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Le Chambon sur Lignon

(4.8/5 based on 75+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: museums, shopping, theme parks
Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France.Residents have been primarily Huguenot or Protestant since the 17th century. During World War II such residents made the commune a haven for Jews fleeing from the Nazis. They both hid them within the town and countryside, and helped them flee to neutral Switzerland. In 1990 the town was one of two collectively honored as the Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in Israel for saving Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. The other town awardee was the Dutch village of Nieuwlande.World War IIWith the leadership of local minister André Trocmé and his deputy pastor Edouard Theis, the citizens of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon risked their lives to hide Jews who were being rounded up by the Nazis and the collaborationist Vichy regime and sent to the death camps. They hid the Jews in private homes, on farms in the area, as well as in public institutions. Whenever the Nazi patrols came searching, the Jews were hidden in the mountainous countryside.After the war, one of the villagers recalled: "As soon as the soldiers left, we would go into the forest and sing a song. When they heard that song, the Jews knew it was safe to come home." The situation took a more tense turn when the Germans invaded the South Zone in 1942. Local people continued to protect the Jews in open defiance of the authorities. For instance, they gave Vichy Youth Minister Georges Lamirand a petition against the deportation of the Jews when he visited the village in 1942.
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