Abraham or Abram MITTELMAN, born on September 3, 1896 in Zarnowice (Zarnoweo), Poland, was the son of Madko Jacek MITTELMAN and Marie PARIJER. He married Malka Fejga SZOR, born in Dubienk, Poland on May 23, 1895. She was the daughter of Fajwel SZOR and Chana BIDERMAN. Their marriage took place in the fifth district of Paris on March 4, 1926
They had three children:
- Maurice MITTELMAN, born in Paris’s fourteenth district on October 19, 1926. A student at the Amédée Gasquet High School in Clermont-Ferrand, he was deported with his father.
- Félix MITTELMAN, born in Paris on June 8, 1933.
- Simon MITTELMAN, born in Paris on April 28, 1936.
Abraham MITTELMAN and his wife are recorded as merchants in Boulogne-Billancourt. There are two known addresses for them in Boulogne-Billancourt: n°56, rue D’Aguesseau and 9, rue de la France Mutualiste. The second address appears to be their residence before their departure for Auvergne. It would seem that the couple also lived at n° 6 rue Marmontel in Paris’s 15th district.
Abraham MITTELMAN undertook several administrative procedures to have his children naturalized:
- a declaration in Boulogne-Billancourt on March 18, 1937 for his son Simon (recorded on October 13, 1938 by the Court Clerk of that city’s Justice of the Peace, No. 3980 x 37)
- procurance of a receipt of delcaration of French nationality for his son Félix from the Justice of the Peace of the fifth district of Paris on February 8, 1942
Whereas the children obtained French nationality, the parents remained Polish.
The couple settled as “refugees from Paris” in the Puy-de-Dôme department on June 10, 1940. They rented an apartment for 117 francs per month in Clermont-Ferrand on the ground floor at n° 2 bis rue Villiet. This rundown apartment consisted of one main room and a kitchen. Abraham MITTELMAN was ill and unable to work; he was hospitalized at the Hôtel-Dieu hospital from Decemer 22, 1940. The family lived on various material and financial aids from the city of Clermont-Ferrand.
Abraham MITTELMAN and his son Maurice were arrested at their home by members of the Gestapo and the militia on June 23, 1944 and taken to the premises of the O.P.A. at n°20 Place Delille. On July 13th they were sent to the camp at Drancy. Abraham MITTELMAN’s wife recounted the circumstances of the arrest in a deposition given on March 19, 1945.
“On the morning of June 23, 1944 I left my flat on the rue Villiet to do some shopping. When I got back at 12:30 I saw the militia coming out of the building escorting my husband, my son and a neighbor with his wife. This neighbor beckoned with his hand that I should flee. Which I did. I lived hidden until the liberation of Clermont. In the middle of September I returned to my flat and found it plundered from top to bottom.“
It was during the arrest that the apartment was searched and plundered, particularly the bedroom and the kitchen. Many objects and belongings were stolen, for a total estimated at 114,612 francs:
- documents: an official family record book / the childrens’ naturalizations, 3 ration cards, a national Relief booklet, refugee aid cards.
- money and jewelry: 3000 francs ; a gold signet ring weighing 21 grams worth 7000 francs.
- shoes of various sizes: 6 pairs (1800 francs), 5 pairs of slippers (250 francs)
- clothing: 25 pairs of woolen athletic socks (2500 francs), 48 pairs of cotton socks (4800 francs), 24 pairs of women’s stockings (3600 francs) a woman’s coat (5000 francs), a fur collar (1500 francs), 24 diapers and 18 terrycloth towels (2400 francs) 15 men’s shirts (4500 francs), 13 pairs of underwear (2600 francs), 6 knitwear vests (1200 francs), 15 undershirts (450 francs), 1 suit (3500 francs), 1 overcoat (5000 francs), 12 neckties [paires de cravate ??] (600 francs), a man’s hat (200 francs), 48 handkerchiefs (960 francs), 2 pullover sweaters (1000 francs), 16 young men’s shirts (3200 francs), 24 Lacoste shirts (3600 francs), 9 undershirts (450 francs) 3 other sweaters (900 francs), 10 neckties (300 francs), a beige suit (200 francs) two pairs of green and beige trousers (1000 francs), all the children’s clothing (2000 francs), a coat (2800 francs), 14 chemises (1000 francs), 6 women’s nightshirts (1200 francs), 6 pairs of overalls (1500 francs, 3 skirts (300 francs), 18 slips (300 francs), 6 blouses (1800 francs), children’s clothing (3000 francs), a collar made of two silver foxes (12,000 francs)
- household linen: 24 pillowcases and 10 sheets (1800 francs), 36 bathtowels (6000 francs) 6 tablecloths (3600 francs), 24 dishcloths (2400 francs), 12 washcloths (180 francs), a decorative woolen blanket (500 francs) 3 bedspreads (900 francs)
- sundry: 3 meters of navy blue cloth (2000 francs)
- foodstuffs: 7 bottles of wine (70 francs), 2 kilograms of sugar (32 francs), 5 kilograms of flour (30 francs), 5 kilograms of lentils (100 francs) ½ kilogram of chocolate (40 francs), 5 boxes of Banania (50 francs)
The sum of 114,612 francs was tipped up to 117,619 francs because of many other effects found torn up and thus unusable.
The plundering of the flat was later confirmed by two witnesses:
- Maurice STEINBERG, a leather worker born on December 13, 1911, residing at n° 11 rue Sidoine Apollinaire in Clermont-Ferrand, an intimate friend of the Mitelman family (testimony taken on September 10, 1946).
- Lucien CHABASSIERE, a plumber born on November 28, 1918, residing at n° 4 rue Villiet in Clermont-Ferrand (testimony taken on September 11, 1946).
N.B: The name MITTLEMAN is sometimes written with two t’s and sometimes with just one. References to other MITTELMANs are found in the lists of Jewish refugees in the Puy-de-Dôme department, but their family name is always spelled with just one t. These other MITELMANs were from Metz.
Sources consulted in the Puy-de-Dôme’s departmental archives:
66 W 1245, 66 W 29 n°1420, 68 W 31, 277 W 101-114-115, 277 W 115, 368 W 52, 900 W 63, 902 W 376, 908 W 192, 1570 W 2, 2330 W82
Research carried out by junior-year students (11th grade) of the Ambroise Brugière high school in Clermont-Ferrand (Allan Bulidon, Célia Couleaud, Vincent Debray, Léa Dexarcis, Clotilde Fernez, Mathilde Grivel, Clément Haffner, under the direction of Mr Frédéric Jarrousse (history and geography teacher – 2016-2017 school year