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November 15, 2017
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12:10 p.m.

The Kupferberg Holocaust Center
Queensborough Community College | CUNY
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364

Remembering the Good:
Holocaust Rescue and Resistance in a French Village
Campus Lecture
Jewish youth who are living at the La Guespy refugee home in Le Chambon, France, pose in the snow. <i>US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Elizabeth Kaufmann Koenig</i>
Jewish youth who are living at the La Guespy refugee home in Le Chambon, France, pose in the snow. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Elizabeth Kaufmann Koenig

From 1939 to 1945, the villagers of the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon, France, hid, protected, and ultimately rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis at great peril to their own lives. Their nearly unparalleled actions during the Holocaust are part of this community’s long history of taking in persecuted outsiders of diverse backgrounds. Anthropologist Dr. Margaret Paxson will discuss her nearly completed book on how this community handled the shelter of outsiders.

Dr. Margaret Paxson is an anthropologist and author of The Plateau: Vivarais-Lignon and the Search for Our Better Angels, forthcoming at Riverhead Books. Her essays have appeared in the Washington Post, the Washington Post Magazine, Aeon, the Wilson Quarterly, and die Zeit, and her last book, Solvyovo: The Story of Memory in a Russian Village (2005), was named a 2006 “Book of the Year” by She has appeared on BBC Radio, Dialog television, and other broadcast media. Dr. Paxson holds a BA in anthropology from McGill University and an MA and PhD in anthropology from the University of Montreal. She has held research appointments at the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum and George Washington University. A native of Rochester, New York, Dr. Paxson has had a lifelong interest in community-building and peacebuilding, and was a coordinator for Rochester’s Biracial Partnerships, an innovative program that sought to build lasting bridges between the city’s racial communities. She is fluent in Russian and French and also has skills in Kabardian, a language of Russia’s North Caucasus region.

This event is made possible by the Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, supported by the Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund.

Dr. Kierra Crago-Schneider

Please note that the Museum may be recording and photographing this event. By your presence you consent to the Museum's use of your image.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
The Mandel Center supports scholarship and publications in the field, promotes the growth of Holocaust studies at American universities, fosters strong relationships between American and international scholars, and initiates programs to ensure the ongoing training of future generations of scholars.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Rescue
Despite the indifference of most Europeans and the collaboration of others in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, individuals in every European country and from all religious backgrounds risked their lives to help Jews.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Le Chambon-sur-Lignon
From December 1940 to September 1944, the inhabitants of the French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon (population 5,000) and the villages on the surrounding plateau (population 24,000) provided refuge for an estimated 5,000 people.
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Watch: Peter Feigl’s Diary
Born in Berlin in 1929, Peter Feigl moved with his parents to Prague and Brussels before they ended up in southern France in 1940. In 1942, Peter was at a Quaker summer camp when his parents were arrested.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: France
During the interwar period, France was one of the more liberal countries in welcoming Jewish immigrants, many of them from eastern Europe. Thousands of Jews viewed France as a European land of equality and opportunity and helped to make Paris a thriving center of Jewish cultural life.
Learn More