Raymonde Fiol oral history interview, 2015 August 12. OH-02455. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1v982b7f
Standardized Rights Statement
Had you spoken about your experiences and life story of Holocaust surviving before that? Yes, I had. But it's very hard for me. Not only that, I have a memory gap. We were interned in a labor camp and I have no memory of that. I have prior recalls and then getting to the family that saved me. I don't know how I got out of there. Everything that happened there I couldn't tell because my parents never made it. But the family that saved me and I have...My story was told to me by a phenomenal woman; I would love to invite her to come here. She is a retired teacher. She lives in eastern France near Sedan. That is where we were interned, in that part of France. She was a teacher in a very small town and an elderly gentleman came over to her because he was looking for facts, historical facts during the war, and he starts telling her there were Jews interned in this village. She says, "I never heard of it." She did not believe him. He kept on persisting. By the second or third time he came over, he got her curiosity because she's also a historian. She went into the town hall records during the war and, sure enough, there they were. He was trying to do some research or maybe find facts about his own family. He was a survivor. She got the bug. She traced every person named in the records to see whether they had survived or not. She was successful except for two; she couldn't find me and another woman. She had no death certificate for me. And you know very well that the Germans kept fantastic records. So there was no record of my death and another one. Ultimately what she did with those stories, she has dedicated a monument to all of the victims who died in those camps in the area. There were multiple camps that are not known. Nobody talks about the forced labor camps and how the French cooperated willingly with the Germans and said, "Okay, go ahead." She's still doing it. Of course, after she was done with the village she lived in, she's doing the entire area. Also, let me say this. About eight years ago I get a phone call, this lady with a very strong French accent who was trying to speak English saying, I am looking for...me. She gives me my name and I said, strange call. I don't want to give out my identity. She's still speaking English and I said, okay, I'll be kind; I'll switch to French. She tells me that she's looking for me. And I said, "You found her." She said, "Is it your mother?" And I said, "No, it's me." She had a huge sigh. She said, "I've been looking for you for four years." Oh, my. So she called you Raymonde? Yes. She even had my married name and my maiden name. Of course, she had my maiden name and she was able to find out about me because I was there locally. I think she had found my school records. She just didn't know where I was. So she said, "Oh, my God." She proceeds to tell me. I'll never forget it was a Saturday morning. Phil was out. I'm crying hysterically when he comes in. He says, "What's the matter?" That was the first monument which she was dedicating to the Holocaust victims including my parents. She said, "It's next week." I said, "I can't go." It's like news. I never wanted to go back. When Phil heard about it?he worked on me?he said, "You have to go, not this week." He said, "We have to go back." Turns out that I decided okay. It took about a year and we planned a trip. I was surrounded by family from everywhere; my family from the States, England, Israel, Spain?they all joined me. We were about thirty people. My children. We went to the monument and dedicated it again.