High up in the mountains of the southern Massif Central in France lie tiny, remote villages united by a long and particular history. During the Second World War, the inhabitants of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and its parishes saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, Freemasons, communists, and above all Jews, many of them orphans whose parents had been deported to concentration camps.
Just why and how Le Chambon and its outlying villages came to save so many people has never been fully told. With unprecedented access to newly opened archives in France, Britain, and Germany, along with interviews documenting the testimony of surviving villagers, Caroline Moorehead paints an inspiring portrait of courage and determination: of what was accomplished when a small group of people banded together to oppose tyranny.
A major contribution to the history of the Second World War, illustrated with black-and-white photos, Village of Secrets sets the record straight about the events in Chambon and pays tribute to a group of heroic individuals for whom saving others became more important than their own lives.