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Liberation Reunion and Journées Mémoires du Plateau
in Chambon-sur-Lignon (June 2004)
The Chambon Foundation was proud to be associated with the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in hosting our June 11-13 “Liberation Reunion,” following the 60th anniversary of D-Day. In France, our event was primarily known, untranslatably, as the Journées Mémoires du Plateau (or JMP).
Pierre Sauvage (center, speaking) and Mayor Francis Valla were among those who addressed the gathering
For those of us who had the good fortune to survive in the area of Le Chambon during World War II, this was the first reunion since 1986. It was about time! There were over a hundred of us, and some of us came with children and grand-children. Along with other visitors and local participants, several hundred of us exchanged memories,
There were also opportunities to visit two locations that could play important roles in the future memory of Le Chambon. In the very heart of the village, Chambon Foundation/Amis du Chambon headquarters at the carrefour (the crossroads) continues to host a temporary exhibit on the war years in the area, and inaugurated an exhibit this summer of Le Chambon-related paintings by Hans Beutler, a former rescue worked in the village. Just two minutes down the street is the uniquely suited old farmhouse which could be turned into the Chambon Museum and a centerpiece for an area-wide museum complex. The village's historic railroad station is also being renovated this summer, and will now include a small exhibit center.
Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, with farmhouse in foreground that could become Chambon Museum; renovated Le Chambon railroad station;
local headquarters of Chambon Foundation in the heart of the village
Prior to the event, we expressed the hope that the event would be the occasion for some relaxed meals together and with the local population, a pleasant stroll or two, some new memories for the future, and the discovery or rediscovery of a very special corner of the world. The happy consensus was the gathering was all this and more.
“The memory of the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance,” we are admonished. If ever we needed the memory of Le Chambon, is it not now?
Invitation letter (in French) from M. Francis Valla, Mayor of Le Chambon-sur Lignon
Mayor Valla's letter--English translation
Translation of letter from His Excellency Nissim Zvili, Ambassador of Israel
Most of the information on this reunion is currently only in French :
Remarques de Pierre Sauvage le 11 juin 2004 à l'inauguration des Journées Mémoires du Plateau
Réforme (17 juin 2004) : L'Hommage aux Justes par Bernardette Sauvaget
Réforme (17 juin 2004) : L'Américain [sic] du Plateau par Bernardette Sauvaget
C.R.I.F. : Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, un îlot d’humanité
Programme des Journées Mémoires du Plateau
La Tribune/Le Progrès (14 juin 2004) : Journées Mémoire [sic] du Plateau—Place aux Historiens (avec corrections)
Contribution de Pierre Sauvage au Journal du Chambon (juillet 2004)
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© Copyright 2004, Chambon Foundation. All rights reserved. Revised: May 20, 2010