The Marcel Network: How One French Couple Saved 527 Children from the Holocaust

The Marcel Network: How One French Couple Saved 527 Children from the Holocaust

by Fred Coleman


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Syrian immigrant Moussa Abadi was only 33, and his future wife, Odette Rosenstock, 28, when they found themselves trapped in Nazi-occupied France. This young Jewish couple—he a graduate student in theater, and she a doctor—was poor but resolute. Risking their own lives and relying on false papers, the Abadis hid Jewish children in Catholic schools and convents and with Protestant families. In 1943, their clandestine organization—the Marcel Network—became one of the most successful operations of Jewish resistance in Europe. By the end of the war, 527 children owed their survival to the Abadis. Yet their improbable success came with almost unspeakable sacrifice. As an example of what just two people of good will can accomplish in the face of crimes against humanity, the Abadis' story is a lesson in moral and physical courage. Drawn from a multitude of sources, including hundreds of documents in the Abadis' archives and dozens of interviews with the now grown children they rescued, Fred Coleman tells the Abadis' full story for the first time. The Marcel Network also breaks historic ground, and reveals how the Catholic Church, French Christians, and Jews themselves did far more to save Jewish lives than is generally known.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612345116
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 11/28/2012
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,213,955
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Fred Coleman’s long career as a foreign correspondent included five years as Newsweek’s bureau chief in Paris and eight years as the magazine’s bureau chief in Moscow. In 1978 he won the Page 1 Award of the Newspaper Guild of New York for the best reporting from abroad for magazines. His first book, The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Empire, was published ’in 1996. Coleman and his wife, Nadine, live in Paris.

Table of Contents

1 Children 1

2 Moussa and Odette 5

3 The Bishop 13

4 The Pastors 19

5 Zazou 27

6 The Germans 35

7 Same Child, New Identity 47

8 Three Girls 53

9 The Convent 65

10 Boys 77

11 Switzerland 91

12 Close Calls 99

13 Odette Arrested 105

14 Moussa Alone 115

15 Auschwitz 123

16 Bergen-Belsen 133

17 Liberation 145

18 Reunions 153

19 Depression 167

20 Discreet 173

21 Drama 177

22 The Couple 187

23 Revelations 199

Epilogue 207

Acknowledgments 217

Notes 219

Selected Bibliography 229

About the Author 231

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