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A Portrait of Pacifists: Le Chambon, the Holocaust, and the Lives of André and Magda Trocmé (Religion, Theology and the Holocaust) Kindle Edition
This biography tells the story of André and Magda Trocmé, two individuals who made nonviolence a way of life. During World War II, the southern French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and its surrounding villages became a center where Jews and others in flight from Nazi roundups could be hidden or led abroad, and where children with parents in concentration camps could be nurtured and educated. The Trocmés’ courage during World War II has been well documented in books and film, yet the full arc of their lives—the impulse that led them to devote themselves to nonviolence and their extensive work in the decades following the war—has never been compiled into a full-length biography.
Based on the Trocmés’ unpublished memoirs, interviews, and the author’s research, the book details the couple’s role in the history of pacifism before, during, and after the war. Unsworth traces their mission of building peace by nonviolence throughout Europe to Morocco, Algeria, Japan, Vietnam, and the United States. Analyzing the political and religious complexities of the pacifist movement, the author underscores the Trocmés’ deeply personal commitment. Regardless of which nation was condoning violence, shaping international relations, or pressing for peace, and regardless of whose theology dominated the pulpits, both André and Magda remained driven by conscience to make nonviolence the hallmark of their life’s work.
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About the Author
- ASIN : B00BSR9RO4
- Publisher : Syracuse University Press; 1st edition (27 April 2012)
- Language : English
- File size : 4890 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 358 pages
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Andre Trocme was that rarest of all human beings, an intellectual with a strong practical streak. He wasn't one simply to ask: "What do we all think?" He would quickly move on to "What are we going to do?" He preached pacifism in France when it was illegal to do so. From 1942 to 1944 he was the leading figure in a program to conceal Jews from the Vichy authorities and later the German occupiers. At the time this was not only illegal but invited arrest, deportation and death. He was brave, wilful, impulsive, charismatic and self-assured. However without his wife Magda, the ever practical networker, sceptic, organizer and manager, his high ideals might never have been so effectively realized.
The importance of this book is that it places the Trocmes accurately in context. Previous authors have tended to portray the Trocmes as the sole force for good on the Plateau. But Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, where Trocme was pastor, was but one of 12 villages involved in the rescue, and Andre Trocme was but one of at least a dozen clergymen, mostly Protestant but including some Catholics, who organized the shelter of Jews. He was indisputably the most important figure, but he did not act alone. The heroes and heroines surely included the extraordinary people of the Plateau, who risked everything by offering their spare rooms and barns for the rescue project. They asked for no reward beyond the knowledge that they had made the morally correct decision. Andre Trocme led by providing inspiration: literally thousands of ordinary people joined him in taking the ultimate risk. It is to Richard Unsworth's great credit that he gets all this right: Andre and Magda Trocme are well served by this book, but so are the people of the Plateau.
A fine book. Read it.