a huguenot heart

beat in a rotting corpse endured the stench of cowardice
le chambon-sur-lignon shamed catholic vichy france
saved five thousand jews defied

collaborators germans joined the righteous
andré trocmé eduoard theis roger darcissac
pastors and teacher helped by rebel priests

villagers with folk memory of stout forebears
who died as galley slaves beyond marseille
discomfiting ghosts names mostly lost

to hollow pride and arrogance
now its left to foreigners to declare
respect to daniel trocmé gassed in poland

URL: www.mourne.org/huguenot.htm

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia): Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a town and commune in the Haute-Loire département in the Auvergne région of southern France. Population (1999): 2,834.
Primarily a Huguenot town, it became a haven for Jews fleeing from the Nazis during World War II.

With the leadership of a local minister André Trocmé and his wife, Magda Trocmé, 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."

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