By Tela Zasloff
This can be the tale of a Holocaust rescuer, Pierre Toureille, a French Protestant pastor whose efforts ended in the rescue of thousands of refugees, such a lot of them Jewish. encouraged by way of his Huguenot history, Pastor Toureille participated in overseas Protestant church efforts to strive against Nazism in the course of the Nineteen Thirties and headed a massive refugee relief association in Vichy France in the course of international conflict II. After the warfare, Pastor Toureille was once commemorated by means of the Jewish association Yad Vashem as one of many "Righteous one of the Nations." In telling Toureille’s tale, Tela Zasloff additionally depicts the wide-ranging community of Protestant pastors and lay humans in southern French villages who participated in an competitive rescue attempt. She delves into their motivations, together with their history as individuals of a non secular minority. Toureille’s rescue paintings below the Vichy regime, partially legit after which more and more clandestine because the struggle progrressed. was once a vital a part of the French non-violent "spiritual resistance" opposed to Nazism.
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Extra resources for A Rescuer's Story: Pastor Pierre-Charles Toureille in Vichy France
Toureille spoke confidently of the hand of God who guided his own fate and determined his future. He said of his experience working with soldiers: “You would find it hard to believe how much the memory of these young men, who died for my sake, and yours, inspires me. ” He refers to November 11 as a date of special significance, commemorative of the War (World War I) and also of the present consecration of a son of that War. ” He remembered well how often he made her cry, but also knew how, each time, she turned to God to express her misery and powerlessness.
Marc Toureille accounted for an affinity between Huguenots and Jews this way: One of the reasons my father saw so clearly what Hitler was about was because my father was a French Huguenot. We have a history of persecution for 400 years. The persecution is over but it stays with us. That’s how we were drilled. You know what it is to be a minority. ” And you’re told why you’re different. We have a kind of empathy with those who are persecuted. The Jews were the same, in the same place where we used to be.
She spoke of the code words the pastors used when they were sending Jewish refugees to each other’s parishes. Often it was, “I’m sending you three Old Testaments,” and sometimes it was in Morse Code on the lyrics of a songbook page. She claimed that, despite the presence of convalescing German soldiers in the village center (who might have even been aware of the secret hiding and feeding going on around them), no villager betrayed the others’ rescue efforts. There was one French militiaman who denounced one Jew, and that informer was shot, probably by the local Résistance.
A Rescuer's Story: Pastor Pierre-Charles Toureille in Vichy France by Tela Zasloff