Yvette Lévy

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Yvette Lévy
Yvette Lévy.jpg
Yvette Henriette Dreyfuss

(1926-06-21) 21 June 1926 (age 93)
Paris, France
Home townNoisy-le-Sec

Yvette Henriette Lévy (née Dreyfuss; born 21 June 1926) is a French educator and survivor of the Holocaust. In July 1944, she was arrested by the Gestapo and was eventually sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. She survived, now educating youth about her experiences. Lévy is a Commander of the National Order of Merit and Officer of the Legion of Honour.

Early life[edit]

Yvette Henriette Deyfuss was born on 21 June 1926 in the 11th arrondissement of Paris to Jewish parents.[1][2] She grew up with her two brothers in Noisy-le-Sec. At a young age, Lévy participated as a scout in the Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs israélites de France (EIF).[3] Following the German bombing of Noisy-le-Sec, the family moved back to Paris, where Lévy stayed at an orphanage.[3] At 16 years old, she worked for the Union générale des israélites de France [fr] (UGIF), where she took in Jewish children whose parents were deported as a result of the German invasion of France and the subsequent Vel' d'Hiv Roundup.[4]


On the night of 21 July 1944, Lévy was arrested by the Gestapo for her involvement at the UGIF. She and thirty-three other girls were sent to Drancy internment camp.[5] Ten days later, Lévy, along with 1321 other prisoners, was sent from Drancy to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on convoy 77.[6]

From Auschwitz, she was sent to work at the Kratzau ammunition factory in modern-day Chrastava, Czech Republic.[7]


After her liberation in May 1945,[3] Lévy returned to her parents and two brothers in Noisy-le-Sec, despite the Gestapo explicitly telling her that they died in a bombing.[8] She then married Robert Lévy, a Jewish publisher, and had a daughter named Martine.[8]

Lévy now spends the majority of her time going to schools and events to educate students about the Holocaust.[9][10] Since her release, she has returned to Auschwitz over two hundred times with students, teaching them about her experiences at the camp.[11][12] Lévy spoke at the ceremony remembering the 70th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv roundup.[13][14]

She is a member of the Fédération nationale des déportés et internés résistants et patriotes (FNDIRP).[6]


On 10 May 1995, Lévy was named a Knight of the National Order of Merit.[15] Her ranked was upgraded to an Officer on 14 November 2005.[16] Lévy became a Commander on 15 November 2018,[17] and received her insignia at a ceremony on 30 April 2019, from Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer.[18]

Lévy is also a recipient of the Legion of Honour; receiving the honour on 2 April 1999,[19] and becoming an Officer on 31 December 2010.[20]

She has also been awarded the Médailles des Anciens Combattants, Medal of the Nation's Gratitude, and Cross of the resistance volunteer combatant.[3]


  1. ^ "Madame Yvette Lévy mémoire vivante d'Auschwitz". LaSalle France (in French). Douai. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  2. ^ Lang, Océane (11 April 2019). "Yvette Lévy et Daniel Urbejtel : un précieux témoignage". Lapeniche (in French). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Duhem, Jacqueline (30 October 2009). "Yvette Lévy, une biographie". Cercleshoah (in French). Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Journée internationaledédiée à la mémoire des victimes de l'Holocauste - International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust" (PDF). UNESCO. 22 January 2018. p. 19. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  5. ^ Martin, Chloé (14 March 2019). "Une survivante de la Shoah témoigne devant les étudiants de Tours". La Nouvelle Republique (in French). Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Yvette Lévy, rescapée de la Shoah, commandeur de l'ordre national du Mérite". l'Histoire en Rafale (in French). 16 November 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  7. ^ Barrois, V. (13 July 2010). "Yvette Lévy's testimony". École & Collège de l'Immaculée. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b Chabaud, Corine (20 January 2015). "Comment croire en Dieu après Auschwitz ?". La Vie (in French). Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  9. ^ Le Couteux, Christophe (7 December 2018). "Yvette Levy raconte aux collégiens d'Anne-Frank l'horreur concentrationnaire". La Voix du Nord (in French). Noyelles-Godault. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Rencontres" (PDF). Ville de Noyelles-Godault (in French). Noyelles-Godault. January 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  11. ^ Lemaire, Mathilde (21 April 2015). "Procès du "comptable d'Auschwitz", une survivante du camp témoigne". Franceinfo (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  12. ^ Quenet, Marie (18 January 2015). "Auschwitz : 70 ans après, les derniers témoins de l'enfer". Le Journal de Dimanche (in French). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  13. ^ The Associated Press (12 July 2012). "France reveals chilling Holocaust records". CBC. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Vel d'Hiv : l'ennemi, c'est l'oubli". Ladepeche (in French). 17 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  15. ^ Government of France (10 May 1995). "Décret du 10 mai 1995 portant promotion et nomination". Legifrance (in French). Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  16. ^ Government of France (14 November 2005). "Décret du 14 novembre 2005 portant promotion et nomination". Legifrance (in French). Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  17. ^ Government of France (15 November 2018). "Décret du 15 novembre 2018 portant promotion et nomination". Legifrance (in French). Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  18. ^ Bochurberg, Claude (10 May 2019). "Yvette Lévy à l'honneur de la République". Actualités Juives (in French). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  19. ^ Government of France (2 April 1999). "Décret du 2 avril 1999 portant promotion et nomination". Legifrance (in French). Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  20. ^ Government of France (31 December 2010). "Décret du 31 décembre 2010 portant promotion et nomination". LegiFrance (in French). Retrieved 30 June 2019.