On August 15, 1942, André Trocmé, a Pastor hiding Jews in Le Chambon sur Lignon in France, vehemently articulated his opinions to Georges Lamirand, a Vichy minister, who demanded that the pastor cease his activities. His response was clear-cut:
“These people came here for help and for shelter. I am their shepherd. A shepherd does not forsake his flock… I do not know what a Jew is. I know only human beings.”
Neither the authorities’ pressure nor the security agents’ searches diminished the resolve of the Trocmés and their team, and their activity did not cease throughout the Holocaust.
From Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and trust:
When in June 1940 France was occupied and the Vichy regime was formed, Trocmé urged his congregants to shelter persecuted fugitives of “the people of the Bible.” In so doing, he followed in the footsteps of Guillon, who had educated the congregation in this spirit. This policy and the generosity of spirit of many congregants made Le Chambon and the surrounding villages a unique refuge in France, where many Jews, children and entire families, survived the war.
André Trocmé, his wife Magda and nephew Daniel were all recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations, Israel’s highest honor designated for Holocaust heroes.