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Latest update : 2017-03-31

Video: 'If I ever come back', a French schoolgirl's letters from the Holocaust

"If I ever come back" tells the tragic story of Louise Pikovsky, a French schoolgirl who was deported and died at Auschwitz. Using long-forgotten letters Louise wrote to her teacher, a FRANCE 24 reporter spent months researching the life of the "French Anne Frank" to find out who she was and what happened to her.

In 2010, a collection of wartime letters and photographs was discovered in an old cupboard at a high school in Paris. Forgotten for years, the letters were written by a former student, Louise Pikovsky, to her beloved schoolteacher during World War Two.

The last note dates to the day in 1944 when Louise and her family were arrested at their home. Father, mother and all four children were imprisoned in the Drancy internment camp near Paris before being deported to Auschwitz. The Pikovskys never came back.

When FRANCE 24 journalist Stéphanie Trouillard found out about the letters, she decided to help Khalida Hatchy, a teacher and librarian at the school, delve into Louise’s story. Starting with the girl's writings and photographs, they were able to track down witnesses, cousins and former classmates from her time at the lycée Jean de La Fontaine. Through months of research, they pieced together fragments of her life, and were able to shed light on the circumstances of the family’s disappearance.

More than seventy years after Louise’s untimely death, this report finally gives a voice to a talented young girl who was unable to fulfil the bright future she deserved.

Click here to see our special web documentary about Louise Pikovsky.

By Stéphanie TROUILLARD , Claire PACCALIN-WILLIAMS

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