Le Chambon-sur-Lignon

French commune
nomcommune=Le Chambon-sur-Lignon
maire=Eliane Wauquiez
intercomm=Communauté de Communes du Haut-Lignon
alt moy=1,000 m
alt mini=874 m
alt maxi=1,139 m

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a town and commune in the Haute-Loire "département" in the Auvergne "région" of southern France.

Primarily a Huguenot town, it became a haven for Jews fleeing from the Nazis during World War II.

World War II

With the leadership of a local minister André Trocmé and his wife Magda, beginning in 1942, the citizens of Chambon-sur-Lignon risked their lives to hide Jews who were being rounded up by the Nazi SS for shipment to the death camps. They were hidden in private homes, on farms in the area, as well as in public institutions. Whenever the Nazi patrols came searching, they were hidden in the 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."

In addition to providing shelter, the citizens of the town obtained forged identification and ration cards for Jews to use and then helped them cross the border to the safety of neutral Switzerland. Some of the residents were arrested by the Gestapo such as Rev. Trocmé's cousin, Daniel Trocmé, who was sent to Maidanek concentration camp where he was murdered.

It is estimated that the people of Chambon-sur-Lignon saved between 3,000-5,000 Jews from certain death. In 1981 the entire town was awarded an honorary degree - accepted on the town's behalf by Magda Trocmé - by Haverford College in Pennsylvania in recognition of its humanitarian efforts. In 1990, for their humanitarianism and bravery under extreme danger, the entire town was recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" by the government of Israel. A small garden and plaque on the grounds of Israel's Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust was dedicated to the people of Chambon-sur-Lignon. In 2004 French President Jacques Chirac officially recognized the heroism of the town, and in January of 2007 they were honored along with the other French Righteous Among the Nations in a ceremony at the Panthéon in Paris,. [ [http://www.eurojewcong.org/ejc/news.php?id_article=794 Jacques Chirac Honors French World War II Saviors] , European Jewish Congress, April 11, 2007.]


The town of Chambon-sur-Lignon is home to the Collège Lycée International Cévenol, a private boarding school founded in 1938 by local Protestant ministers André Trocmé and Edouard Theis.

Twin towns

* Fislisbach, Switzerland
* Meitar, Israel - since Movembre 9, 2006



* Aired in the USA by the PBS.
* A book for youngsters.

External links

* [http://www1.yadvashem.org/visiting/temp_visiting/temp_index_chambon.html Monument to Le Chambon-sur-Lignon] at Yad Vashem site.
*imdb title|id=0100905|title=Weapons of the Spirit
* [http://www.lecevenol.org/index.php?id=26 College-Lycee International Cevenol]

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  • CHAMBON-SUR-LIGNON — CHAMBON SUR LIGNON, French town. Located in the mountainous Haute Loire department of France, Le Chambon with its environs was for several centuries a stronghold of French Protestants, with a large representation of Calvinist Huguenots. Inspired… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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