Experience: Le Chambon Sur Lignon

Giselle Feldman
“Town in southern France whose inhabitants protected some 3,000 - 5,000 Jews from the Nazis between 1941 and 1944. The rescue activities that took place in Le Chambon were initiated and led by the town's pastor, Andre Trocme, and his wife Magda. Trocme encouraged his constituents to assist Jews who were fleeing the Nazis, by hiding them in their private homes and farms. Other Jews were given refuge in children's homes and public institutions within Le Chambon. Some were smuggled over the border into Switzerland. Volunteers from Le Chambon, such as Pastor Edouard Theis, took these Jews on dangerous journeys through French towns and villages. Upon arrival at the Swiss border, they handed the Jews over to Protestant volunteers on the other side.  

“A cousin of Pastor Trocme named Daniel Trocme was the director of a children's home in Le Chambon. In that capacity, he rescued many Jewish children. However, he was found out by the Germans in June 1943 and sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp, where he perished. Andre Trocme was also arrested, but he was released. After the war, Andre Trocme, Daniel Trocme, Edouard Theis, and 32 other  inhabitants of Le Chambon were designated as Righteous Among The Nations by Yad Vashem.”

Yad Vashem
Accessed on July 25, 2011

Jewish children sheltered by the Protestant population of the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. France, 1941.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Accessed on July 25, 2011

View of Le Chambon, where most of the village's Protestant population hid Jews from the Nazis. Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, date uncertain.