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Jacques Gotko (Yakow Gotkowski) (1900-1943)
Portrait of A. Alpérine
Compiègne Camp 1941-1942

 © Beit Lohamei Haghetaot

linocut on paper, number 6 of 120, 32 x 24 cm

A. Alpérine was an internee in the "Russian Camp" (Blocks C-3, C-4) in Compiègne. Russian internees ('white' and 'red'), including Jews, were brought there in June 1941, immediately after Germany declared war on the USSR. Alpérine, transferred from Drancy, was the leading spirit of the camp. He organised mutual aid (sharing food, medicines and underground mail) and gave great assistance to the "Notables" - the elite of French Jewry - who were interned in December 1941 - despite a warning from the Germans that anyone caught assisting these Jews would be severely punished. Inmates of the "Jewish camp" have described the bravery of his actions. He was released from the camp at the end of 1942 and returned to Paris, working alongside David Rapoport (1883, Proskorov, Russia - 1944, Auschwitz) organising Jewish welfare, hiding-places for Jewish children whose parents were interned in camps, and welfare for the Jewish inmates of camps and their families. The organisation, known as 'Rue Amelot' after the street in which it was located, was disguised as a mother and baby clinic and summer camp for school children.

Inscription in the block (in French), lower left: à Alpérine. Signed in block, lower right: gotko. Inscribed (in French), under print: lino gravé au camp de Compiègne 1941-42, remis par Kischka [linoleum print in Compiègne 1941-42, given by Kischka]

© Beit Lohamei Haghetaot, Museum Number 1701.
Donated by Isis Kisckha, Paris, 1969