Sarah's Key by: Tatiana de Rosnay

Alissa Coyle

Dear whoever might be reading this,

This little girl that is in this picture is me. My name is Sarah. Sarah Dufaure.

This is from when I was a young little girl, not an old lady that has had to be old for far too long now. Having to grow up young has taken it's toll on me. This is from when I was happy. Now I'm not. I'm dealing with pain that is uncontrollable. I can't stop the pain any longer.

By the time that somebody finds this, I will be gone. Long gone. I'm sorry that I let go. I couldn't seem to hold on any longer though.

I made this box so that way maybe people could understand a little better. So they could realize a little more and how hard it really was for me to continue on living after going through what I did when I was younger.

The picture above tells about the location of where I lived, and then also the time period of when I lived. The location was in Paris. This black and white picture is of Hitler in Paris.


The reason for this being in the memory box is because it was such a big part of my life.

I held onto this key for the longest time. It was always with me. I didn't ever want to let it go. I couldn't let it go. I was always going to be a part of me.

..He will always be a part of me.

Letter #1

Dear Michel,

I wanted you to come with me, but at the same time I wanted you to be kept safe. I hope that we get to come home soon. I really just want to come back home and not be here anymore, and instead have all of our family together instead of all separate.

I can't wait for the day that I get to see you again. I hope that if we don't get to come home sometime soon, that somebody good would come and rescue you out of the cupboard and take care of you until we come back and get you.

Take care and I'm trying to get out of here, but it's kind of hard. I love you.



Paris, July 1942- French police come to our family apartment, and tell us to pack up and come with them. I thought I was coming home soon, and so I locked my little brother in a secret cupboard and kept the key, promising to come back for him when we are released.

My family and 13,000 other Jews are forced to walk to the Vel d’hiv and stay there for 3 days in inhuman conditions with no food or water.

My parents and I are taken by train to Beaune-la-Rolande, an internment camp.

My parents are forced to leave me, and get on a train leading to their sure deaths at Auchwitz. All the children are told that they will meet up with their parents later, which, of course, is lie.

Myself and another girl named Rachel escape from the camp.

Genevieve and Jules, an old couple from a nearby town, allow the us to stay in their home.

Rachel is terribly sick with dysentery, so Genevieve and Jules call a doctor to come. The doctor suspects that she has escaped from the camp, and later that night sends the Germans to collect her and bring her back to camp. I hide and they don’t find her.

Jules, Genevieve, and I take a train to Paris to try and save my brother. When we get there, another family has moved into my house, and my brother is dead in the cupboard.

I live with Jules and Genevieve for a while, and then leave to the US and lose contact with them. I later get married and have a son named William. I don’t tell William about my past. But my past haunts me, and one morning, I plan on purposefully crashing my car and killing myself.

Star of David

This was my Star of David which I wore on my uniform while in the concentration camp and on all of my other clothes.

This was who I was. Who I was recognized as.

I was a Jew and my momma told me that I should be proud of it. It was hard to be though, because I was being tortured and there were thousands and thousands of people being killed because we were Jews.

Letter #2

Dear Mom and Dad,

It doesn't seem like I'll ever be seeing you again. I'm writing a letter to dead people. Dead people who never deserved to die.

I wish I could talk to you again. If you do somehow see this, I want you to know that I am safe. An old couple took me into their house and are allowing for me to stay here and are feeding me and taking care of me. It makes me miss you guys. Just know that I am being taken care of and that you don't need to worry about me.

I understand why you didn't tell me about everything that was going on in our country, even though it would've been nice to know what to expect exactly.

I'll never understand why just for being a Jew that all of the people have to be mean to us. You deserve to be alive. You really do.

Maybe I'll see you again one day..


Eiffel Tower Keychain

Put this in here because it tells of my hometown. Of the place I had lived my whole life until the age of 18. I thought everything about this place was fine until I started hearing bits and pieces of my parent's whispers late in the night when they thought that I was asleep.

Letter #3

Dear William,

I'm sorry that neither your mom nor I told you about what happened when your mom was younger, but I'm glad that you have now found out. Your mom had wanted to just start a new and fresh life when she moved over to the United States, and so she did just that and didn't feel a need to tell you about too much of her past for it was a tough story.

Please forgive us for not telling you and please stay in contact with Ms. Julia Jarmond and Mr. Edouard Tezac.

Again, I am sorry and I hope that you continue to learn- you will do good in life.


Personal Reaction

Dear William,

I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your mother (and father). I got the opportunity to look at your mother’s memory box and I was stunned. Stunned at the life that she lived and the things that she went through and her just overcoming all of the trials that she faced, even though there was one that was a bit more difficult for her to get over, and I don’t feel like we can say that she actually did get over that one. The one that lived with her the rest of her life starting from such a young age.

I don’t think I will ever forget Sarah and her story. She has an unforgettable story. How she went on living her life amazes me. I couldn’t ever imagine finding one of my brothers like she found her own brother.

She has a story that is remarkable. It’s remarkable because it’s different. It’s something that I’ve never heard before.

Because of it’s such difference, it’s something I’ll remember for a long time. It’s something that I’ll probably share with others because she was an amazing women.

You’re lucky to have had a strong mother like yours was.

Thank you,

Alissa Coyle