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Rescuing the Children By Vivette Samuel

Rescuing the Children
by Vivette Samuel

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A memoir by Vivette Samuel, a social worker and representative of OSE (Oeuvre de secours aux enfants, or Society for Assistance to Children), who saved hundreds of Jewish children in France from deportation to Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
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Rescuing the Children Summary

Rescuing the Children: A Holocaust Memoir by Vivette Samuel

The organization Oeuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE, or Society for Assistance to Children) saved thousands of Jewish children in France from deportation to Nazi extermination camps. These children were either hidden among non-Jewish families, placed in the 18 children's homes run by the OSE, or selected to escape clandestinely to the neutral countries of Switzerland or Spain. As a result of the efforts of the OSE and like-minded organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish, about 86 per cent of the Jewish children in France survived the Holocaust. One of the outstanding representatives of the OSE was Vivette Samuel, the author of this memoir. In her book, she describes how, at the age of 22, she accepted the position of resident social worker in the camp of Rivesaltes, set up by the Vichy government to intern foreign "undesirables". Her daunting task was to obtain the interned parents' written consent that would permanently separate them from their children so that the latter would live. In a period of six months, she was thus able to liberate nearly 400 foreign-born children from the camp. She brought to this job great intelligence, linguistic fluency and a character both deeply compassionate and steely in its resolution. She applied these qualities to the other tasks she performed for the OSE outside the camp after May 1942 and repeatedly risked arrest by the Gestapo. Elie Wiesel and Charles B. Paul were among the children helped by the OSE. Their contributions to this book are a tribute of gratitude to Vivette Samuel and her heroic colleagues.

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Rescuing the Children Reviews

"This testimony by Vivette Samuel is important not only because she describes dramatic events that took place during the occupation of France but also because she brings to light insufficiently known facts about an organization the uvre de secours aux enfants (OSE) whose devotion to human causes does honor to humanity. I confess that I read this book with a great deal of emotion, because I owe so much to the OSE. It was the OSE that, in June 1945, took charge of the four hundred "children of Buchenwald," [including me]." Elie Wiesel"

About Vivette Samuel

Vivette Samuel is retired from her career in social work and currently lives in Paris, France. Charles B. Paul, a historian, is professor emeritus in the Humanities Department at San Jose State University.

Additional information

Rescuing the Children: A Holocaust Memoir by Vivette Samuel
Vivette Samuel
Used - Good
University of Wisconsin Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine.