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There are a number of fantastic stories from World War II of people stepping up to hide Jews or protect them from the oppressive reign of the Nazi empire. Without these brave souls, many more Jewish lives might well have been lost. Heroes: Saving Jewish Lives from the Nazis chronicles one of these stories in an incredible docu-drama format. In this powerfully moving film, you will learn about the people from a remote area of France who, during World War II, worked together to resist the Nazis and their regime in order to save the lives of thousands of refugees and Jews.
In this story, you will meet people close to these stories to get firsthand accounts of how these people worked together to protect the Jewish people and stop the Nazis from killing thousands. World War II was a difficult and often terrifying time with many people willing to assist and aid the Nazis just so they could keep their own lives. However, there were many who stepped up to the call to protect these people who were being unfairly oppressed. Heroes: Saving Jewish Lives from the Nazis tells their stories and brings to light their bravery and compassion.
Heroes: Saving Jewish Lives from the Nazis chronicles the lives of the people living in Plateau Vivarais-Lignon, a mountainous area on the eastern edge of the French mountains. Just south of Saint-Etienne, it is a volcanic rock area that endures long and hard winters. This is the setting for our story – the place where one of the greatest Nazi resistances would take place. While we often know of stories like Corrie Ten Boom and her family, a group of Nazi resistors who would help hide Jews in a secret Hiding Place specifically designed for their protection, this is an often untold story. And yet it’s one that needs to be told, as it documents an incredible story of people standing up and not backing down, even when things looked grim.
There were several different groups of people working to put a stop to Hitler’s regime in Plateau Vivarais-Lignon, one of these being the CIMADE. This was an organization originally created in 1939 when a group of students from the Protestant faith came together to help some of the evacuees coming out of Alsace-Lorraine. The next year, it became more active in helping out those involved in internment camps near the Spanish border. As the war worsened over the years, the group became more involved in serving Jewish refugees and political evacuees. They were also extremely helpful in forming escape routes toward Switzerland, where people could escape and find freedom.
The Quakers were another group that had a very active part in helping the refugees during the second World War. Also a Protestant group, they lived out their actions. Not only condemning the war, they were determined to put a stop to it and work through actions. During the war, they worked to provide those who were in need with food, clothes, and any other help they might have required.
The O.S.E. was a division of the Jewish Russian Society founded in 1933 that worked to take care of and provide for the Jewish Children that the Nazis had persecuted and abused. While originally, it worked openly and publically, with the growing tension from Germany, it went underground. But despite its having to go private, they continued to work their hardest to provide for Jewish children. Unafraid of what the Nazis might do to them, they worked tirelessly to continue supporting the Jewish children.
Heroes: Saving Jewish Lives from the Nazis tells the stories of people, families, and groups just like these worked to make a difference during World War II.
Putting a Stop to the Nazi Empire
While the people of this town knew they couldn’t singlehandedly stop Germany and Hitler’s regime, they knew that they could have a big part in helping those affected by his regime. They welcomed all refugees and those who were lost into their town with open arms. They were willing to go against the Nazi law and take in refugees and harbor fugitives. There was no fear about who would find out or if they would get caught. They simply did what they knew was the right thing to do. Using their faith, they welcomed refugees in with open arms.
Churches were involved in protecting these people, different groups were willing to help them out, and even individual families worked tirelessly to provide for those who needed help. They knew that this war was going to bring bad tidings and they disagreed with the doctrine being preached by Germany. They saw that the Nazi law and God’s law could not coincide and since that was the case, they found no choice but to follow God’s law wholeheartedly.
A Message of Inspiration for all of us
This lesson we can learn from these people is a critical one, and Heroes: Saving Jewish Lives from the Nazis reminds us that we should always be willing to stand up for our beliefs, no matter the cost. These people knew very well that if they were caught, they could be sent to internment camps or even killed. They knew there was a very real risk in helping Jews and other refugees. But more importantly, they knew it was the right thing to do. This film will help you to recognize what you would do in this situation. Would you take in these Jews, knowing it could very well cost you your own life? Heroes: Saving Jewish Lives from the Nazis is a convicting documentary that will hopefully inspire you to take a stand for your own beliefs, no matter the consequences.
World War II brought some horrific changes that resonated throughout the globe. In the aftermath of this horrible war, we have seen stories of those who were willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to save others. Similar to the story of Corrie Ten Boom, the story of the people of Plateau Vivarais-Lignon is a powerful and moving testimony. With an encouragement and a reminder for selflessness, Heroes: Saving Jewish Lives from the Nazis is a terrific film that is well worth a watch.