The Mission of Abbé Glasberg by Lucien Lazare is the fascinating story of a priest – of Jewish origins – who dedicated himself to the task of helping the refugees who were streaming into France during the years preceding World War II. Together with Father Chaillet, Alexandre Glasberg created the ecumenical Amitié Chrétienne in May 1942 with the full support of Cardinal Gerlier, archbishop of Lyon.
In a joint effort, they managed to retrieve hundreds of Jewish children from French-run concentration camps and disperse them among religious houses and private homes. They refused to give them up even when the government of Vichy placed Chaillet under house arrest in a psychiatric hospital for three months.
They disregarded the orders of Alexandre Angeli, the regional prefect of Lyon who was a Nazi collaborator. Alexandre Angeli was condemned to a death penalty immediately after the war, later commuted to a sentence of four year-imprisonment. Abbé Glasberg later joined the French underground.
After the war, Abbé Glasberg assisted the Mossad in their attempt to transport many of the survivors of WWII to the land of Israel. The book contains an introduction by Cardinal Albert Decourtray, April 4th, l990.
The book is available on Amazon as eBook and paperback:
Justus Rosenberg, one of the Jews saved by the Glasberg network
On 29 April 2016 The New York Times (Sarah Wildman) devoted an article, ‘The Professor Has a Daring Past’, on the 95-year-old Justus Rosenberg who provided a safe passage out of Vichy France to anti-fascist intellectuals and cultural figures fleeing the Nazis. Rosenberg was used as a courier to deliver messages to refugees and scout out safe passage, in particular via the overland route through Spain.
In August 1942, he was rounded up with several hundred other Jews and was taken to a transit camp, Vénissieux, outside the city of Lyon. There, he was rescued by the network of Abbé Alexandre Glasberg and received his new identity: Jean-Paul Guiton. He went on to serve with the French Resistance.
Article in French by Leo Abrami on Alexandre Glasberg in the Tribune Juive