At the end of July 1944, the situation was particularly unstable in Paris. The allies who had landed on June 6th were advancing towards the capital. On July 20th, an attack against Hitler and an attempted coup d’État had failed; Gestapo officals arrested by the soldiers of the Wehrmacht were released.
Alois Brunner, camp commandant of Drancy, took advantage of the confusion and continued following his murderous madness to the end. He sent his commandos in UGIF homes in the region of Paris where they rounded up 300 children, including 18 infants.
On July 31th 1944, the convoy 77, the last large convoy of deportees left from Drancy to Auschwitz, carrying to the extermination camp 986 men and women, and 324 children.
Of the 1,310 prisoners, 836 were immediately sent to the gas chambers upon arrival in Auschwitz.
Only 250 deportees survived forced labor, abuse, pseudomedical experiments and deprivation. Some were liberated by the Red army on January 27th, 1945, but many were freed, at the end of the war, in other camps, after transfer, by train or being marched in the so-called “death march”.
Convoy 77: figures
Sort des déportés du Convoi 77
Deportees of convoy 77
(From Alexandre Doulut, Serge Klarsfeld and Sandrine Labeau, in “Mémorial des 3943 rescapés juifs de France”)
Exhibition catalogue Le Temps Des Rafles
March 1992 pages 90, 91.