The University of Wisconsin Press
Memoir / History—WWII / Jewish Studies


Rescuing the Children
A Holocaust Memoir
Vivette Samuel
Translated and with an introduction by Charles B. Paul
Foreword by Elie Wiesel

“A valuable addition to the field of Holocaust history that provides solid institutional information along with dramatic, poignant, heart-rendering tales of rescue and survival.”
—Susan Zuccotti, author of The Holocaust, the French, and the Jews

Rescuing the Children is the memoir of Vivette Samuel, who at age twenty-two began working for the Œuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE, or Society for Assistance to Children). The OSE and similar organizations saved 86 percent of Jewish children in France from deportation to Nazi concentration and extermination camps.

“This testimony by Vivette Samuel is important not only because she describes dramatic events that took place during the occupation of France but also because she brings to light insufficiently known facts about an organization—the Œuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE)—whose devotion to human causes does honor to humanity. I confess that I read this book with a great deal of emotion, because I owe so much to the OSE. It was the OSE that, in June 1945, took charge of the four hundred ‘children of Buchenwald,’ [including me].”—Elie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize

Vivette Samuel
had a career in social work and resided in Paris, France, until her death.

Charles B. Paul
, a historian, is professor emeritus in the humanities department at San Jose State University. He was among the children rescued by the OSE.

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cover of Rescuing the Children is a photo of a group  of children, bowls in hand, at Rivesaltes in 1941, from the author's personal collection

February 2013
LC: 2001005416 DS

256 pp. 7 x 9
29 b/w photos, 14 illus., 1 map
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Paper $24.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-17744-7
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Updated May 30, 2013

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