Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maximilian Kowler - April 26, 1984


Uh, you said you were--you helped to, to begin a core of the resistance movement. What did that involve, when you uh, went to Chambon or near Chambon?

Uh, the--what we wanted to do was uh, um, it's an industrial region, region there. It's not too far from St. Etienne uh, and there were munitions factories there, and I believe motorcycles they made there, or bicycles, and things like that. And uh, and naturally St. Etienne was the region of coal uh, coal mines. And what we were trying to do is interrupt the, the lignes de chemin de fer, the railroad lines, between there and what Germany was trying to pull out of there.

So it was industrial sabotage?

Yes, exactly. Yeah, yeah. We were not really armed or anything, you know, we were a bunch of kids, bunch of kids with big ideas and dreams, you know? Uh, the real resistance, I mean, the--near Lyon, the real resistance was in--was really in the, in the work corps near Grenoble.

Was there, was there a connection with the, with the official resistance?

No, no, no, no, no. Our connection was strictly through the uh, Eclaireurs Israélites de France. That was our connection. Uh, basically with the people who the book, the book is written about--Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed--we had nothing to do with them, really. But we were in the region because the region was so strongly against Germany, and the region was so strongly uh, religious, and uh, the people were so good to, to us and to everybody because of their strong religious background, that we thought it was the perfect place to be, if we wanted to survive and be in a small way constructive.

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