Café de l’hôtel de Ville in Cherbourg: 70 years ago and today

Among the places I have documented that Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, visited while serving in Cherbourg with Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion was the Café de l’hôtel de Ville.

The Café de l’hôtel de Ville is located just south of the l’hôtel de Ville (Cherbourg city hall).

Researcher and friend Claude Letelier shared these photos of the Café de l’hôtel de Ville from WWII and today.

The WWII photo is not only of the Café de l’hôtel de Ville but also documents the Nazi crime of slave labor.

wwii now
Sometime after February, 1943.

On the right of the photo on the side street is the Café de l’hôtel de Ville.

Note the sign above the doors.

On the main street Nazi troops are escorting ethnic French residents of Cherbourg for slave labor.

The column is moving in the direction of the Cherbourg train station.

The angle of this photo suggests the photographer is taking this photo clandestinely.

This documentation of slave labor may have been an act of resistance.

2014:

The Café de l’hôtel de Ville today is the Bar de l’hôtel de Ville.

Photo by Claude Letelier

In February, 1943, the Nazis imposed Service du Travail Obligatoire (S.T.O.) (Compulsory Work Service) on the people of Occupied France.

The photo above is of the deportation of ethnic French residents of Cherbourg for slave labor mostly in Germany.

In the Nazi racial hierarchy, ethnic French were among those to be enslaved rather than completely exterminated such as Jews.

The French Jews of Cherbourg

French Jews of Cherbourg are not among those in the photo.

Prior to February, 1943 enactment of the S.T.O. law, the Nazis deported to death and slave labor camps as many French Jews of Cherbourg as they could capture.

Some survivors returned to Cherbourg after liberation.

Links with sources and for more information:

(In French) La France sous l’occupation: Le S.T.O.

(In French)  Le S.T.O. (loi du 16 février 1943)

(Includes English): Louis PESNEL’s account from Mémoires de guerre: WWII stories, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie

The 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Normandy

Felix A. Cizewski WWII Cherbourg photos

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-Bc

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