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Andrée Geulen, Savior of Jewish Children in Wartime, Dies at 100

Andrée Geulen, Savior of Jewish Children in Wartime, Dies at 100

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Describing the separations in her testimony recounted within the Queens College exhibition, Ms. Geulen spoke of how onerous it was “to tear a baby away from his mom and never inform her the place we had been taking him, and to have her cry and cry, ‘Tell me at the least, solely inform me, the place you’re going to take him?’”

“If I’d had youngsters then, I don’t know that I may have executed it,” she stated.

Each baby was given a brand new identify: Sarah turned Suzanne, Moses turned Marcel. But younger youngsters usually didn’t perceive what was mistaken with their actual names, or why they couldn’t inform strangers that they had been Jewish. One time, Ms. Geulen recalled, she was on a practice with a lady she was smuggling to security when one other passenger requested the woman her identify. The woman turned to Ms. Geulen and requested, “Should I inform her my new identify or my actual identify?” Luckily, the passenger was not sympathetic to the Nazis.

Ms. Geulen, utilizing the code identify Claude Fournier, usually needed to stroll nice distances to succeed in hide-outs in rural areas, carrying a suitcase in a single arm and a baby slung throughout the alternative hip. “I must cease each 30 ft, put the suitcase down and alter the kid to the opposite aspect,” she instructed Professor Griffin.

Ms. Geulen was favored by her fluency in German and by her blue eyes and shoulder-length blondish hair, giving her the visage of the so-called Aryan girl whom the Nazis idealized. One time she was strolling alone on a Brussels sidewalk on her option to choose up two youngsters whereas carrying their names on a slip of paper hidden underneath the interior sole of certainly one of her footwear. A avenue photographer snapped her image at a second when a German officer occurred to be striding a number of steps behind her. Not understanding if she had been arrange, Ms. Geulen referred to as her handlers on the committee and was instructed to seek out the photographer and get the adverse. Perhaps as a result of he was disarmed by her magnificence, he gave it to her, Professor Griffin stated.

In May 1943, the Germans raided Ms. Geulen’s boarding faculty (right now referred to as the Isabelle Gatti de Gamond Royal Atheneum), the place a dozen Jewish youngsters had been hidden. The faculty’s headmistress, Odile Ovart, and her husband had been despatched to focus camps, which they didn’t survive. Ms. Geulen was interrogated however launched. When a German officer instructed her that she must be ashamed of educating Jewish youngsters, she responded, “Aren’t you ashamed to make struggle on Jewish youngsters!”

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