Each week we bring you stories of Christians who risked their own lives in order to save Jews during the Holocaust, many of them already well known. And while these stories are heartwarming, we also love hearing about newly discovered advocates and allies of the Jewish people. Heroes like Mary Elmes, an Irish aid worker who saved children from death in Auschwitz, and who The Times of Israel's Michael Riordan reports is just now being recognized in a new film:
Two young boys huddled silently under a blanket in the back of a large black car as it crossed under the gaze of the French prison guards and out the wooden gates of Rivesaltes internment camp. It was September 25, 1942.
Escaping deportation to Auschwitz and certain death in the gas chambers, Rene and Mario Freund, aged two and six years old, were driven high up into the Pyrenees Mountains to a remote village.
The boys had already faced danger before, as their father had tried and failed to smuggle them across the border into Switzerland.
After arriving in the hills they were met by a priest and moved again to a small village further away from Rivesaltes. They were to be enrolled in a Catholic school and hidden by local families.
Decades later Rene and Mario — now named Ronald Friend and Michael Freund — fulfilled a lifelong ambition to identify their heroic liberator, the Irish aid worker Mary Elmes, and nominate her as Righteous Among the Nations...