HEROINES OF VICHY FRANCE: RESCUING JEWISH CHILDREN DURING THE HOLOCAUST

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Lecture Theatre 102, Napier Building, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide.

Australia

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Lecture by Paul R. Bartrop, Professor of History, Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, Florida Gulf Coast University

In the Haute-Savoie region of southeastern France during World War II, young Jewish resisters—mostly women in their early 20s who either knew or knew of each other—risked their lives to save Jewish children from the Holocaust. In 1943 they were given the mission of smuggling Jewish children to Switzerland, and collectively they would save hundreds of children. In this lecture, Professor Paul Bartrop will discuss the actions of these rescuers. From their base in the foothills of the French Alps, working beneath the noses of German officers and Vichy French police and helped by righteous Catholics and Protestants, they dodged German patrols and got the children past barbed wire barriers erected to keep them out. Focusing on just these few young women, Professor Bartrop shows how the Holocaust’s impact could be mitigated through smuggling children across the border, with rescue serving as a form of resistance in which the saving of lives was as much a priority as the defeat of the Nazis.

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Lecture Theatre 102, Napier Building, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide.

Australia

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