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Q & A with… Pierre Sauvage

For most of his career, Sauvage has explored what he calls “the American experience of the Holocaust.” He is president of the Chambon Foundation, “the first non-profit educational foundation committed to exploring and communicating the necessary and challenging lessons of hope intertwined with the Holocaust’s unavoidable lessons of despair.” In 2005, the Varian Fry Institute was established as a division of the foundation. The Emmy Award-winning filmmaker will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 Fairfield University Holocaust Remembrance Program, on Wednesday, Apr. 27. He will screen scenes from his new film and from “Weapons of the Spirit,” which tells the story of the Protestant villagers of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, who defied the Nazis and saved Sauvage’s parents and many other Jews. Sauvage spoke with the Ledger about his work and how his own mysterious past has led to a lifelong pursuit to understand what makes a rescuer.
What impressed you about Varian Fry?
A: The Varian Fry story isn’t only important in terms of what it tells us about rescue and this particular mission, which was the most remarkable private rescue operation of the Nazi era…

Published in Connecticut Jewish Ledger on 4/12/11

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