Simone Veil has spoken on very different stages and subjects, and before extremely diverse audiences. The speeches collected here represent only a fraction of her public dialogues: those given over the last six years in her capacity as president of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah. Having written those last words, I must immediately correct myself: when our president discusses the Shoah, she is firstly and always Madame Veil, the Auschwitz survivor, matured and enriched by her French and international political experience, who speaks from the heart about her own memory and her own thoughts. Alone, the typed pages of these speeches doubtless lack her gaze, her gravitas, and the singular tone of her stories, which always pierce her listeners.
Born in 1933, Jacques Saurel might well have known the fate of so many children of Jewish parents who emigrated from Poland between the wars: Auschwitz and the gas chamber. He owed it to his father that he initially had no problems with the authorities. As a volunteer for military service and then a prisoner of war, his father protected Jacques and his family under the Geneva Convention. But the Nazis were looking for hostages to deport. Thus, in early February 1944, Jacques, his oldest sister (the younger one was in hiding) and his little brother were detained with their mother for three months in the Drancy internment camp, before being deported to the _x001A_Star Camp_x001A_, Bergen-Belsen. It