Many of us have heard of Oskar Schindler, of Schindler’s List fame. This German industrialist saved thousands of Jews during World War II, through a combination of bravery and guile. Less well-known, but equally remarkable, is the story of a small French village that saved thousands more.
Le Chambon-sur-Lignon sits in a remote part of south-central France, and was settled long ago by French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution.
This history of persecution and distrust of authority led the villagers to oppose the wartime Vichy government. They refused to cooperate with the regime, refused to take an oath of allegiance to leader Marshall Pétain, and refused to ring church bells in his honor. Villagers also opposed the government’s anti-Jewish policies, seeing the Jews as a fellow persecuted religious minority.
Led by a charismatic pastor, they banded to together to save thousands of Jews, despite the enormous risk. It is a remarkable tale of bravery.
Read all about it in France Today!