They were snatched from two Jewish sisters who were lined up in the snow and sent to Nazi death camp Auschwitz – never to return.

And now the dolls which belonged to Denise and Micheline Lévy, who were aged nine and eight when they were brutally captured, have been donated to a Holocaust museum in Paris.

The two dolls, one pink and one blue, were left lying in the street after the sisters and their family were caught by gendarmes in Gemeaux, eastern France, in February 1944.

A village shopkeeper rescued the dolls and they were passed through three generations so the memory of the two young girls would be kept alive.

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Their tragic story will now be revealed to the world thanks to Frédérique Gilles, 38, who decided to hand over the dolls to the Shoah Memorial.

The teacher, 38, from the same town where the girls were arrested, was passed the dolls from her grandmother.

She revealed that she never played with the toys because she was aware of the story.

‘Our family tried to find out what happened to the two girls, but they never came back. We were unable to trace any relatives,’ Ms Gilles told the Telegraph.

She said it felt ‘wrong’ to hold onto the dolls – out of respect to the young girls.

‘It wasn’t easy to give them up but it was the best thing we could do for the memory of those little girls,’ she said.

Denise and Micheline along with their parents, grandparents, an aunt, uncle and cousin were deported from France months before the Liberation of Paris.

They had remained in hiding in Gemeaux for most of the Second World War.

The girls were born in Haguenau, Bas-Rhin, near Strasbourg and the German border, but they were arrested further west.

They were deported from France on 7 March, 1944.

During the war, French officials helped the SS round up tens of thousands of French Jews and take them to their deaths in the gas chambers.

The dolls will now go on display alongside thousands of objects – including a violin played by a prisoner at Auschwitz.

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