From early childhood, horse riding was Béatrice de Camondo’s greatest passion. She was an outstanding horsewoman, and took part in top level show jumping competitions. From September to late spring, she hunted in the forest of Halatte, near Senlis, with the “Par Monts et Vallons” hunting club, where she made her closest friends.

In 1920, she married the musician Léon Reinach, son of Théodore Reinach, a renowned Hellenist and numismatist, a member of the Institut de France and the owner of the Villa Kerylos on the French Riviera. In 1920, when their daughter Fanny was born, they lived in the mansion at 63, rue de Monceau; at the birth of their son Bertrand in 1923, they moved to Boulevard Maurice Barrès in Neuilly.

Béatrice de Camondo, 1933
© Photo Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris

When war broke out, Béatrice had no thoughts of moving; with no regard for caution, she continued to ride every day in the Bois de Boulogne and to take part in show jumping competitions. She and her daughter were arrested in 1942, at the same time as her husband and son, who had crossed into the Free Zone: the whole family was interned in Drancy. During their long stay in this camp, Béatrice was put in charge of the “infants’ section” for a while, and Léon was “group leader.”

Léon, Fanny and Bertrand were deported to Auschwitz on November 20, 1943, on convoy 62. Béatrice was deported on convoy 69, which left on March 4, 1944.

None of them ever returned.

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