Conspiracy of Goodness:
How French Protestants Rescued Thousands of Jews During WWII
The little-known rescue in Le Chambon and its surrounding villages is one of the most awe-inspiring 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 those who fled there―regardless of religious or ethnic background.
Despite the extreme danger of this effort, the resolute people of Le Chambon and the Plateau Vivrais-Lignon felt that it was the right thing to do, did it without hesitation, and said they would do it again.
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.
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.
We would like to acknowledge the following people and benefactors who contributed to this exhibit:
Dr. Dan Leshem, Executive Director of the KHC, Marisa Hollywood, Assistant Director, Allison Belfer, Paul Kutner, Robyn Schwartz, Soham Chakraborty, Kaitlyn Cicciariello, Chotan Sen, Alison Avery, Sean Simpson, Nicholas Caccese, Consolidated Edison, Inc., Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Yad Vashem, Archives Zurich, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon Memorial Museum, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum