Hermann-Joseph Draer, known in the village of Saint-Mélany (Ardèche) by the given name André, was born on the 27th November 1920 at Luckenwalde (province of Brandenburg, Germany). His parents, native to a region of Poland annexed by the U.S.S.R., had settled in this town the previous year.
In 1929, they left Luckenwalde to settle in Paris where they were issued with papers as Russian refugees.
Under the German occupation almost the entire family, whether settled in France or remaining in the U.S.S.R., was deported and exterminated. Only Hermann’s family (parents, two sisters and a brother reassembled in Toulouse) and escaped the roundup of suspects.
In his writings Hermann Draer recounts how, from towns to villages, in the south of France, his movements took him to Saint-Mélany, where he at last found the refuge that allowed him to live out in safety with his family the last phase of the occupation.
He died in April 1982. His ashes were placed in the cemetery of Saint-Mélany.