History

Plaque Honors French Village’s Humanitarian Efforts

June 10, 2014

“It is a real honor to have Alma College’s name on a plaque in place like that.” — Ed Lorenz.

A plaque presented by Alma College public affairs students to the village of Chambon sur Lignon in France honors the memory of the historian who chronicled the village’s rescue of thousands of people from all over Europe during the Holocaust.

Edgar Flaud, the grandson of Annick Flaud, and his mother, Madame Flaud, unveil the plaque.Edgar Flaud, the grandson of Annick Flaud, and his mother, Madame Flaud, unveil the plaque.

The historian, Annick Flaud, welcomed Alma students during their first visit to the village in 2009. After her death, the students became acquainted with her son, which led to a ceremony unveiling the plaque on June 7, 2014.

“This is an amazing story,” says Ed Lorenz, director of the public affairs program at Alma. “From 1940 to 1944, the town, led by its pastor, Andre Trocme, sheltered more than 5,000 people. We have a film in the library — ‘Weapons of the Spirit’ — that reviews this, and there are a number of books on it, including one by Annik Flaud, who was honored at the ceremony on June 7.

“It is a real honor to have Alma College’s name on a plaque in place like that,” says Lorenz.

The plaque, which was presented to the mayor, reads: “To the memory of Mrs. Annick Flaud, the kind and wise historian of Chambon sur Lignon, a welcoming and tolerant community. Alma College, Alma, Michigan USA. May 14, 2013.”