Ce site est dédié à Miryam, Aron, Lucien Natanson…

Aron Natanson (in English)

Aron Natanson, my grandfather, was born in Ploiesti, a small industrial city located North of  Bucharest (Romania) on  February 1st, 1886.

His father, Osias Natanson, ran a bookstore in Bucharest, Libraria Bibliofila, at Calea Rahovei 8.

EnTete LibrariaBibliofila LettredAron 1921
Letterhead from Aron’s father’s Romanian bookstore, 1921.

    Aron studied philosophy in Berlin and ended his studies with a doctorate. His Doctoral Thesis was about Spinoza’s philosophy. He later wrote a « Philosophical Dictionary » but these two books,  remained unpublished manuscripts, and disappeared during the plunder of the family home in Paris, at the time of Aron’s arrest.

Aron Natanson
Young Aron Natanson
Aron Natanson — Fanny Neidman — Bucarest
    In 1922, he married Fanny Neidmann, in Bucharest.

Settling in France, the bookstore

He left Romania in 1924-1925, with his brother Albert, for France. Antisemitism, which was growing in Romania at the time, played a great part in their decision to leave. The Natansons already had links with France : Albert Natanson was already working as a correspondent for a French publishing company (Hachette) in Romania.

Advertisement for the Natanson bookstore, in an Alsatian Jewish newspaper

Documents from the Police Prefecture dating from the spring of 1940, long unknown, have resurfaced in the Moscow Archives after the fall of the Wall. These documents from the French Police Prefecture had been confiscated by the Germans and then recovered by the Soviet Secret Services.

Aron Extrait Prefecture Dates Arrivee en France

« After having resided for the first time in France from December 19th, 1924 to February 11, 1925, this foreigner returned to our territory on June 25th, 1925, with Romanian passport No. 436.071 issued in Bucharest on December 6th, 1924 and endorsed on April 22th, 1925 by our consul in that city. On December 3th, 1925, he signed a declaration with our services, which issued him on December 29, 1925 an identity card under the title of « bookseller » valid after renewal until May 6th, 1940. »

Extract from a letter from the Paris Police Prefect to the Minister of the Interior, March 28, 1940.

Une fiche au nom d’Aron Natanson indique ses dates d’arrivée en France.

He became a bookseller in Paris, 19 rue Gay-Lussac, in the « Quartier Latin », a district located on the left bank of the Seine known as the « homeland » of  students and artists in Paris. He sold rare and academic books, sometimes to order. He specialised in philosophical books, especially those dealing with comparative religions as mentioned in  J. Filliozat’s accounts, a distinguished member of the « ‘Institut de France » (equivalent of British Royal Society, or American National Science Foundation), and « Professeur » in the « Collège de France » (This institution headquartered near the « Sorbonne » holds public lectures delivered by prominent academics and specialists) :

Aron Natanson — collège de France

I, the undersigner, confirm that I knew M. Aron NATANSON well several years before the war.  M. Aron NATANSON then had an erudition bookshop rue Gay-Lussac in Paris.  I was a young orientalist and I used to go to this bookshop mainly because of the personnality of M. NATANSON who was himself an erudite. He gained his doctorate in philosophy at the university of Berlin through his studies of Spinoza. My conversations with him were very informative.  Often, professors and researchers also came to his bookshop, not only for books themselves, but also for discussions about them.  His knowledge about the history of religions was very extensive and was  very useful for me, personnally, although I was an Indianist while he was an Hebraist and a philosopher. I  remember especially the discussions he had with a fellow Hebraiste, M. Paul VULLIAUD, who translated and published the beginning of Zohar, using his advice. To me, these talks drew value out not of literal reading of Hebrew to which I cannot contribute, but of philosophical discussions and comparative history of religions created by this reading.

college de france
Aron Natanson, vers 1925
Aron Natanson, around 1925

    The account of  M. Paul Hartmann confirms the nature of the bookshop :

  In 1934-35, I lived in Paris, in the House of Marist Fathers and I attended courses in Catholic Institute located in the same street. My father, a notary in the town of Le Havre where I was born on December 19th, 1913, gave me every month 1.000 Francs as pocket money. This money was especially useful to buy books. One of the principal bookseller from whom I bought books was Aron Natanson.
    His shop, in Gay-Lussac street, was vast and well-stocked. Two wide bay windows were flanking the front door, glazed as well. Inside it was a large room, with a little one for tidying up and toilets. Customers were essentially professors, students and book lovers. They generally gave a list of new or secondhand books they wanted to purchase. The bookseller fetched these books by specialist errand boys who brought  them on the same day. He allowed significant discounts, between 10 to 30%, hence his big and well-deserved success. He was one of the greatest bookseller of the Latin Quarter.
    Mister Natanson was average height, very pleasant and always in a good mood. I enjoyed talking with him.

Paul Hartmann,
Memories about Aron and Mireille Natanson,
unpublished manuscript, 1982.

In 1931, Aron Natanson (signing Arno Natanson) even became a publisher: he published a study on the Jews of North Africa, written by the Grand Rabbi of Constantine, Maurice Eisenbeth: North African Judaism, demographic studies on the Israelites of the Department of Constantine.

Very knowledgeable about religions and familiar with the Hebrew language, Aron Natanson was not a practising Jew. He wasn’t an Atheist but something close to a syncretist. He never forbade his son, Jacques, from joining the Catholics scouts, ca.1935. The familly lived at number 9, rue des Feuillantines (2), quite close to the bookshop (1) and Aron sent his son to Lycée Montaigne (a famous high-rated Senior High School) (3).

quartier latin
Aron Natanson — la librairie — bookshop
Location of Aron’s bookshop, 19 rue Gay-Lussac, photographed in 2001

This bookstore is an important place for intellectuals in the Latin Quarter. A wide variety of intellectuals frequent it. Aron Natanson is known for his erudition and for the contacts he has in intellectual circles. We have thus kept track of his registration as an auditor for a series of lectures by Alexandre Kojève, a Hegelian philosopher, at the École pratique des hautes études, in 1937-1938.

The notebooks of Armand Petitjean, from the NRF, show the importance of the bookseller’s acquaintances: brilliant students such as future sociologist Roger Caillois, future writer Roger Ikor, but also recognized intellectuals such as Vladimir Jankélévitch, Benjamin Fondane, Jean Chuzeville, Émile Dermenghem…

This information comes from Armand Petitjean’s notebooks, analyzed in the document below:

Around the bookstore of Aron Natanson,

Study of the intellectual life around the bookstore of Aron Natanson through the Notebooks and the correspondence of Armand Petitjean (1932-1938)
(only in french)

Fanny Neidmann, his wife, became sick and had to leave France (we wonder whether she was actually deported). She went back to Romania where she died in 1939 of tuberculosis.
    In June 1940, Aron Natanson suggested that his son, Jacques (my father) leave Paris for Brive (in Central France), and then Toulouse. Miryam came back in Paris. She was hidden in Catholics boarding schools during the school year.

Aron’s brothers, Albert and Julien Natanson, took refuge in Grenoble, in the Italian occupation zone. Albert was urging Aron to join him.

In prison, then the deportation order

At the end of the 1930s, Aron had financial difficulties. He took on a partner with whom he fell out. He decided to recover some of the books he had brought into the patnership. But his partner sued him and Aron was sentenced to six months in prison in 1939. He served this sentence from 06/18/39 to 11/02/39 This information can be found in a police file on prisoners liable to deportation.

Aron Fiche
Aron Fiche Expulsion Casier

We were at war with Germany, but it was still the French Republic. The police prefect took the time to write to the Minister of the Interior to request the deportation of Aron Natanson, whose residence permit expired in May 1940.

Aron LettrePrefetAInterieur mars avril1940

In this letter, the prefect asks the Minister of the Interior to make a decision to deport Aron. He talks about his arrival in France, about his wife Fanny Neidmann, who was sick and had to leave France (she returned to Romania to her family, where she died in 1939, officially of tuberculosis). The prefect’s letter also mentions the two children, misstating Jacques’ (James’) age. The Ministry of the Interior responded positively on April 19, 1940. This is what we read written in blue on the side: « 6 months in prison. Unfavorable information. Notice to deport. 19.4.40 » and it is signed with two initials. As if to reinforce his position, the Minister or his representative indicates that in addition Jacques, my father, is himself a foreigner since he is Romanian and that only Aron’s daughter is French, but by declaration. Miryam was in fact declared French by the Justice of the Peace of the 5th arrondissement on February 15, 1940. Deportation was finally decided on May 3, 19.

Aron Arrete Expulsion 3mai40
Aron Natanson’s deportation order issued by the Minister of the Interior

I can’t help but find, in all this police rhetoric of deportation, what I see daily in the files of undocumented immigrants today. In 1940, anti-Semitism permeated these civil servants of the Republic who, for the most part, would put themselves at the service of Vichy. Aron is presented as “unfavorably known to the police services”. Today, Islamophobia and Negrophobia condition many of the administrative reflexes of our xenophobic administration. Naturally, this deportation order cannot be executed in the middle of a war. A week later, the German army attacked in the Ardennes…

The Occupation

  In June 1940, Aron Natanson invited his son, Jacques (my father) to leave Paris and take refuge in Brive, then in Toulouse. Miryam, for her part, returned to Paris. She hid in Catholic boarding schools in the provinces during the school year.

Aron’s brothers, Albert and Julien Natanson, were refugees in Grenoble, in the Italian occupation zone. Albert urged Aron to come and join him.

Albert Natanson, en 1969
Albert Natanson, in 1969

Aron said he was going to leave Paris but he couldn’t resolve to leave his beloved books behind. They were filling his Feuillantines street flat, not far from his former bookshop. Because of the new laws, Aron wasn’t authorized to run a bookshop anymore, but he continued his work at home, in a little room on the ground floor, for some trustworthy customers.

Aron Natanson dans sa librairie, avant la guerre
Aron Natanson in his bookshop, before WWII

So, while it doesn’t seem he had been added to the census in 1940, Aron Natanson was forced into it, in 1941. Here is his card in the Jewish file:

Capture decran 2024 05 22 164705
File of the Prefecture of Aron from 1941
Documentary source: FRAN107_F_9_5621_019456_L / Fichier Préfecture / Archives Nationales de France

In January or February 1942, Aron was arrested for the first time, brought before the « Parquet » (the French equivalent of the District Attorney’s office or the Crown Prosecution Service), and then released. The French police, who had made this arrest, reproached him for breaking the law : «offence to the law of the2nd of  June, 1941», i.e. the new version of the Status of the Jews.  It was probably because of the fourth article which was strictly controlling jewish commercial activities : «Art.4. – Jews can only exercise the professions of commercial, industrial or artisan activities […], in the limits and conditions set by the decrees of the « Conseil d’État ».». Aron most probably continued to work illegally as a bookshopper.

     Here is the document which mentions this arrest. It is coming from the Archives of  the « Préfecture de Police de Paris » :


During the last week, no reports against Jews not abiding by the law of the 2nd of June 1942, were passed on, by the district or area police stations.
But, during the same time, the Management Services brought before the Parquet, on a charge of offence to the law of the 2nd of June, 1941, following mens :
– RUBIN Chawn, born on December 30th, 1907, in Kichineff, Romanian Jew, living 60 boulevard de Ménilmontant
– NATANSON Aron, born on February 1st, 1886, in Ploiesti, Romanian Jew, living 9 rue des Feuillantines,
– TUSZYNSKI Herman, born on May 4th, 1903, in Lodz, Polish Jew, living 87 rue Myrha,
– GERSCHGORINE Jankel, born on July 28th, 1864 in Kamenon, refugee Russian Jew, living 31 rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Isle

– TUSZYNSKI Herman was directed to the « Dépôt » (police cells in Paris).
The oher three men was released on bail.

Thus, Aron was charged with violation of the Status of the Jews. Nevertheless, this alert didn’t drive him to try leaving Paris. Arrest and deportation was not long coming.

The arrest


Aron Natanson was arrested by the Vichy French Police, on September 23rd, 1942, on the same date as 1594 other Romanian Jews from the Paris area. Romanian Jews had escaped the mass capture of Jews on July 16-17th, 1942 (a tragic episode known as the « rafle du Vel’d’hiv ») because Romania still was a country allied to Nazi Germany. But, on September 24th, 1942, Romania declared it was uninterested in Romanian Jews and deprived them of their nationality. They became stateless and could now be deported.
      Aron Natanson was arrested as the same time as his 13 year old daughter, Miryam.

The place of the arrest,  9 de la rue des Feuillantines, photographed in 2001

Recently, I found an account from a survivor : M. Herman Idelovici was one of those Romanian Jews who were deported with my grand-father. He was arrested the day after the arrestation of Aron Natanson. His account can help us to understand how the French police conducted the rounding up.

«On  September 24th,  [1942], someone knocked at the door of the apartment in which my father, my mother, my sisters and I were living.. Two policemen, of the French police unfortunately,  appeared in the doorway. My father opened the door and the policemen showed individual cards. They presented four individual sheets with the name of my father, my mother, my elder sister and my own.They had nothing.about my youngest sister. My father pointed that out to the policemen, meaning: she is French, she is not concerned.
After thinking for a very short time, the policemen answered : « Yes, she is here, we’ll take her with us, you ll’see later. » Even, they said : « You’ll unravel that later » as if there were something to unravel…»

Herman Idelovici, integral script of his accounte, Automne 42, CRDP de Nice

Furthermore, Paul Hartmann’s testimony (which we quoted above) confirms that it was really the French police which arrested them.  Witnesses told about the indescribable mess of the (9 rue des Feuillantines) apartment, after the arrest. Policemen even shot at the mirrors, as if they couldn’t bear to see their own image, arresting a quiet bookseller and a little girl.

     If the French Police followed the same instructions as they did for our witness, Aron and his daughter were probably took away to the police station of their district.

Let us return to the Herman Idelovoc’s testimony :

  « When we went out of our building, I remember we walked up the « boulevard de la gare », led by these two policemen, towards the « Place d’Italie ». We went past a few shops, and I remember we went past the baker’s shop and the baker woman was on the doorstep, and her eyes met mine. I don’t know, I don’t know what she could have thought, what other people could have thought. We went past the « rue Nationale », we arrived to the police station of the « passage Ricaut »… »

Herman Idelovici, integral script of his account, Automne 42, CRDP de Nice

Du commissariat, les familles raflées sont conduites à Drancy par des autocars de la RATP :

« So, after a lot of difficulties, we were taken by the famous buses of bitter memory which were called TN 4, with outside platforms, we were took to the camp of Drancy which was becoming the greatest camp which prepared deportations towards the East. We arrived into this camp of Drancy at about half past twelve, or one o’clock p.m. They began  to deprive us of what we had on us : wedding rings and other rings, watches, small change in our pockets… For that matter, it was Frenchmen who completely emptied us out. And somebody made us go up in one of the blocks. »

Herman Idelovici, integral script of his account, Automne 42, CRDP de Nice

So, at the entry of the camp, Aron was dispossessed of his money and all his valuables.

The deportation

Aron and his daughter stayed two days in the concentration camp of Drancy, before being deported to Auschwitz in convoy n°37, on September 25th, 1942. This train was mainly composed of Romanian Jews (779 out of 1004 deportees).

 Our witness, one of the few survivors of this convoy, told of the gathering and the departure of this train. He told this with the eyes of a 15-year-old boy:

« The next day [September 25th, 1942], at five a.m., they called the roll in the central courtyard and the convoy was prepared to be conducted in the station of « Le Bourget-Drancy », which was the boarding station towards East. In these goods wagons, now famous, and of which images has been shown, in these goods wagons which had been planned for fourteen horses, if I don’t make a mistake, they packed sixty men, sixty people, men, women, children, old people, sick people, babies, infants, there were infants in my wagon. They made us go up inside, the doors were hasped, the airiness was only made by little high transom windows (it was the airiness for horses, in fact). There was a bucket, a sort of empty barrel for answering the call of nature and they gave a loaf of bread to each of us, a piece of sausage and a piece of margarine. I must say the atmosphere in this wagon, since the morning of 25th ( the train left the station of « Le Bourget-Drancy » at five to nine a.m., I still remember the hour), the atmosphere which reigned untill the 28th, midday, is something very difficult to describe : screams, women’s screams, sick people’s screams and infants’ screams, the thirst (in the end of september, it was relatively hot), the thirst, the ignorance, the anxiety… Of course, nobody imagined where we were going, nor did anybody imagine what we were going to do, nor did anybody imagine what they were going to do with us. From time to time, especially in the night, I don’t know why, half the people were awake, I stood on tiptoe and through the transom windows, I succeeded in reading the names of the station we were going across. I read « Strassburg » which was the new name of « Strasbourg », I read Fulda, I read Erfurt, I read Weimar…»

Herman Idelovici, integral script of his account, Automne 42, CRDP de Nice


Two days later, the train reached the station in Auschwitz.

    On  September 27th, 1942, 175 men were selected to work in Kosel, in the neighborhood of Auschwitz. Later, as the convoy arrived at Birkenau, another 40 men were selected and were given numbers (66030 to 66069).
     I believed for a long time that, because of his age (he was 56), it was more than probable that he was not selected for work and was one of the 873 persons driven to the gas chamber as soon as they arrived, with his daughter Miryam.

But in November 1999, I communicated with a German historian, Erwin Denzler, who did research into the same convoy about another deportee. When he read the english version of these pages, he contacted me and led me to new documents, kept in the Archives of the museum of Auschwitz. Actually, Aron Natanson was selected for work and placed in the quarantine camp, and died there two weeks later.

     At the very beginning of 2001,  I could complete this itinerary, thanks to the account already quoted above :

«And on the 28th, in the end of the morning, we arrived in Upper Silesia, in this station called Kosel. And when wagons clanked to a stop (wagons clinked together in the moment of braking,  with a clanking noise), the S.S. men began to shout, on the platform. Oddly enough, the first sentences I ever heard in German, were, were shouting, they were, they were shouting, bawls, yells… The wagons began to be opened with a great deal of crashing and they carried out the inspection, wagon after wagon, to see if there were dead people, if there were still  people alive. A lot of persons were dead, many others went insane.
After this first inspection, the S.S. men, in front of each wagon, in German of course, shouted that men, between 18 and 55 years old, had to come down on the platform at once. My father, like other men of that age, went down onto the platform. In those days, my father was 43-years-old. He went onto the platform and gathered with around hundred men who were already there. A few minutes passed, so I stayed in the wagon, because I was 15, I stayed with my mother and my sisters. A few minutes passed and once again we heard the doors slam, from wagon to wagon. The S.S. men locked the doors et padlocked them again. When they arrived in front of my wagon, the S.S. man eyes turned towards me and he began to shout at me in German. I didn’t understand it was at me, but my father made a sign to me. The S.S. man began to insult me, to call me all the names under the sun, names which I didn’t understand, anyway. He meant by that I was a fare-dodger, I hadn’t come down, I hadn’t obey his order […] So, I came down, I, I don’t remember if I had been able, if I had been able to say goodbye to my mother, to my sisters, I believe, in those moments, we were keeping silent. So, I came down with the little baggage which was in my hands and I met up with my father on the platform.
At this moment, we were a few hundred on the patform, we looked at the train which pulled away again with a clanking noise and, I, I remember looking through the transom window of the wagon in which my mother was. She couldn’t manage to reach it, she wasn’t tall enough, but I saw other faces, and, and, I believe it was above all, a feeling of fear, of anxiety, of ignorance. I began to be plunged into a world which was not mine, which was not logical in my eyes, which had nothing in common with what had been my life for the fifteen years before…»

Herman Idelovici, integral script of his account, Automne 42, CRDP de Nice

The 175 men who have been selected in Kosel station, were driven in the little sorting camp of Ottmuth, then some of them were used in the factory-camp of Blechhammer. All these camps were a dependency of Auschwitz.

Carte du sud de la Pologne situant la gare de Kosel et les deux camps secondaires d'Ottmuth et de Blechhammer
Map of  Southern Poland situating the station of Kosel and the two secondary camps of Ottmuth and Blechhammer

In fact, it is certaine that Aron didn’t come down from he train in Kosel : he was 56 and therefore was over the age asked by the S.S. men. He knew German perfectly well and very probably did not answer the order to come down. That would have him to stay with his daughter.

     If it was the case, he arrived in Auschwitz and was selected when he arrived in camp of Birkenau :


Now, I’ll try to reconstruct the itinerary of Aron, from what deportees told : Maurice Cling, Marc Klein…
          As they were leaving their wagons, men and women were separated and formed two parallel lines : men on the left and women on the right (B). Perhaps Aron could exchange last glances with his daughter, perhaps not. S.S. men jostled deportees (« Los ! Los ! ») who were coming out of a two days journey in the wagons, without  opening the doors once.
           They went past nazi officers : people strong and in good health on the left, the others and children on the right…
           So, the little column set off along the platform, made for the entry of the camp (A) and went under the porch (A). Then, they went out of the camp and made for the camp of Auschwitz I, the « Stammlager », who was 3 km from there, southeast of Birkenau. They walked along the electric barbed-wire fence, then they entered the camp.
           Deportees were put into lines by an officer who, with the help of a translator chose among them, shouted at them : « You ‘re not in a sanatarium. The ones who are sick must come out from the ranks. »
           It was only then that the remainder were tattooed. Then, the frisking, the undressing near a truck in which pieces of clothing were laid, « well folded ». Deportees just kept their belts and shoes. Then, there was shearing of hair and pubic hair with clippers. Then, the shower and the handing out of striped clothes, with a hat in the same striped fabric. The most beautiful shoes were changed to wooden-soled flipflops.

   «To the shock created by the camp’s atmosphere and the S.S. and kapos’ brutality, depersonalization was added, which usually goes with imprisonment and which, in Auschwitz, was beyond limits : naked exposing,  freezing shower, complete shearing of the body, being given the dead people’s clothes, tattooing of internee’s number, and so on…»

Michael Pollak, L’Expérience concentrationnaire, Métailié, 1990

Since the first night, deportees were woken up with a start by shouts in German coming from the kapo and his « stubedienst » (literaly : barrack room shift; in fact : kapo’s assistants). They used rubber sticks : « Los ! Los ! Schnell !« . Men were stunned, clambered out of their very small bunk and, distressed by shouts and blows, were swept along to the stairs going down in a shower room on the ground floor. Nobody could get away from the blows on the back, given by the kapo and his assistants.
          In the morning, deportees went down to the courtyard between the shacks. On each shack, under the front door was written « Quarantäne. Eintritt verboten. » A great hole was dug in the middle of the courtyard, with a wooden seat (banquette) around : the « Abort » (WC).
          Then, long hours waiting. And the hunger which began. The courtyard was also used for training the prisoners : how to salute the S.S., when one of them shouted « Achtung !« , taking the hat off. If an officer talked to you, you had to answer in German and say his rank aloud. It was a problem for many Frenchmen. Not for Aron who had a good mastery of German. But how different was that language from the German of his philosophical studies in Berlin… It was forbiden to stare at a S.S. straight into his eyes : deportees had to have eyes to the ground, two metres on the right : « Augen rechts ! » (« Eyes on the right ! »). They had to know to give their roll number in German and in Polish.
         Since that first day, the robberies between deportees began. The old hands at Auschwitz stole from those who had just arrived. Some of them had their shoes stolen, others their « Mutzen » (hat). We can imagine that Aron was not very good at this game

« Here, the « haftling » [concentration prisonner] was an object who was manipulated. He had to obey orders like a machine. He could only express humility, awareness of his unworthiness, of his nothingness in front of authority. He had no rights, he did not think, he did not exist. The quarantine’s taming aimed at inculcating this belief in him, at breaking his personality, since he had become interchangeable, at being conditioned to new reflexes of marks of respect, to blind acceptance of the most arbitrary orders.
     From then on, he was ready to enter the camp itself, that is to say to start working.»

Maurice Cling, Vous qui entrez ici… Un enfant à Auschwitz, Graphein-FNDIRP, 1999

Aron probably refused this depersonalization with all his soul. The author of the text above was a fifteen-year-old youth who « adapted » himself to the camp and survived. Aron could not do it. He was under when he arrived at the camp: striped off, shaved off, showered, tattooed, garbed in striped clothes; he had the time to know the  brutality of the blocks: kapos, blows, training…., also the time to understand what happened to his daughter, and the time to die of all that.
          Since the summer of 1942, typhus spread through the camp.  Aron weakened fell ill. The SS Dr Johann-Paul Kremer certified his death on October 11, 10. h. 05 in the morning. At the end of december 1999, I received from Auschwitz’s Archives, a copy of the official death certificate :

Registered according to the oral written declaration of the SS Dr Kremer, doctor of medecine in Auschwitz, on October 11th, 1942.

I now have to say a few words about the SS Dr Johann-Paul Kremer. He arrived in the camp of Auschwitz on August 30th, 1942 and stayed there nearly three months. When he arrived in Auschwitz, the typhus claimed many victims. I think it is probably the true cause of the Aron’s death.
            The SS doctor kept a diary since 1940. He made a few comments about his activities, often described his meals. For instance, on October 11th, just after certifying Aron’s death, he had eaten well, and wrote :


« 11 October 1942 : Today, Sunday, there was a roast hare for lunch – a real fat leg – with dumplings and red cabbage for 1.25 RM. »

Mais surtout, Johann-Paul Kremer est l’un des S.S. qui a témoigné dans son journal des sélections et de l’extermination dans les chambres à gaz. C’est un témoin direct, authentique. Voici le passage principal (en allemand et avec la traduction française) où Kremer évoque les « actions spéciales » selon le langage codé des camps :

« 2. Schutzimpfung gegen Typhus; danach abends starke allegemeinreaktion (Fieber). Trotzdem in der Nacht noch bei einer Sonderaktion aus Holland (I 600 Personen) zugegen. Schauerliche Szene vor dem letzten Bunker Hössler ! Das war die 10. Sonderaktion »

«Second inoculation against typhus, later on in the evening severe generalized reaction (fever). Despite this in the night attended a further Sonderaktion from Holland (1,600 persons). Ghastly scenes in front of the last bunker! (Hössler!) That was the 10th Sonderaktion.»

          The cause of Aron’s death is given in this act.

I think it is to be seen here one of the diseases involved with typhus.

cause deces

Cause of death : septicaemia by phlegmon 

          Here is the complete death act.

Nr 35733/1942

Auschwitz, den 21. Oktober 1942

      Der Kaufmann Aron Natanson


wohnhaft Paris V, Rue des Feuillantines 9
ist am 11. Oktober 1942 um 10 Uhr 05 Minuten
in Auschwitz, Kazernstrasse verstorben.
      Der Verstorbene war geboren am 1. Februar 1886
in Ploiesti, Rumanien
      Vater: Osias Natanson, wonhhaft in Ploiesti
      Mutter: Anna Natanson geborene Rapaport, zuletzt wohnhaft in Ploiesti
Der Verstorbene war nicht Verheiratet mit Fanny Natanson geborene Neidmann
      Eingetragen auf mündliche schriftliche Anzeige des Arztes Doktor der Medizin Kremer in Auschwitz vom 11. Oktober 1942
D     Anzeigende


  Todesursache: Sepsis bei Phlegmone


Auschwitz,  21 october 1942

 The shopkeeper Aron Natanson Mosaic

Living at : Paris V, rue des Feuillantines 9
Died on October 11th, 1942 at 10 h 05 minutes
in Auschwitz, Kazernstrasse.
The deceased was born on February 1st, 1886
in Ploiesti (Romania)

(Identity —————-N°—————-)
Father : Osias Natanson, living at Ploiesti
Mother : Anna Natanson nee Rapaport, last address in Ploiesti.
The deceased was no married to Fanny Natanson, nee Neidmann.
Registered according to the oral written declaration of the SS Dr Kremer, doctor of medecine in Auschwitz, on October 11th, 1942.

The conformity with the first register is certified
Auschwitz, 10.21.1942

The office employee
His assistant

The office employee
His assistant

Cause of death : septicaemia by phlegmon

        Aron Natanson died, on October 11th, 1942, around 10 in the morning, in the camp of Auschwitz I.