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This is Leon Malmed’s true story of his and his sister Rachel’s escape from the Holocaust in Occupied France. When their father and mother were arrested in 1942, their courageous and heroic French neighbors volunteered to watch their children until they returned. Leon’s parents were taken first to Drancy, then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and they never returned. Meanwhile their downstairs neighbors, Henri and Suzanne Ribouleau, gave the children a home and family and sheltered them through subsequent roundups, threats, air raids, and the war’s privations. The courage, sympathy, and dedication of the Ribouleaus and others stand in strong contrast to the collaborations and moral weakness of many of the French authorities. Leon and Rachel each came to America after the war, but always kept their strongest ties to “Papa Henri and Maman Suzanne,” who were honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in 1977. Leon bares his soul in this narrative of love and courage, set against a backdrop of tragedy, fear, injustice, prejudice, and the greatest moral outrage of the modern era. It is a story of goodness triumphing once more over evil.
Holocaust, France, Jews, Nazis, collaboration, Righteous, Ribouleau
European History | European Languages and Societies | Jewish Studies
Malmed, Leon, "We survived … At last I speak" (2013). Zea E-Books. 14.