The goal of our association is to bring together persons whose family members, friends, and loved ones were deported to Auschwitz - Birkenau from the camp in Pithiviers, France on "Convoi 6", July 17th, 1942. The purpose of this convoy was to "empty" the Pithiviers and Beaune-la- Rolande camps to make room for those arrested in the Vel d'Hiv raids.
It all began when Marcel Sztejnberg placed an ad in the Association des Enfants Cachés newsletter. He was looking for information concerning a particular train shipment, Convoy 6 — his father having been part of that shipment. Renée Borycki whose father Mordka Sieradzki had survived Convoy 6 and often spoke of his deportation, answered the ad. Twelve people came together at a first informal meeting in October 2000 and a "family" bond was immediately formed amongst these war "orphans".
In order to bring together as many people concerned by this Convoy as possible, ads were placed in the AFMA, Amical d'Auschwitz, Journal de Drancy newspapers and the Association des Enfants Cachés and FFDJF newsletters. Claude Bochurberg also kindly aired announcements on his program on Radio Shalom. We also needed to expand our search beyond France — in Israel, Australia (Melbourne and Sydney), the United States, and the Holocaust Center in Great Britain.
We found several friends in Lettres des Orphelins, addressed to Serge Kalrsfeld and later to be forwarded to Lionel Jospin, French Prime Minister at the time. We contacted Mr Klarsfeld who was kind enough to supply us with a number of addresses.
The CDJC also helped us to find persons connected to Convoy in one way or another.
After the third meeting we numbered more than eighty people, where we agreed upon the necessity to set-up an association. Our first General Assembly was held June 30th, 2002.
Our Association's most important and dearly held ambition was the publication of a book compiling the personal testimonies and documents collected from our group members since its creation.
The collected testimonies are of course not meant to be literary works but events related by those who had experienced the deportation first-hand or had heard of these events from loved ones — everything that could illustrate the lives of family or friends that were deported so that they would not just be a name and date on a list. We wanted a book that was not just about their deportation, but that also described their lives before they were arrested, often in another country... to show that they loved, worked, and had a family and children.
We wanted testimonies that would show us that the 24 children on this convoy were children before they were deported. Who could write about these children who will remain children forever? We wanted to be able to retrace their brief life's journey.
We have also collected pictures, identity documents, and letters from Pithiviers or Beaune-la- Rolande. To this date, out of the 928 people transported on Convoy 6 we have assembled 105 accounts and documents of about 100 deportees. We have located 250 persons of whom a family member or friend was transported on this convoy.
Our book "Convoi 6- Destination AUSCHWITZ" was published in April 2005 by Cherche Midi publishers in Paris, France.
After this publication we received a lot of news testimonies and we decided to publish a new book in January 2009 " Convoi 6- a train among so many others..." with 80 new testimonies with a preface of Samuel Pisar.
"Memoires du Convoi 6" joined together with Serge Klarsfeld and the FFDJF for the first time in the Remembrance Day ceremonies held on July 17th 2002 in front of the Pithiviers train station. The turnout for this event, where the names of all the deportees are read off a list, was high.
On July 17th 2004 we presented our first exhibit, "Pithiviers /Auschwitz – Convoi 6 – 17 juillet 1942 – Un train parmi tant d’autres…," which consited of photos, official documents, and letters. This exhibit was widely reviewed and well-recieved by the press and we repeated this event for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. We have since published a CD ROM of the documents and photos of this exhibit. Our newsletter "Convoi 6 — Notre Lien" reports on our ongoing search and events related to convoy 6.
Our staff: President: Alexandre Borycki Treasurer: Alain Ankierman Vice President Daniel Wancier Secretary : Corinne Zylbersporn, Alain Rubin.
Our goal is to keep the memory of those who lived through this terrible ordeal alive, so that we will never forget.