A Por­trait of Paci­fists: Le Cham­bon, the Holo­caust, and the Lives of André and Mag­da Trocmé

Richard P. Unsworth; Peter I. Rose, fwd.
  • Review
By – September 14, 2012

In A Por­trait of Paci­fists, Richard P. Unsworth presents the life sto­ries of André and Mag­da Trocmé, detail­ing the couple’s well-known resis­tance efforts in Le Cham­bon, France, dur­ing World War II. The book begins in Gene­va late in the Trocmés’ lives, cir­cling back to explore André’s and Magda’s child­hoods in France and Italy respec­tive­ly, the rela­tion­ship between André’s Chris­t­ian reli­gious beliefs and his adher­ence to paci­fist ideals, and the impli­ca­tions of their paci­fist beliefs in their per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al lives, includ­ing André’s expe­ri­ences in the army and work­ing for the Rock­e­feller fam­i­ly in New York after the war. The Trocmés’ fam­i­ly life and André’s reli­gious work at var­i­ous parish­es in France, most notably Le Cham­bon-sur-Lignon, which became an impor­tant place for Jew­ish refugees who were in hid­ing or try­ing to escape from occu­pied France, are also explored. Draw­ing on the Trocmés’ own writ­ing, in addi­tion to pho­tographs, poet­ry, and draw­ings, A Por­trait of Paci­fists is a nuanced biog­ra­phy in which Unsworth con­tex­tu­al­izes the Trocmés’ pub­lic efforts in light of their per­son­al beliefs about the val­ue of human life. Abbre­vi­a­tions and terms, appen­dix, author’s note, chronol­o­gy, fore­word, index, ref­er­ences, sug­gest­ed reading.

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