Her Story

Francine Ajzensztark Taylor was born in 1928 in Karczew, Poland. In 1931, her father, a tailor, moved his family to Paris to escape Polish antisemitism. He became involved with the French Underground during World War II and was killed at Auschwitz following his arrest.  Francine, Suzanne, and their mother, Germaine Königsberg Ajzensztark, survived by hiding in rural France and using false identification papers. After the war ended, the women returned to Paris, where Francine and Suzanne found work at Orly Air Base. Francine met Harry Taylor, an American serviceman, while working at Orly, and, in 1949, the two became engaged and returned to the United States. They eventually settled in Charleston, South Carolina, with their two sons.

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Francine Taylor

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These are Francine's false Christian ID papers that she used to hide in France. She received them at the end of 1943 in Graulhet, France. Her friend Annette's father, Monsieur Lautard, secured the papers for her. He ran the town newspaper and had access to City Hall, so he looked up birth certificates of real people who lived far away and matched their descriptions so if the Nazis looked it up, they would believe them. He made up papers for Francine, her sister, and her mother, along with many other Jewish families. Monsieur Lautard also hid two Jewish boys, Maurice Rubinsztein, who became Annette's husband, and his Maurice's brother Jacques, because he couldn't find birth certificates to match them.