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“We Must Save the Children” — The Newly-Uncovered Story of the Heroic Railway Workers of Lille, France

June 4, 2023




On September 11, 1942, a spontaneous rescue action occurred in Lille, France. On that day, the Jews of Lille were arrested and brought to the railyard, from where they awaited deportation. The rail workers, realizing what was happening, created an instant rescue network to remove as many Jews as possible from the railyard, particularly the children, and spirit them to safety, right under the noses of the Nazi guards. The film Sauvons les enfants tells that remarkable story for the first time. In 2020 the station master was named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.


2022 winner of Best Documentary FilmFrench Cinema Critics Union

2022 winner of Best Documentary FilmHistoria magazine





June 2-5, watch the film Sauvons les enfants (We Must Save The Children) on your home device. A link will be provided to all who register.

⇒ Sunday, June 4 at 2:00 p.m. US Eastern Time, tune into the program with our distinguished panel of speakers.  A link will be provided to all who register.




Screenshot 2023-04-13 at 11.17.06 PMSauvons les Enfants (“We Must Save the Children”) is the latest of French director Catherine Bernstein‘s films on rescue and resistance during World War II. It won the Best Documentary Award at the Historia Journal and the French Union of Film Critics 2023. She also made three documentaries shot in Germany dealing with German guilt: Oma (Vic-Le-Conte Award), Sour Grapes (Jean Lodz Scam 2000 Award) and The Absent Ones. Murder of a Hatmaker, made in 2006, dealt with the plundering of the Jews by the Vichy government, winning awards worldwide. Her film Alan Turing, The Code of Life was made in 2015. Her film Fritz Bauer, a Prosecutor Against the Nazis was broadcast on Arte Télévision and won numerous awards.

Screenshot 2023-05-05 at 10.52.29 AMDr. Shulamit Reinharz (right), who will moderate the program, was born in Amsterdam and grew up in the United States with long stays in Israel. She earned her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from Brandeis University, both in sociology. She is the author of thirteen books, including American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise (Brandeis, 2005); Observing the Observer (Oxford, 2011); and One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life (Transaction, 2011). Her book, Hiding, about her father’s Holocaust experience, is forthcoming. In 2017, she retired from Brandeis and became Professor Emerita. She is a sought after speaker and interviewer and has participated in numerous Sunday programs of the Sousa Mendes Foundation.

Screenshot 2023-05-31 at 9.04.45 PMHistorian Dr. Susan Zuccotti (left) is the author of the groundbreaking book The Holocaust, the French and the Jews. She holds a PhD in Modern European History from Columbia University. She has won a National Jewish Book Award and the Premio Acqui Storia – Primo Lavoro for Italians and the Holocaust (1987). She also received a National Jewish Book Award and the Sybil Halpern Milton Memorial Prize of the German Studies Association for Under His Very Windows (2000) on Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. She has taught courses on Holocaust history at both Barnard and Trinity Colleges. She has appeared as a historical expert in numerous documentary films.


Registration for this program is closed.


June 4, 2023
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