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Banishing The Coercion of Despair: Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and the Holocaust Today
Abstract

From 1940 to 1944 on the plateau Vivarais-Lignon in southern France, several thousand relatively isolated mountain people risked their lives and those of their children by sheltering thousands of refugee Jews from the Nazis and French police. We now know a great deal more about what happened on that plateau than when Philip Hallie wrote his famous Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed. Without rejecting Hallie's brilliant ethical analysis of the nonviolent rescue mission, this article takes into account twenty years of historical research unavailable to Hallie in 1979. Finally, it elucidates what we can learn from these French peasants and other rescuers about creating a world in which another Auschwitz would be unthinkable.