In 1928, Renée Lazard was born into a Jewish family in Differdange. She is the only daughter of Sigmond Lazard and his wife Berthe Mayer.
The story of their escape in the early hours of 10 May 1940 is based on the testimony of Mr Jean Boes, their 13-year-old neighbour and childhood friend of little Renée Lazard. Jean's father was on the night shift at HADIR on 9 and 10 May 1940. The workers who came to take over at 6 a.m. saw the German soldiers who had landed at Soleuvre and Bascharage two hours earlier. As soon as he heard the news, Mr. Boes went back to tell the Lazards about the invasion. They were aware that as Jews they were in grave danger. They quickly pack a few things and get into their Buick... which won't start.
They have no choice but to borrow their cattle truck, half-filled with manure, on which they throw a few blankets, to set off for France. Their exile in the free zone was particularly tragic after witnessing the agony of their ﬁlle Renée, who died of appendicitis in Poitiers on 14 January 1942.
Sigismond and his wife Berthe are arrested a few months later along with Uncle Isidore and interned in the Drancy camp near Paris. From there they are sent on 3 November 1942 to Auschwitz where their trail is lost. Their real estate is conﬁsquered for the City of Differdange on 5 June 1942 and rented to the Customs Administration ("Hauptzollamt") as well as to private members of the NSDAP. In a nod to history, Differdange residents would hang a doll wearing an SS uniform from the balcony of the Lazard house at the Liberation as a victory over the occupier.
● Luxemburger Wort of 9 June 1947