BUCHENWALD 103: The voices of silence.

Marceau ico

Marcel Marceau’s career is a testimony to the many Jewish heroes of the Holocaust.  His story is a major reason why I am fighting so hard to publish a book on my Dad and Mom’s roles, not only his unique role as one of the Americans who liberated Buchenwald, but as a Jews who chose to live in an antisemitic community in the US, braking a barrier that led to my own ability to grow up as an American believing in  my ability ot live as a Jew in our multi ethnic country.

Anniversary of the birth of a silent Jew, March 22

Born to a Jewish family in Strasbourg, France in 1923, young Marcel Mangel discovered Charlie Chaplin at age five and became an avid fan. He entertained his friends with Chaplin imitations, and dreamed of starring in silent movies.

When Marcel was 16, the Nazis marched into France, and the Jews of Strasbourg – near the German border – had to flee for their lives. Marcel changed his last name to Marceau to avoid being identified as Jewish, and joined the French resistance movement.

Masquerading as a boy scout, Marcel evacuated a Jewish orphanage in eastern France. He told the children he was taking them on a vacation in the Alps, and led them to safety in Switzerland. Marcel made the perilous journey three times, saving hundreds of Jewish orphans.

He was able to avoid detection by entertaining the children with silent pantomime.

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