Anne Sinclair tells the tragic story of an unknown roundup on France 2

Heloise Goy with Gauthier Delomez
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11:01 a.m., March 23, 2022

A historical and moving documentary offered on France 2 Wednesday evening at 10:45 p.m. The Roundup of Notables, adapted from the book by journalist Anne Sinclair, tells the story of her paternal grandfather, Léonce Schwartz. Officially, this man was arrested by the French police, imprisoned in the Drancy camp from which he escaped with the help of his wife. In reality, Léonce Schwartz was one of the many deportees of the roundup of December 1941, still unknown.

A documentary under the voice-over of Anne Sinclair

Léonce is then torn from his family and finds himself in a French camp in Compiègne alongside engineers, judges, academics, or lawyers, who do not understand what they are doing there. Anne Sinclair is commenting on this documentary which tells this tragic story. “To understand this roundup which will provide the essentials of the first convoy of deported French Jews, I immersed myself in the traces and stories of those who had written, of those who had testified, all those who sometimes had returned”, explains the journalist in the film.

Anne Sinclair continues: “Léonce was one of them, one of his 743 men arrested at dawn this winter morning in a Paris frozen by the cold and by 18 months of occupation.” Gabriel Le Bomin, who notably directed DeGaulle with Lambert Wilson and Isabelle Carré, is in charge of the production of this film. On Europe 1, the director explains why he wanted to adapt this very personal book by Anne Sinclair into a documentary. “I think it was first a way of giving it all its strength, and also of respecting in a certain way the first work that had been done by Anne Sinclair”, he specifies.

“A real challenge because there are no images”

The director evokes the essence of this film: “Anne Sinclair seeks to understand what happened to her grandfather. She has bits and pieces transmitted by family orality, but ultimately, she never had this historical scientific approach. We had to be closer to this approach.”

Gabriel Le Bomin indicates that the adaptation of this book was “a real challenge because there are no images in fact”. This challenge, Gabriel Le Bomin has taken up with the help of animations, words of historians, rare existing documents and a narration that is both subjective and objective of this tragic moment in history.

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