November 15, 2017
From 1939 to 1945, the villagers of the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon, France, hid, protected, and ultimately rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis at great peril to their own lives. Their nearly unparalleled actions during the Holocaust are part of this community’s long history of taking in persecuted outsiders of diverse backgrounds. Anthropologist Dr. Margaret Paxson will discuss her nearly completed book on how this community handled the shelter of outsiders. Dr. Paxson, whose first book, Solvyovo: The Story of Memory in a Russian Village, was named a 2006 “Book of the Year” by Salon.com, is a Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Using the archive collection of the USHMM oral histories and other official records, this scholar offers a comprehensive and fascinating narrative of an entire community effort towards resistance and rescue, the effects of which both resonate and remain celebrated today.