The exhibition Save the Children, 1938-1945, planned and created by OSE and presented in Hebrew at Beit Lohamei Hagetaot, the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum since July 2015, describes the paths of ten Jewish children who were hidden in France and rescued during World War II. The period of occupation and the Vichy French government’s disgracefully infamous collaboration with the Nazi regime are illuminated with personal and archival photographs, documents, and testimonial accounts. The stories of Jewish children hidden and rescued by underground organizations remain largely unknown. This is the saga that the OSE Society and the GFH Museum have chosen to tell, and in so doing give voice to those rescued children, orphans of the Holocaust.
In describing the routes of these children who were offered protection by OSE in its residential-educational homes and then were hidden by other institutions or private individuals until the war’s end, the exhibition “Saving the Children, 1938–1945” also highlights the activities of the rescuers, who belonged to several resistance organizations. These hidden Holocaust orphans, the children whose stories are brought to you here, are grandparents today. They survived the Holocaust and built their lives anew after the war. They re-learned how to live and raised families throughout the world: in France and all of Europe, but also in Israel, the U.S.A. and even Australia. The story of their survival and building new lives bears a message of hope.
The exhibition was officially inaugurated on February 15th in the presence of Serge Klarsfeld and His Excellence Patrick Maisonnave, Ambassador of France in Israel. Katy Hazan, the OSE historian, a specialist of the rescue networks during the period of the Occupation and curator of the exhibition offered a guided tour. On this occasion, a commemorative plaque in honor of Daniel Trocmé, named Righteous Among the Nations for hiding Jewish teenagers in Chambon-sur-Lignon, was also unveiled.
Serge Klarsfeld spoke of his work and its role in the recovery of the memory of deportation; Jean-François Guthmann, president of the OSE, spoke about the association, its development and evolution today. Were also present, Patricia Sitruk, Executive Director of OSE, Francis Neher, Treasurer of the OSE, Claude Grundman-Brightman, a member of the steering committee of the Museum and Dr. Anat Livne, Director of the Museum.
The son of George Loinger, great resistance fighter, and Solomon Malmed, a child saved by OSE had, too, made the trip.
This exhibition was organized with the support of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah.