Survivor of the Holocaust

93 years old, Raymond Gurême, historical figure of the Gypsy community and former resistance and deported of the Second World War. He is a survivor of the Roma Genocide, escaping from nine concentration camps, and is a former member of the French resistance.

He was born in 1925 into a family of French Manush Travellers and was brought up on the road; following the circus around France and Belgium. He started training in the circus at the age of two, but it came to an end in August 1941 when French police placed him and his family in a concentration camp. This would be the first time Mr Gureme escaped from a concentration camp; using his acrobat skills he learnt from the circus. After escaping he stole food to throw back over the wall – keeping his family alive. Despite this he was soon recaptured and put in a different camp and lost his family, finding them again after seven years, in Belgium in 1952. He and his family then moved back to France.


When I met Raymond and I heard his story, I had tears in my eyes. Very inspiring human being. I was honoured to photograph such a very strong and inspiring character.

 
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Portrait of Raymond Gurême, Appleby Horse Fair, 2019

Gurême family. Raymond is the only one who survived the II World War and lives in France until now.