In this house opened by Sabine and Miron Zlatin, more than a hundred Jewish children were taken in from Spring 1943 to April 1944 in order to be saved from persecution. On the morning of April 6 1944, the 44 children and the 7 educators who were there were rounded up and deported on the orders of K. Barbie, one of the leaders of the Gestapo in Lyon. Maison d’Izieu became from then on, one of the first places of memory dedicated to the Shoah.
The story of the children is known in the whole world following the Nuremberg trial in 1945 and that of K. Barbie in Lyon in 1987. The latter was the first trial for crimes against humanity in France, thanks to the efforts of the Klarsfeld couple and numerous witnesses. The day after the trial, Sabine Zlatin and the former sub-prefect of Belley, Pierre-Marcel Wiltzer, started the “Musée-Mémorial des enfants d’Izieu” association. The French President, François Mitterrand, included the foundation of a museum dedicated to the children of Izieu in its ‘Grands projets” to make it: “A place of memory, education and life.”
Since the presidential decree of 1993, La Maison d’Izieu is, with Le vélodrome d’hiver and the Gurs internment camp, one of the three places of national remembrance of “victims of racist and anti-Semitic persecution and crimes against humanity committed with the complicity of the Vichy government known as the government of the French state (1940-1944).
The museum-memorial was opened in 1994 by the President François Mitterrand.
Its extension was inaugurated in 2015 by the President François Hollande.
Classified as a historical monument, the museum-memorial is one of the places of memory not to be missed to visit in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
On your arrival, it is a striking scenery that awaits you: the beauty of the place contrasting with its history. You will distinguish at the end of the road, the house with blue shutters. As you drive through the site, you can stop at the 1993 national monument and the commemorative plaques to pay tribute.
The house collects letters, drawings and photos, witnesses of daily life at the Colony from the spring of 1943 to the roundup of April 6, 1944. During your visit, you will go through the different rooms of the house: the classroom, the refectory, the dormitories…
The house is visited only accompanied by a mediator and by reservation. The visits take place at regular times. Consult the website. (Duration: 50 min)
Near the house, the museum is fully integrated into the former barn. The three spaces of the permanent exhibition and its many digital devices allow visitors to delve deeper and discover the historical context of the Second World War, the networks for the rescue of Jewish children, international criminal justice and the construction of memory today.
The building houses the bookstore, the documentation and research center, educational rooms and a gallery of original documents from unpublished collections. An exhibition is scheduled each year from April to October. (Duration: 2h to freely browse the permanent exhibition)
In addition to the visit of the house and the museum, a cultural and scientific program is organised throughout the year: temporary exhibitions, symposia, conferences, seminars, concerts, meetings of authors … Four commemorations per year invite people to gather: January 27, April 6, the last Sunday of April and July 16.
La Maison d’Izieu is today a welcoming place and a house of vigilance awakening that intends to deliver, through the memory of the children and educators of the Colonie d’Izieu, a universal message and to act against all forms of intolerance and racism.