Curator’s Statement

The little-known rescue in Le Chambon and its surrounding villages is one of the most awe-inspiring stories of World War II, not just for the courage these devout Christians displayed while protecting thousands of Jews, but for the humility with which it took place.

Together, in the face of Nazi oppression, these brave townspeople of south-central France provided refuge in their homes and on their farms to anyone who fled there—regardless of religious or ethnic background.

Following their own long history of persecution, the faithful Protestants of this mountainous region chose to protect the Jews, their fellow “people of God,” with inspiration and leadership from Pastors André Trocmé and Édouard Theis, who preached tolerance, pacifism, and spiritual resistance.

Despite the extreme danger of this effort, the resolute people of Le Chambon and the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon felt that it was the right thing to do, did it without hesitation, and said they would do it again.

The empathy, morality, and selflessness of this story is epitomized by the Bible verse that is permanently engraved above the doorway of the 400 year-old Protestant church in Le Chambon: “Aimez-Vous Les Uns Les Autres”— “Love One Another.”

–Cary Lane, Ph.D. Curator-in-Residence

EXPLORE THE EXHIBIT & SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Timeline

Trace the history of Le Chambon and the Plateau from the early 17th century Huguenots, through the Nazi occupation, resistance, and finally liberation in 1944.

Timeline

Journey

Learn about Hanne and Max Liebmann’s unique story of survival. Use this interactive map to follow their journeys from arrest and deportation through rescue and refuge.

Journey

Reflect

Share your responses to the experiences of those sheltered in Le Chambon. Help future visitors gain a deeper understanding of the impact of this extraordinary village.

Reflect

Videos

Learn about the experience of surviving and growing up in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon during World War II by hearing directly from survivors, rescuers, and scholars.

Videos