5,000

 

During World War II, starting in the winter of 1940-41, in and around the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered…by 5,000 Christians.

The Protestant Huguenot villagers, mostly poverty-stricken themselves, protected the Jews at the risk of their own lives. Every home took in Jews, fed and protected them, right under the noses of the Gestapo. They were often hidden in the countryside when the authorities came to investigate. For four years they defied the Nazi régime and a French government that was collaborating with the Nazis. The citizens of Le Chambon sheltered these strangers, educated their children, and arranged for hundreds to flee to Switzerland or Spain via an intricate, wooded, underground escape route.

True to their beliefs, some citizens of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon penned a letter to the Nazi-influenced Vichy government, feeling spiritually obligated to admit that they were indeed sheltering Jewish refugees. They were clearly defiant in their determination to protect them – “We feel obliged to tell you that there are among us a certain number of Jews…whose only fault is to be born in another religion…We have Jews. You’re not getting them.”

No resident of Le Chambon, it is believed, ever turned away or betrayed a single Jewish refugee.

            “I do not know what a Jew is.  I know only human beings.”
André Trocmé, the Huguenot pastor of Le Chambon


5,000

They were welcomed

  Given shelter and refuge
  Without hesitation.
O
n the edge of violence.

Protected, without question
  Given food and a future
  At the risk of everything
I
n open defiance.


One life saved, f
or every hero.
From a man.
From a horrific plan.
From a power, aimed for zero.

Five thousand.
Spared a hateful demise.
Five thousand.
Strong and assured.
Five thousand.
Sharing one single purpose.
Five thousand.
  And no one said a word.


Hiding strangers

Sharing what little they had
 Without hesitation
For a number of years.

A beacon of hope
  Sharing an indomitable spirit
  Without reservation
A
nd despite their fears.


One life saved, for every hero.
From a man.
From a horrific plan.
From a power, aimed for zero.

Five thousand.
Hidden amongst them.
Five thousand.
Their c
onviction, silently heard.
Five thousand.
Sharing one selfless will.
Five thousand.
And no one said a word.


An immaculate deception, in the face of the enemy.

To do what was right.
For the preservation of life.
Committed, as one, to one humanity.

 

                                      


Happy are those hungry and thirsty of justice…for they will be satisfied.”
-André Trocmé

SAME

SAME

Eyes wide openIMG_20150330_112911[1]
Looking over at me
Awake in the wake.
        More beautiful
        More expressive
        More than I can take.

That same dream
The same image
         just as clear.

The same realities
The same memories
         find me here.


Still you are gone
Never coming back

Sadly taken away.
        Hard to accept
        Hard to understand
        Hard to even say

The same nightmare
That same visionbed - Copy
        of the very end.
The same horror
The same memories
         to comprehend.


Shock and disbelief
Second-hand news
First-hand pain.
        Taking my time
        Taking my sleep
        Taking me back again.

The same heartache
The same dream
         of once was.
The same nightmare
The same memories
        The same just because.

(more…)

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