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Passing of Denise Vernay-Jacob, 2013

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

On This Day in Jewish History: March 2, 1859

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Denise Vernay-Jacob, Jewish French Resistance Member, passes at age 88. Childhood Denise was born to French Jewish family in 1924. Her father was an architect, who was mostly unemployed due to the lack of building projects after the first world war. Her mother had been a chemist before she had begun her family. Her father moved the family to Nice in an attempt to find more business. When Denise was seven, the Great Depression caused her family’s financial situation to worsen and they moved into a small apartment. Escalation of War In 1939, the war in Europe drew closer to France. However, it was in the Summer of 1940 that things began to escalate. The Nazis invaded in the summer of 1940, and by September of the same year, Jews in France were already having limitations placed on them. In October 1940, the Nazis passed the Nuremburg laws which robbed Denise’s father of his job. As a result, Denise became a math tutor to help support her family. Denise began her work of resisting the Nazis in 1941 by distributing anti-fascist literature through her school and by passing information about the war to students and teachers. While she was away at a summer camp in 1943, her family wrote, letting her know it was unsafe for her to come back to Nice, so she moved in with a friend. Work with the Resistance In the fall of 1943, Denise adopted the name “Miarka” and began transmitting the French resistance’s messages. She did not see her family during this time, except for a brief visit. Ten days after her visit, the Jews of Nice were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. After her family’s abrupt decline, Denise began to run weapons for the resistance. By this time, Denise’s code name had been changed to “Annie”. During a weapons run for the resistance, Annie was caught. She was tortured and interrogated by the Gestapo, but never gave up the names of the other Resistance fighters she worked with. She was sent to Mauthausen and marked for execution by the SS. However, the camp was liberated before the Nazis could kill her. After the war, Denise married Alain Vernay and had three children with him. She died in Paris on March 4th of 2013. France has largely forgotten about her efforts as a member of the Resistance. A movie entitled “Femmes de l’Ombre” about females of the French Resistance was made in attempt to honor her and other women’s legacies, but Denise very much disapproved of the film.


 

Sources:

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=https://www.liberation.fr/societe/2013/03/06/mort-de-la-resistante-denise-vernay_886654&prev=search&pto=aue http://www.struthof.fr/en/testimony-of-the-resistancedeportation-and-remembrance/testimonials-about-resistance-deportation-and-memory/joining-the-resistance/denise-vernay/ http://resistanceheroines.blogspot.com/2015/09/denise-jacob-vernay-1924-2013.html https://www.fondationresistance.org/pages/rech_doc/?p=portraits&iIdPortrait=43 http://www.ajpn.org/personne-Denise-Jacob-6376.html https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Denise_Vernay Images to use! denise as a young woman denise and her three siblings with their mother

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