Josefsberg/Stern

JOSEFSBERG, Josef (age 30)
JOSEFSBERG, Valerie née STERN (age 27)
STERN, Kurt (age 15)

Josef and Valerie JOSEFSBERG and Valerie’s brother Kurt STERN were among a group of people interned at a refugee camp in Bordeaux, Cour du Médoc. The entire camp was evacuated with visas supplied by Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

The prisoners from Cour du Médoc were turned away at the Spanish border, and the JOSEFSBERG couple and STERN were sent to another camp in Toulouse. Eventually they made their way to Switzerland where they remained through the rest of the war.

Josef JOSEFSBERG

Josef JOSEFSBERG

Valerie JOSEFSBERG

Valerie JOSEFSBERG

Kurt STERN

Kurt STERN

Testimonial of Valerie Josefsberg, 1989 (excerpted from memoirs)

After the fall of Paris, we had to evacuate Chelles and all the refugees started to walk southward. Our destination was Bordeaux where Joszi was. Kurt had his bicycle with him, but passing trucks often picked up the walking refugees and I went on one, but not Kurt with his bike. I was now separated from everyone, Joszi, Kurt as well as all the friends I had made in Chelles The routes were filled with [the] fleeing French. We slept in barns and open fields and low flying airplanes fired on us. No food and washing facilities were available. I walked for days and lost the few belongings that I had, and finally on the last leg of my journey, a French army convoy took me to Bordeaux. It took me 12 days to reach my destination. Kurt arrived two days before me, and you can imagine how worried Kurt and Joszi were about me. The camp was to be evacuated from Bordeaux to Portugal with visas supplied by the Portuguese Consulate in Bordeaux. The morning after my arrival we all left for the Spanish border town of Irun. But the visas to Portugal were not accepted by the Spanish Authorities and they refused to let us through. A few days later we were evacuated to Toulouse…