By Tela Zasloff
This is often the tale of a Holocaust rescuer, Pierre Toureille, a French Protestant pastor whose efforts ended in the rescue of enormous quantities of refugees, so much of them Jewish. encouraged by way of his Huguenot history, Pastor Toureille participated in foreign Protestant church efforts to wrestle Nazism through the Thirties and headed a huge refugee relief association in Vichy France in the course of international conflict II. After the struggle, Pastor Toureille used to be venerated by way 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 participants of a non secular minority. Toureille’s rescue paintings less than the Vichy regime, in part respectable after which more and more clandestine because the warfare progrressed. was once an important a part of the French non-violent "spiritual resistance" opposed to Nazism.
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Additional resources for A Rescuer's Story: Pastor Pierre-Charles Toureille in Vichy France
It is also very bad to have to say that. I had preached often and seen a good deal of the church, . . and yet I had not yet become a Christian. The Bible and especially the Sermon on the Mount freed me from this. Since then everything has changed. . It became clear to me that the life of a servant of Jesus Christ must belong to the church, and it became even more clear, step by step, how that must come about. Then came the 1933 crisis. That strengthened me in this. Now I found others who shared this purpose with me.
I observed that in their commiseration there was less of softness and more of solemnity than in ordinary pity;—religious principle mingled with the impulse of humanity, and gave it a character more serious and august. There were no tears, no effusions, no complaints. A gloomy silence and a severe sort of virtue was observed by the hospitable hosts, and they received, in return, from the fugitives, but To Be a Huguenot 27 few expressions of gratitude. An immoveable attachment to the persecuted, a pious and heroic firmness, and a simple and unostentatious generosity distinguished all.
Brottes, risking her and her husband’s lives, came to one of my hiding places one day and offered me and my family her unselfish help. . She insured, by collecting items in the neighborhood, that we had enough food and clothing. And it was thanks to her that I could work as a tailor since she made a sewing machine available to me. Whenever we had to go into hiding she took the sewing to the customers and collected their payments for me. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Mme. Brottes for providing us with food and clothing packages during the six months we stayed in the concentration camps of Rivesaltes and Gurs in 1942.