film tells the
story of the arrest of 13,000 Parisian Jews, including 4,000 children,
by French rightwing militia and gendarmes in July 1942 (two days after Bastille Day). The mostly French-born Jews and those from Poland who were integrated into Parisian life were herded into
a giant cycling stadium, the Vélodrome d’Hiver (Vél’d’Hiv). Almost all of them died in Nazi death camps.
Rafle du Vél’d’Hiv nonetheless illustrates the enthusiastic participation
of many French officials who acceded to Nazi demands. The
collaborationist French authorities in Paris set out to round up 25,000
Jews on 16 July 1942. Almost half of them escaped, in large part thanks to citizens who risked their lives to save others. See a video clip here.