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

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

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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.

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