A collection of photographs from the children’s home in Villette-d'Anthon
After the end of World War II, a castle in Villette-d’Anthon, near the French city of Lyon, became the site of a children’s home, which belonged to the Hanoar Hazioni movement. Dozens of children, the majority war orphans, were brought to the home.
The Massuah Archives houses a unique collection of photographs of these children, as well as documents and certificates. In many cases we do not know who the children are or what became of them. Others were identified by the archives’ staff with the kind help of the “children” themselves, who came to us and identified themselves and their friends.
In November 2010 Shlomit Tamir visited the archives. She came in order to collect research material relating to the life story of her mother, Hava Margolin. She knew that her mother had spent time in the children’s home, and therefore visited our archives. While viewing the photographs, Shlomit fixed her gaze on a photograph of two children wearing festive clothing, who were looking straight into the photographer’s eyes. The photo was part of a similar collection, and it was clear that they had been taken by a professional photographer. However, it was not clear whether the photos had also been taken in Villette-d’Anthon. Shulamit’s visit resolved all doubts: she phoned her mother who well remembered the occasion and even described in detail the dress she was wearing. This was a photograph of Hava and Yaakov, her younger brother.
Another group of photographs from the children’s home can be found on the website in Yona Weiss’ story, see Family Story.