Saint-Girons. Day of remembrance of the victims and heroes of the deportation: Paul Sauvaget, deported to Sachsenhausen, went through hell

Saint-Girons. Day of remembrance of the victims and heroes of the deportation: Paul Sauvaget, deported to Sachsenhausen, went through hell
Saint-Girons. Day of remembrance of the victims and heroes of the deportation: Paul Sauvaget, deported to Sachsenhausen, went through hell

the essential
On April 30, 1943 Paul Sauvaget was imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen camp, in Germany. 82 years later, the Saint-Gironnais have not forgotten the man who was their doctor.

The commemoration ceremonies in memory of the victims and heroes of the deportation, organized throughout France this Sunday, honor those who experienced the worst suffering in the concentration camps. Paul Sauvaget was one of them.

Shortly after the declaration of war on Germany in 1939, Paul Sauvaget signed his voluntary enlistment in the army. He obtained his military certificate and left with the Compagnie du Train to fight in Belgium. Demobilized in July 1940, he joined the resistance in 1941 and at the same time completed his first year of medicine. In 1942, he joined the Groupe France Combat network. On March 14, 1943, he was arrested with his friend Pierre Petit in Les Cabannes, near the Spanish border. They wanted to join General de Gaulle, but were denounced by “cowards”.

After the prison of Foix, Saint-Michel in Toulouse and Fresnes, it is the departure from Compiègne by wagon on April 28. Paul Sauvaget arrived on April 30 in Oranienbourg Sachsenhausen, Germany, where he remained for 26 months under registration number 65063.
Inside this camp, the Strafkompanie, the disciplinary company, is a prison within the prison, devoted to the most grueling work: loading bricks into barges and testing shoes for the German army. From 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., the deportees walk and run on a track of concrete, earth, cobblestones and stone, to test the resistance of the shoes.

Paul Sauvaget is a nurse in a barracks where German guards never enter because of deadly epidemics. He tries, with few means, to ease the suffering of the prisoners.
During these 26 months, he interacts with his parents. The words of his letters, read and verified by the jailers, seem innocuous, but they are disguised in order to communicate real events such as the bombings and the landing in Normandy.

On May 24, 1945, Paul Sauvaget and his friend Pierre Petit were released. The American air force had bombed the camp for a long time and the Russian soldiers then attacked it. They return to France on their own. Paul Sauvaget returns ill from Sachsenhausen. He suffers from bone and pulmonary tuberculosis.

He resumed his medical studies in Toulouse, but had to spend time in a sanatorium in Saint-Lizier. A few years later, he became a doctor in Saint-Girons. 82 years later, the Saint-Gironnais have not forgotten the man who was their doctor.

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