of the Gulag
© Micheline Herc Micheline’s grandfather
© Micheline Herc Her maternal grandmother, Sarah Model, with her son, David, before the First World War
© Micheline Herc Micheline Herc’s great-grandfather in Karlsbad, 15 August 1921
© Micheline Herc Micheline Herc’s paternal great-grandfather
© Micheline Herc Szloma, Micheline’s father, and his brother Gutek, 1920s. Gutek died in the Warsaw Ghetto
© Micheline Herc Szloma, Micheline’s father, on horseback in Warsaw, 1924
© Micheline Herc Letter sent in 1931 to Micheline’s mother (Evgenia Model) and her sister (Marie Model)
© Micheline Herc Micheline’s mother’s work certificate in France, 1932
© Micheline Herc Micheline’s parents just before their marriage, 1932
© Micheline Herc Szloma , Micheline’s father around 1932
© Micheline Herc Szloma and Evgenia, Micheline’s father and mother, in Warsaw, 1934
© Micheline Herc Evgenia, Micheline Herc’s mother and her daughter in Warsaw, May 1938
© Micheline Herc Evgenia, Micheline Herc’s mother, May 1938
© Micheline Herc
© Micheline Herc
A Russian, Polish and French past
Before the Second World War, Micheline Herc’s family lived between Moscow and Warsaw. Her parents completed their studies in France, where they met, then went back to Warsaw, where they married and decided to stay. The members of the family were businesspeople or industrialists: Mikhail Model, a Russian, close to the Mensheviks, was vice-chairman of all-Russian industries until 1922 and possessed three factories in Kharkov and Kiev. He emigrated to Danzig in 1922, where he continued as an industrialist. Josef and Sonia Herc (Hertz), the paternal grandparents. Josef worked in the fur trade with links to London, with her father who had made a success of his business. They were killed in Treblinka.
Micheline Herc’s father was born in Warsaw, Poland, and her mother in Kursk, Russia.
Gutek, one of Micheline Herc’s paternal uncles, born in 1911, was an international lawyer in London, but returned to Warsaw in 1940 to help his parents and was killed in the ghetto. Marian, her eldest uncle, was deported.
On her mother’s side, David, Micheline’s great-uncle, stayed on in Moscow, where he was the senior director of GUM. Sima, her great-aunt, was in the battle for Leningrad. Marie Rosenberg, on the other hand, Micheline’s maternal aunt, left for France at the same time as Evgenia, Micheline’s mother, to study business (in 1924-25). Then she stayed on in France.