They were of course
right. A few months after they left, in October
1940, some 6,000 German citizens were
transported on nine trains into France, which
did not expect them. They were mainly from
Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Deportations from Hesse
had been temporarily delayed.
"Among the victims transported were World War I
veterans [which my father was] and residents of
old people's homes, including some who had to be
carried to trains on stretchers. Several people
committed suicide when faced with the
deportation notice. Because suitable
accommodations were lacking in the Pyrenees
camps for the deportees -- mostly elderly men
and women -- the French government was
considering them to Madagascar as soon as the
seaways were open. 'Very interesting!'"
commented a German bureaucrat.
This information and quote (p. 91) comes from
The Origins of the Final Solution by
Christopher R. Browning