Translated from the biography established by the AFMD (Friends of the Foundation for the Memory of Deportation from the Allier Department):
Pierre ( Henri) WILDENSTEIN
Pierre (Henri) Wildenstein was born on October 29, 1909 at Fegersheim in the Alsatian department of the Bas-Rhin. He was the son of Benoît Wildenstein and Marthe née AMSELLE.
He was a sales representative before 1939.
Taken prisoner of war, he escaped in December, 1941 and joined his widowed mother who was a refugee in Bourbon-l’Archambault (Allier department), where she was living on the rue Archambaudière.
She was listed as a French Jew in Bourbon-l’Archambault under the terms of the French state’s Anti-Semitic Law of June 2, 1941.
(Source: Departmental archives of the Allier department 756 W 1)
His mother was listed as a French Jew by the French state in 1943.
(Source for the above document: Departmental archives of the Allier department 996 W 778 W 112)
Pierre was employed by the Mines de la Grande Paroisse of Saint-Hilaire (Allier department). He resided in Saint-Hilaire.
Around 8:00 p.m. on June 18, 1944 the Militia arrived in Bourbon-l’Archambault and arrested the QUILLIER family, Louis PEROZ, and the policeman Jean DURAND, to be taken to the Hôtel des Sources for interrogation. Pierre WILDENSTEIN happened to be there having a drink with Alex EHRLICH. The only crime of which these two were guilty was being Jewish, and they were also arrested.
The Militia called in the Germans, who transferred the five men to the Mal-Coiffée German military prison in Moulins (Allier department).
They suffered dissimilar fates: Jean DURAND, Louis PEROZ, and Émile QUILLIER, arrested as a measure of repression, were sent to the concentration camp at Buchenwald. Alex EHRLICH and Pierre WILDENSTEIN, arrested as a measure of persecution, were sent to Drancy, and then to the extermination camp at Auschwitz.
On July 15th he was transferred to Drancy, where he was attributed I.D. n° 25150.
Document above: Pierre WILDENSTEIN’s membership card in the association “Those of la Mal-Coiffée“, presided by Maurice TINLAND, attorney, eminent resistance fighter from Moulins. Pierre WILDENSTEIN joined this association on his return under number 456. Source: Moulins Municipal archives 5 H 81.
Above document: Drancy receipt. Source: Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation.
On July 31, 1944 he was deported from Drancy to Auschwitz in convoy n° 77 and selected for work duty with I.D. n° B 3958.
In Le Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France, Serge Klarsfeld writes about convoy n° 77: “The number of deportees was 1300. This convoy 77 (…) hauled toward the Auschwitz gas chambers more than 300 children under the age of 18. (…) 291 men were selected with I.D. numbers B 3673 to B 3963; the same for 283 women (A 16457 to A 16739). In 1945 there were 209 survivors, of whom 141 were women”.
He was liberated on January 27, 1945 by Soviet troops.
He came back to France on June 3rd and returned to live at the Pension Marguerite in Bourbon-l’Archambault. He joined the association “Those of la Mal-Coiffée” and then moved back to Strasbourg at the end of September, where he married Lola WERTHEIMER on May 6, 1947.
He was allotted Political Deportee card n° 1.167.00338 on the decision of the Ministry of War Veterans and Victims, dated July 15, 1953.
He died on June 3, 1982 in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin).
– Archives of the Allier Department 996 W 123.02, 756 W 1,
– Municipal Archives of Moulins 5 H 81,
– Archives Nationales F9 5588
– Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center
– Section of the Archives of the Victims of Contemporary Conflicts
– Public Records Office of Fegersheim (Bas Rhin department) et de Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin department)
– Fallut, Robert: Faits divers 1939-1945 dans le canton de Bourbon-l’Archambault Imprimerie Guériaud 2003
– Klarsfeld, Serge: Memorial to the Jews Deported from France : 1942-1944 1978