Difficult return

Once they have alighted, they are not allowed to leave the station. They have to go to the exit in a group under the supervision of their guard, Max. Having found out by some means that the deportees were about to arrive, lots of people are milling around in front of the station in the hope spotting a family member amongst the arrivals.

— Alfons C.



Everyone then headed off to the house. When his wife’s family came to visit, Alfons had to explain what he had experienced “abroad”.








The reunions were not always very warm-hearted. It was as if the person had turned into a stranger and the welcome was confined to a handshake.

Alfons’ son did not know what attitude to adopt : was it because he had not shaved for three days or he looked so very different to the way he was when he left. Before he went away, Alfons weighed 64 kilos and 52 when he returned ! His clothes were also different.

— Alfons C.


The next day, Alfons started checking the shop materials. The counter, the scales and shelves had been sold. Several of his books had also disappeared and all their savings had been spent.












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