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Michiana Adventist Forum Presents: Megan Koreman

The Michiana Adventist Forum Presents:

The Dutch-Paris Escape Line: How Adventist Businessman John Henry Weidner and His Ordinary Heroes Resisted the Nazi Occupation of Western Europe


Megan Koreman, PhD
Author of The Escape Line: How the Ordinary Heroes of Dutch-Paris Resisted the Nazi Occupation of Western Europe

Saturday afternoon at 3:30 pm
November 3, 2018

Chan Shun Hall
Andrews University
Berrien Springs, MI

About the Speaker:

Megan Koreman has been interested in the Second World War Resistance since she visited her father’s home town of Maastricht, the Netherlands, as a little girl. Her uncle’s stories about how he and her aunt had been part of the local resistance during the war sparked a lifelong interest in the civilian experience of WWII. She attended Notre Dame and then earned her doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. She has taught European history at Texas Tech University and the University of Michigan. Her first book, The Expectation of Justice, is about three French communities during the Liberation, 1944-1946.

Dr. Koreman has spent nine years researching and writing The Escape Line, published this spring by Oxford University Press. Her research in 31 archives in seven countries was funded by The John Henry Weidner Foundation. She now lives in Royal Oak, MI, with her husband and children.

About the Subject:

In 1942 John Henry Weidner, a Dutch businessman living in southern France, decided to help a Jewish acquaintance who had been arrested by smuggling him into neutral Switzerland. Within weeks he, his wife and a few friends had created an escape line between Lyon and Geneva. They crossed the frontier near Collonges-sous-Salève, France, where Weidner’s father had taught at the Seventh-day Adventist seminary and Weidner still had many friends. From that first commitment to help the persecuted, Weidner and his colleagues went on to create an extraordinary resistance network that stretched from the Netherlands through Belgium and France to both Switzerland and Spain. The Dutch-Paris line relied on the courage of 330 men and women living across western Europe. They supported about 1,500 Jews hiding in France and Belgium and took about 1,500 Jews, resisters, volunteers for the Allied armies, and downed Allied aviators out of occupied territory to Switzerland and Spain. They also served as a clandestine courier service for other resistance groups and humanitarian workers. German police caught up with the Dutch-Paris line in early 1944, arrested many of them, tortured them and deported them to the concentration camps. The survivors in the line nonetheless continued their resistance work until the Liberation.

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