Renee Beddouk was born in Paris as Renee Krasnobroda. Her family was Jewish but not very religious. Both of her parents were naturalized French citizens.

In 1942, Renee and her parents left Paris for Clermont Ferrand, a “free zone” which was an area that Jews could be safe from German occupation. Renee’s grandmother chose to stay in Paris and was arrested and sent to Drancy, an infamous French transit camp. It is not certain if she died there or in a concentration camp.

Not long after their arrival in Clermont Ferrand, her parents decided that they must hide Renee in order to ensure her safety. They sent Renee to the farm of a gentile family in the country village of Estandeuil. The family received compensation from her parents. Renee’s parents stayed in Clermont Ferrand, which was eventually taken by the Nazis. They were sent to Drancy and then perished in Auschwitz.

After the war, Renee returned to Paris and lived with her extended family. Her aunt gave Renee a letter from her mother written while she was in Drancy. Renee’s mother reminded Renee that she loved her. She expressed her hope for Renee to become a strong and forgiving woman. Renee’s mother asked her sister to watch over Renee.

In 1946, twelve year-old Renee and her aunt, uncle, and two cousins immigrated to the United States. Renee completed school and, at the age of nineteen, married George Elie Beddouk.

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