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For Teachers and  Educators: The History of the Jews in France under the Vichy Regime

For Teachers and Educators: The History of the Jews in France under the Vichy Regime

A free one-day workshop for teachers and educators organized by Mémorial de la Shoah. This workshop is certified by the state for 0.5 credits. This workshop will provide historical insight from Jacques Fredj, Executive Director of Mémorial de la Shoah; Pierre Sauvage, filmmaker and founder of Chambon Foundation; and Leon Malmed (from Lake Tahoe), a French American child survivor of the Holocaust.

Educator credit will be contingent upon attendance of the workshop in its entirety.

Registration is required.

Visit the exhibit, Hélène Berr: A Stolen Life, through April 31 at the Northwest Reno Library. For more information about the exhibit and other related programs, please visit www.washoecountylibrary.us/heleneberr

Saturday, March 11, 2017
8:00am - 5:00pm
Northwest Reno Library
Community History
Registration has closed.

About the Workshop

Morning Sessions

Collecting Archives of the Holocaust: from the CDJC to the Mémorial de la Shoah
A lecture by Jacques Fredj, who will give a broad historical context and introduce the Mémorial de la Shoah’s mission since the creation of the CDJC, the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation, in 1943.

The Vichy Regime: an Exception in WWII
A lecture by Jacques Fredj on the History of the Jews in France under the Vichy Regime. He will also present the Mémorial de la Shoah’s exhibition “Hélène Berr, A Stolen Life”, The Journal of Hélène Berr, and the film by Jérôme Prieur Hélène Berr, A Young Woman in occupied Paris as tools for the teaching of the Holocaust.


Boxed lunches and beverages will be provided.

Afternoon Sessions

Weapons of the Spirit
A lecture by Pierre Sauvage, who will introduce and screen his film Weapons of the Spirit (short version, 35 min). While 76,000 Jews of France were deported with the collaboration of the Vichy Government, 75% of the Jews of France survived the Holocaust, largely thanks to the French population. Weapons of the Spirit evokes a chapter of the rescue of the Jews of France, reminding us of the exceptional history of this small village Chambon-sur-Lignon, located in Haute Loire, which took in and saved 5,000 Jews.

We Survived... At Last, I Speak
A lecture by Leon Malmed, who survived in hiding with his sister Rachel near Paris under the Vichy Regime. He will tell their wartime experience with Henri and Suzanne Ribouleau, Righteous Among the Nations, who sheltered them throughout the occupation. After the presentation, he will be available to sign his book in English, Spanish or French – all proceeds go to organizations that support the families and children of Holocaust Survivors in need.

About the Presenters

Jacques Fredj holds an advanced degree in History from the University of Paris, France. In 1992, he was appointed as new Director of the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation. He became Executive Director of Mémorial de la Shoah at its inauguration in 2005. Fredj is also responsible for the creation of the Mémorial de la Shoah in Drancy, a new building which was inaugurated in September 2012; he is the curator of the permanent exhibition for this new space, located accross the street from the Cité de la Muette, former internment and deportation camp for the Jews of France. Fredj is the curator of numerous exhibitions and the author of publications in France related to the history of the Holocaust. The prestigious publishing house Gallimard recently published his important study: “History of the Jews of France, From the Middle Ages to the Holocaust.” Fredj also wrote “Drancy, an Internment Camp at the Gates of Paris,” which was published in French and in English by the Edition Privat in 2015.

Leon Malmed is a French/American child survivor of the Holocaust. Born in Compiègne in 1937 to immigrant parents from Brest-on-Buc, Poland, his childhood was marked by the German occupation and the subsequent persecution of the Jews. He will tell the story of his and his sister Rachel’s escape from the Holocaust in Occupied France. When their parents Srul and Chana were arrested on July 19, 1942 (two days after the infamous Vel d’Hiv Round Up), they begged their French neighbors “to watch the children until we return.” Leon’s parents were taken first to Drancy’s internment camp near Paris before being deported ten days later to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and they never returned. Meanwhile their downstairs neighbors, Henri and Suzanne Ribouleau, gave the children a home and family, and sheltered them through subsequent roundups, threats, air raids, and the war’s privations. The courage, sympathy, and dedication of the Ribouleaus and others stand in strong contrast to the collaborations and moral weakness of many of the French authorities. Leon and Rachel each came to America after the war, but always kept their strongest ties to “Papa Henri and Maman Suzanne,” who were recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in 1977. This is a narrative of love and courage, set against a backdrop of tragedy, fear, injustice, prejudice, and the greatest moral outrage of the modern era.

Pierre Sauvage is a French/American documentary filmmaker and lecturer, who was a child survivor of the Holocaust and a child of Holocaust survivors. Described by Tablet Magazine as “a filmmaker of rare moral perception,” Sauvage is the President of the Chambon Foundation, which he founded in 1982, the first educational
foundation committed to “exploring and communicating the necessary and challenging lessons of hope intertwined with the Holocaust’s unavoidable lessons of despair.” He is best known for his feature documentary, Weapons of the Spirit, which tells the story of the “conspiracy of goodness” of a mountain community in France that defied the Nazis and took in and saved five thousand Jews, including Sauvage and his parents. Sauvage himself was born in this unique Christian oasis—the area of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon—at a time when much of his family was being tortured and murdered in the Nazi death camps. Weapons of the Spirit won numerous awards upon its initial release in 1989. An updated 25th-anniversary edition of the film will be released in Fall 2014, along with his new documentary, Not Idly By—Peter Bergson, America and the Holocaust. Sauvage is also in post-production on the feature documentary And Crown Thy Good: Varian Fry in Marseille.