By Vivette Samuel
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Extra resources for Rescuing the Children: A Holocaust Memoir
After all, it was only a question of a week in Barcelona. Hence, they encouraged me to leave. ” A reception committee brought us to an abandoned luxury hotel, which was without water and electricity and where I discovered what it means to be hungry. We had brought food from Paris (bread, coffee, chocolate), but when we reached the frontier, Spanish students who had come to meet us convinced us to leave everything to them; they would bring our possessions to our place of residence. We never heard of our possessions again.
A huge gulf separated me from them; I found it impossible to identify with these youngsters bound for the Promised Land. Resolutely French, I insisted on being secure in my identity. France was viscerally my country, nothing could separate me from it. Nothing? Only much later did I understand the meaning of the long road followed by these immigrants, despite the difﬁculties, traps, and restrictive quotas they faced. For the moment, I refused to identify with these youngsters, who, hardly older than I, had left an inhospitable fatherland.
A tone of humility permeates the book as Vivette Samuel recounts the success of saving lives. . ”5 This humility extends to lesser matters, as well, such as her linguistic ﬂuency (in French, Spanish, German, and English) and her ability to negotiate the byzantine complexities of the French bureaucracy. Although Mme. Samuel is unusually reticent about her remarkable efforts in rescuing children from death, she is forthright in denouncing those who, unlike the Righteous Gentiles, chose to do nothing.
Rescuing the Children: A Holocaust Memoir by Vivette Samuel