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January 13, 1937 | Paris, France
Manon's Christian parents lived in Paris. Roger Marliac, her father, originally from a wealthy family, supported his family by selling produce at small marketplaces. Margarit, her mother (called Maguy by her friends), had a university degree in science. The family lived in a large apartment in a fashionable neighborhood near the Eiffel Tower.
1933-39: Manon, the Marliacs' second child, was born in 1937. She was 2 years old when her father was drafted into the French army as the country mobilized for a possible invasion by Germany. Her mother, left with three children, poor health and no means of support, took a job in an airplane factory.
1940-44: France fell to Germany in June 1940. Manon arrived with a truckload of children in the town of Savigny-en-Veron in late 1942. She had been told that her father was a prisoner and that her mother had been killed in a bombing raid. Sometimes the Germans would search Savigny-en-Veron, and a man whom Manon called "Cousin Tain-Tain" would take her to the woods to hide. Manon would cry, but Cousin Tain-Tain would distract her by having her search for pheasants in the brush.
Manon survived the war but was never reunited with her parents. Some 50 years later she learned that her parents had also survived and that her mother had been a resistance fighter.