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Francine Ajzensztark Taylor papers

 Collection
Identifier: Mss 1065-010

Collection Overview

Photographs and false identification papers of Francine Ajzensztark Taylor, a Polish Jew who lived in occupied France during World War II. Photographs depict Ajzensztark, her sister, her parents, and other family members in pre-war England and Poland, as well as in France before, during, and after the war. Also includes four videocassette programs, including two detailed interviews with Taylor in which she discusses her life in France before, during, and after the war.

Dates

  • 1913-1998

Creator

Language of Material

Materials in English and French

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Francine Ajzensztark Taylor was born in Karczew, Poland, in 1928. In 1931, she moved with her parents and older sister to Paris, France, to escape Polish antisemitism. Ajzensztark and her sister, Suzanne Ajzensztark, learned French but spoke Yiddish at home.

Ajzensztark and her family continued to live in Paris after the German occupation of France in 1940. In 1942, her father's involvement with the French underground led to his arrest. He was deported to Auschwitz and killed shortly after his arrival. Ajzensztark's mother, Germaine Königsberg Ajzensztark, and her sister went into hiding in Toulouse, and Ajzensztark, who had earlier been sent to the countryside in LeMans for health reasons, fled by train and bicycle to join them.

After Ajzensztark rejoined her mother and sister, they obtained false identification cards and moved again to Saint-Fraimbault, a small hamlet in occupied France. They stayed with the Hertaux family, French peasants who believed the women were victims of bombings outside of Paris and did not know they were Jewish for most of the time they housed them. Once the area was liberated by the Allies, the women returned to Paris, where Ajzensztark and her sister found work at the Orly Air Base. While there, Ajzensztark met Harry Taylor, a member of the United States Army Air Forces. They were engaged and returned to the United States in 1949 and married in 1950. Harry Taylor was eventually transferred to Charleston, South Carolina, where the couple settled with their two sons.

Extent

0.5 linear feet (4 folders, 4 videocassettes)

Abstract

Photographs and false identification papers of Francine Ajzensztark Taylor, a Polish-born Jew raised in France before World War II. Photographs depict her and her family members in pre-war England and Poland, as well as in France before, during, and after the war. Also includes four videocassette programs, including two detailed interviews with Taylor in which she discusses her life in France before, during, and after the war.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2000 by Francine Taylor.

Alternate Form of Materials

Digital reproduction available online in the Lowcountry Digital Library.

Related Material

Related materials in College of Charleston Special Collections include three oral history interviews with Francine Taylor conducted in 2002 and 2006 (Mss 1035-266, Mss 1035-309, and Mss 1035-313) and one 2006 oral history interview with Taylor's sister, Suzanne Baton (Mss 1035-311).

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca McClure, March 2011.

Title
Inventory of the Francine Ajzensztark Taylor Papers, 1913-1998
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by: Rebecca McClure; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rebecca McClure
Date
2011
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)