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May 29, 1981 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-05-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday; May 29, ; 1981

THE DETROIT JEWISH, NEWS

College Cites French Village
for Saving Jews During War

HAVERFORD, Pa. — In
an unusual ceremony,
Haverford College recently
conferred an honorary de-
gree on an individual repre-
senting an entire town in
France whose villagers
helped save 2,500 Jews from
Nazism between 1940 and
1944.
The college, which has a
Quaker heritage, presented
an honorary doctor of laws
degree to Magda Trocme
who accepted it on behalf of
3,000 residents of Le
C aThon, in the remote
mountainous region of
southern France.
The role of the Chambon-
nais in this dramatic his-
toric episode escaped the
notice of historians for
nearly four decades and
only came to light recently,
said Bernard Lowenstein, a
member of the honorary de-
gree selection committee of
the college.
It remained for Philip
Hallie, Griffin Professor
of Philosophy and
Humanities at Wesleyan
University, to relate the
story in "Lest Innocent
Blood Be Shed," pub-
lished in 1979.
Hallie's research reveals
that in the winter of 1940-
1941, Burns Chalmers, an
American Quaker aiding
war victims in France, and
Andre Trocme, the late
husband of Magda Trocme
and pastor of the Protestant
village of Le Chambon,
agreed on a plan to save
Jewish children whose par-
ents had been deported to
concentration camps.
The inaccessibility of Le
Chambon rendered it a de-
sirable sanctuary for such
an operation; its terrain was
rough and only one train a
day passed through the
town.
The Chambonnais ac-
cepted the charge as a prac-
tical solution to a desperate
situation. After the French

armistice with Germany in
1940, France was divided
into the Occupied Zone in
the north, administered by
Germans, and the Unoccu-
pied, or Free Zone, to the
south.
Centered in Vichy, the
Unoccupied Zone was
governed by French
Marshal Phillippe Pe-
tain whose forces gener-
ally embraced the anti-
Semitism of the German
Nazis and, in some in-
stances, exceeded them
in cruelty to the Jewish
citizens of France. Fol-
lowing the Nazi pattern,
the Vichy government at-
tempted to incarcerate
all the Jews in France.
Despite the surveillance
of Vichy police and the ges-
tapo, and with little regard
for their own safety, the vil-
lagers of Le Chambon from
1940 to 1944 concealed,
cared for, and eventually
led to safety some 2,500
Jewish men, women, and
children who sought refuge.
Moreover, they absorbed
refugee children into their
homes and schools and edu-
cated them for the duration
of the war.
Because of its close prox-
imity to the railroad station
where refugees arrived
daily, the presbytery that
housed Andre and Magda
Trocme served as a
clearing-house for the oper-
ation. As the wife of one of
the chief organizers of the
mission, Magda Trocme
contributed to the effort in
every way.
She greeted refugees at
the door, fed and clothed
them, and through clandes-
tine meetings with the
townspeople, helped deter-
mine with whom they
should stay. A teacher of
Italian at the local Cevenol
School, mother, and
helpmate, "she was an effec-
tive gatekeeper for a city of
refuge," Hallie observed.

JEWISH NATIONAL. FUND
Cordially Invites You to Attend The
TESTIMONIAL DINNER

Honoring
DAVID and MARION HANDLEMAN

For the purpose of establishing the
DAVID and MARION HANDLEMAN FOREST

on the occasion of
THE 80th ANNIVERSARY OF
THE JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
KEREN KAYEMETH LEISRAEL.

Wednesday evening, June 24, 1981
at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue
27375 Bell Road, Southfield

Cocktails, 6:00 p.m./Dinner, 7:00 p.m.

Contribution (including dinner):
per couple (Minimum) $150.00

HUC Honors Wallenberg

NEW YORK — Raoul
Wallenberg, the missing
hero of the Holocaust who
saved 20,000-50,000 Jewish
lives in Hungary during
World War II, will be hon-
ored with the 1981 Roger
Joseph Prize of the Hebrew
Union College-Jewish In-
stitute of Religion.
The prize, which carries a
$10,000 award, will be pre-
sented to Wallenberg in ab-
- -tia at the college's an-
1 ordination ceremonies
on Sunday in New York.
Wallenberg's sister, Mrs.
Nina Lagergren of Stoc-
kholm, will accept the prize
on his behalf. The award
will be used to carry on the
work of a commission
formed to investigate the
circumstances of Wallen-
berg's disappearance and
his subsequent fate at the
hands of the Soviet Union.
In addition to the
awarding of the prize,
honorary Doctor of
Humane Letters degrees
will be conferred on civil
rights leader Bayard
Rustin and Alfred Kazin,

author and critic.
A total of 22 rabbis — 12
men and 10 women — will
be ordained by the college.
Six cantors — five men and
one woman — will be in-
vested.

Guest Speaker
Paul Zuckerman

Philanthropist of international
stature: World Chairman, United
Jewish Appeal: Member of the
board of the Jewish Agency.
Recipient of many awards
including the Fred M. Butzel
Memorial Award for distin-
guished communal service, and
two honorary Doctorates.

Yiddish Works
at TAU Library

TEL AVIV — The dedica-
tion of a new collection of
Yiddish literature and cul-
ture, the Ben Zion and Pearl
Margulies collection of Yid-
dish literature, was held re-
cently at Tel Aviv Univer-
sity's Elias Sourasky Cen-
tral Library.

The Yiddish library, do-
nated by William Mar-
gulies, of London, and Dr.
Alice Shalvi, who lives in
Jerusalem, in memory of
their parents, was dedicated
with an initial collection of
3,500 Yiddish publications
from all over the world, in-
cluding many autographed
editions, among them works
autographed by Shalom
Asch.

Dinner Chairman
Alan E. Schwartz

Co-Chairman
Leonard N. Simons

Honorary Chairmen

Mrs. Morris Adler
Mr. & Mrs. Louis Berry
Mr. & Mrs. Morris J. Brandwine
Mr. & Mrs. Irwin I. Cohn
Dr. & Mrs. I. Jerome Hauser
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph H. Jackier
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Milan

Dr. & Mrs. Harold T. Shapiro
Mr. & Mrs. Max M. Shoye
Mr. & Mrs. Philip Slomovitz
Mr. & Mrs. Max Stollman
Mr. Phillip Stollman
Mr. & Mrs. David P. Zack
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Zuckerman

President, Jewish National Fund Chairman Special
Projects Committee
of Greater Detroit
David B. Holtzman
Ruben H. Isaacs

Executive Director
Percy Kaplan

For Information and
Reservations call:

27308 Southfield Rood
Southfield, Mich. 48076
Phone 557-6644

Director of Publicity
Ceil Niger Rudo

11

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