Four Christian Responses to Jewish Suffering during the Holocaust (C. S. Lewis, Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, André and Magda Trocmé)
Chapter 5. André and Magda Trocmé
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ANDRÉ AND MAGDA TROCMÉ
“Aimez-vous les uns les autres.” (Inscription above the doors of the Trocmés’ church in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France)
Protestant Pastor André Pascal Trocmé and his beautiful, courageous wife Magda repeatedly and unreservedly risked their lives to rescue and protect Jews during the Holocaust. They represent the highest point of compassion and justice on my spectrum of responses to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. Their exemplary response had numerous inner motivations which will be explored in this chapter: (1) they always viewed Jews as human beings in an environment that communicated daily, via propaganda and force, that they were less than human; (2) the Trocmés had themselves suffered the horrible early deaths of their own mothers and understood the lifelong devastating effect this could have on Jewish children whose parents were deported; (3) the Trocmés believed in and obeyed the Great Commandment inscribed above their Protestant church’s door in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon (“Aimez-vous les uns les autres.” [“Love one another.”]); (4) the Trocmés had themselves experienced a form of “homelessness,” André as a child refugee on a Belgian farm, after having been forced to evacuate his home in St. Quentin in northeastern ← 117 | 118 → France during World War I, and Magda in her strict, austere Italian Catholic boarding schools, while feeling unwanted by her father and new stepmother; (5) both were committed pacifists filled with passionate energy to fight Hitler’s evil through loving and protecting the people he...
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