The Experiences of Alice Juliette Wentzinger as an Alsatian Refugee during World War II

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 8:50 AM
Concourse H (New York Hilton)
Nupur Chaudhuri, Texas Southern University
On Monday, March 9, 1936 Les Dernière Nouvelle de Strasbourg, the most important daily newspaper of the region, wrote that the “Germans have reoccupied the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland during the night between Friday andSaturday. The cities like Offenbourg facing Alsace have received their garrisons and the city of Kehl, facing Strasbourg had its contingent in 18 hours ago. 
France declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. However, at the beginning of 1939 gas masques and refugee cards were distributed among the population of Strasbourg. The government decided to evacuate the population of Strasbourg eight days before the war was declared. On August 30, 1939 the citizens of Strasbourg were told that the evacuation date has been fixed on September 3rd for all the inhabitants of Zone 1(city of Strasbourg proper) and those who did not leave on that date would be forced to leave. On September 1, 1939, the population along the Maginot line was mobilized for evacuation from the three departments of Rhine and Moselle. They were also told which route to take in case of evacuation. Within three and a half days, more than 300,000 Alsatian left for Vosges Mountains and three weeks later more people went towards the South-west. Mme Alice NeuMeyer Wentzinger was one of the evacuees who left Strasbourg during this time. This paper describes her experiences as an Alsatian refugee in Perigord.