, around 90km south of Paris.

This was the first mass arrest of Jews under the Vichy Regime. It became known as the Rafle du billet vert or green ticket roundup.

Many of them would be interned for more than a year. Around 700 of them managed to escape at some point. But in June and July 1942, those that remained were deported in three different convoys ... to Auschwitz.

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