DeSaix, Deborah Durland and Karen Gray Ruelle. 2007. Hidden Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered From The Nazis in Le Chambon.
In Southern France, there was one place of refuge that Jews could find safety--relatively speaking in World War II--a place where the people had open hearts and minds. A place where "loving your neighbor" was actually applied daily. This mountain of refuge was Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. Every village and farm on the mountain, every family, did their part in the rescuing of Jews. They provided food, shelter, schooling, and compassion for children and teens. Hidden Mountain is the story of some of those children and some of those rescuers. The authors recorded many interviews, spent countless hours talking with witnesses, gathering invaluable primary resources, creating an important legacy for us all. Much of the book is told through these oral histories, lightly edited, and the rest is thoroughly researched accounts/summaries that provide key background information. The book is well-researched; it's informative; it's interesting.
Imagine having to leave your home suddenly, with only one small suitcase and no more. Imagine being told that you can't say goodbye to your friends, and that you have to leave behind your pets and all your treasured possessions. Imagine walking out of your home, not knowing if you'll ever see it again.
Now imagine that your parents are more frightened than you've ever seen them before. You've seen terrible things, and you're frightened too. Imagine that your parents are powerless to protect you or even themselves.
Maybe you and your family have to board a train, along with huge crowds of other people, and travel far away. Or maybe your family has been torn from you and you are all alone. You have no idea where to go or what will happen next.
Many children in Europe had just those experiences during World War II. Many of them died. But some children were lucky, and they found a safe place to hide while the war raged on around them. Several thousand children were sheltered in the little village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and the surrounding area in southern France. In this book, we tell the true stories of some of these children. Each one came to Le Chambon on a different path from a different place. Each one found a safe haven among the inhabitants of the plateau. Each one has a different story.