People Against Fascism

2021-02-27   |   by CusiGO

Erich Schwarm has never forgotten qianbang on the banks of the lignon river. Austrian French widower pharmacists are always conservative. So many that few people know its origin. Only when he announced that at the age of 90, after his death in December, he had bequeathed all his property – nearly 2 million euros – to chaben, could anyone know his past, and by the way, this village on the upper Loire River, in the most terrible Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War, He took in thousands of Jewish children and rescued them from deportation. Among them is Schwarm himself, who, as before, has taken in Spanish Republicans fleeing Francoism.

This attitude makes Lecha, as the local people say, the 2500 Protestant town in the south of Lyon, the only place in the world that is collectively recognized as national justice by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, together with niulam in the Netherlands. The news of Schwarm’s legacy has had such a strong response.

“Maybe it’s because of the current environment,” said Denise Vallat, the cultural vice mayor of this inaccessible place, on a plateau 1000 meters above sea level. For centuries, it has been an ideal refuge for 17th century Huguenot persecutors or diehard priests during the French Revolution. At the end of the 19th century, it became a rest Center for children from poor families in southeast France, who were placed in shelters and farms in the region. As a result, Chabang had an infrastructure that, after the Nazi occupation, with the help of international associations and networks of Protestant priests, such as another bazaar, Andr é trocm é, he was able to shelter Jewish children and Spanish Republican children in exile.

“It’s a beautiful country, a bit serious,” Albert Camus wrote when he came to Chamberlain in the fall of 1942 to supplement his home with a familiar lung disease. As the progress of the war prevented him from returning to Oran, the future Nobel laureate for literature finally lived in chaben for a year. That’s where the plague ended. He made a mistake. The philosopher Paul Ricoeur, who was the mentor of President Emmanuel macron, taught at the prestigious cenvenol Institute, where Erich schwam finished high school – one of the few refugees who did not leave after the war – before studying pharmacy in Lyon. Camus’ stay partially coincides with Schwarm’s, who arrived in Lecha in February 1943 at the age of 12, according to the first data collected by walat and local historian Gerald Bolen.

Varat, a retired history teacher, and Bolen have begun to learn as much as possible about Schwarm, and his legacy will be dedicated to, according to his wishes, “Youth Action” in the field of education. “What he left us was a lifetime effort, not a lottery, so it’s very important to let the villagers know who did it,” varat explained.

But tracking his life is almost a detective task, because he “didn’t leave any letters or information.”. At their home outside Lyon, they found a manila paper envelope with the words “Austria, old newspaper”. These old passports and documents enable people to trace Erich Schwarm and his parents, Oscar and Marcy, from their hometown of Vienna to Brussels, where they left after Austria was annexed in 1938 and ended up in the Gul and rivesart concentration camps in France, where thousands of Republican exiles crowded. Varat and Bolen also found that Oskar schwam, a doctor, had worked at the obstetric hospital in Elna, Switzerland, near the detention camp, where more than 50 Spanish babies were born. In 1942, a Swiss mother nurse successfully prevented the Schwarm family from being expelled to Delancey. Marshal petan’s cooperative regime detained the Jews before they were sent to the Nazi concentration camp. A year later, she sent Qian Bang to Erich and his mother.

“His family journey is very symbolic, and many other families pass through it,” valat said. It has been confirmed that “nearly 2000 people – mainly children, but also families or individuals – have passed through chaben and its surrounding areas. This allows us to estimate that, in fact, there are 2500 to 3000 “Jewish refugees,” varat said. In addition to that, there were Spanish exiles who arrived in the region during the civil war, especially since 1939.

One of them is the future secretary of Josep tarradelas, Lluis “Pepito” gausachs. On June 29, 1943, he collapsed in the worst attack on Chambon, attacking Maison des Roches, one of the homes of Jews and other refugees. Eighteen young people were arrested, including five Spaniards, few of whom survived. Cossacks was released because he saved a drowning German soldier a few days ago.

Another Spaniard rescued was Antonio plazas, the son of a Republican anarchist in Barcelona, who came to Chabon from rivesaltes at the age of 18 and eventually took classes with Rico in sevino. In the memory of the local people, there is another very special place – another Spanish Juliet Usak. In 1939, the Catalan Protestant doctor was appointed to run a house that initially housed Republican Women and children, although she would take care of many Jewish children who came to Chabang from 1941.

As historian Bolen recalled with deep emotion and sadness, the name of the “outstanding woman” appeared on the list of Chabang justicians at the Memorial Center that opened in 2013, next to the schools where all the rescued children attended, They often mislead the authorities with false identities. Today, the children of 50 asylum seekers are studying in the same classroom, waiting for papers in the town.

Because the “miracle of silence”, as described by Bolun, is a collective action of all the people who have never spoken or denounced the refugees or those who take them in. It will continue in this village. In a few decades, this village will also provide shelter for Tibetan children sent by the Dalai Lama. Or the people on board (Vietnamese refugees) and the Iranians who fled the Islamic revolution of 1979. Never show off. Walat said that this kind of sober performance has a respected tradition in Qian bang, until today: “no street or building is named after a person or figure like de Gaulle.” Generous as you are, there will be no Schwarzenegger street. In qianbang, pregnancy is priceless and there are no prizes.