L'histoire héroique du Chambon-sur-Lignon pendant la guerre

Rédigé par Alain dans la rubrique Lieu de mémoire

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a town in the Haute-Loire in South Central France.During the war its inhabitants risked their lives to hide Jews that we being rounded up in the region by the Nazis and were being sent to concentration camps.

The old railway station
They were hidden in houses, public buildings, barns and in woods in the surrounding countryside. Once the German patrols had gone the locals would go out and sing a particular song and on hearing this the Jews would come out of hiding knowing that it was safe to return to the houses where they were being sheltered.
The people of the town also obtained forged papers and ration cards for them to use and aided their safe passage to the safety of neutral Switzerland. Some of the town's residents were arrested and sent to concentration camps themselves, some of them did not return.

It is estimated that the people of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon saved up to 5000 Jews from certain death. Recently I was sent a link to a moving and inspiring short film created by Martyn Cox, Alan Benns and Martyn Bell. The film will be used by teachers and is in French with a version with English subtitles soon. The film is an interview with Gérard Bollon, one of the curators at the museum installed at the old railway station at Le Chambon dedicated to the heroism of its people during the war.