Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust

By Carol Rittner; John K. Roth | Go to book overview

19
Magda Trocmeé

. . . A poor woman came to my house one night, and she asked to come in. She said immediately that she was a German Jew, that she was running away, that she was hiding, that she wanted to have shelter. . . . And I said, "Come in."

MAGDA TROCMÉ

With winters that are long and harsh, Le Chambon is a mountain village in south-central France. Since the sixteenth century, it has been predominantly Protestant, an anomaly in Catholic France. Many of the villagers are descendants of Huguenots who fled to this high plateau so they could practice their Protestant Christianity with out fear of punishment. But persecution persisted. Some people and pastors of Le Chambon were hanged or burned at the stake for fidelity to the biblical principles that gave meaning to their lives.

Far from weakening their faith, such persecution--and the memory of it-- produced a strength that gave the hardy folk of Le Chambon a close-knit solidarity. That solidarity manifested itself when France was occupied by Nazi Germany. Le Chambon became "a haven from public horror," but not in the way that Claudia Koonz used those words to describe the "ersatz goodness" of Nazi homes. In Le Chambon, the goodness was real. It sheltered Jews--some five thousand of them-- and other refugees who were fleeing, to use Koonz's words again, "the masculine sphere of brutality, coercion, corruption, and power" of Nazi Germany.

In "The Courage to Care," Magda Trocmé describes her late husband, André, the Protestant minister and spiritual leader of Le Chambon during World War II. André Trocmé was "a very impressive man," she says, "interesting and genuine, original." The words Madame Trocmé uses to describe her husband fit her as well.

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Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • ALSO BY CAROL RITTNER AND JOHN K. ROTH ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps and Photographs ix
  • Preface xi
  • Prologue Women and the Holocaust 1
  • General Suggestions for Further Reading 20
  • Chronology 22
  • Part One Voices of Experience 35
  • Notes 39
  • 1: Ida Fink 40
  • 2: Etty Hillesum 46
  • Notes 57
  • 3: Charlotte Delbo 58
  • 4: Isabella Leitner 65
  • 5: Olga Lengyel 69
  • 6: Livia E. Bitton Jackson 73
  • 7: Pelagia Lewinska 84
  • 8: Charlotte Delbo 99
  • 9: Gisella Perl 104
  • 10: Olga Lengyel 119
  • 11: Anna Heilman and Rose Meth 130
  • Notes 134
  • Notes 141
  • 12: Sara Nomberg-Przytyk 143
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 149
  • Part Two Voices of Interpretation 155
  • Notes 159
  • 13: Gisela Bock 161
  • Notes 179
  • 14: Marion A. Kaplan 187
  • Notes 207
  • 15: Sybil Milton 213
  • Notes 237
  • 16: Vera Laska 250
  • Notes 267
  • 17: Gitta Sereny 270
  • Preface 271
  • 18: Claudia Koonz 287
  • Notes 304
  • 19: Magda Trocmeé 309
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 317
  • Part Three Voices of Reflection 319
  • Notes 323
  • 20: Irena Klepfisz 324
  • 21: Charlotte Delbo 328
  • 22: Ida Fink 332
  • 23: Deborah E. Lipstadt 349
  • 24: Mary Jo Leddy 355
  • 25: Rachel Altman 363
  • Notes 372
  • 26: Joan Ringelheim 373
  • Notes 400
  • Appendices 406
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 419
  • Epilogue - Different Voices 421
  • Notes 426
  • Glossary 427
  • Index 431
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