Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with René Castille

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.542.16 | RG Number: RG-50.812.0016

At the beginning of the interview, a student from the lycee in St. Pierre de Fursac reads a poem she wrote about the children of Chabannes.
René Castille (member of the maquis de Creuse and historian of Creuse 1940-1944) describes materials on Jewish children hidden in the Creuse found in local and Creuse Department archives; the general lack of awareness of the plight of Jewish children because newspapers did not write about it during WWII; the lists of Jewish children hidden in the Creuse; information on Chabannes; the importance of Félix Chevrier, who was a non-Jew, socialist, reported Free Mason, and head of Château de Chabannes; the uniqueness of the Chabannes situation, where efforts were made to assimilate Jewish children within the community rather than relocating them to an isolated hiding place; the successful integration of Jewish children because of the Paillassou sisters, who were revered by the community and admired as excellent teachers; how the Creuseois were a largely welcoming population and took in the children because they were children in need not because of their religion; the absence of invasions and occupations of the Creuse for centuries, which hindered fears of Nazi penetration of the Department; how most Creusois had no contact with the Germans even after the invasion of the Free Zone on November 11, 1942; the people of Creusois joining the Resistance and saving the children because they were patriots, raised in patriotic families whose fathers had served in WWI; his views on how the patriotic spirit in the Creuse Department predisposed people to save the Jewish children; the demographics of France during WWII, including the number of people deported or murdered; and the 12 years he has spent researching in order to prevent this history from being forgotten.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
René Castille
Lisa Gossels
Dean Wetherell
Documentary films.
2 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:38:08
This page: