Oral history interview with Frère Daniel de Montmollin
Frère Daniel de Montmollin discusses life in Taizé as part of a community under the leadership of Frère Roger, his arrival in August 1945 to an environment of scarcity, poverty, struggle, and commitment to a communal life; the return to Taizé in the winter of 1944-1945 of Frère Pierre to a house that had been looted during the war and fields devastated by inattention; the first work which was to seed the fields to produce food during winter of 1944-1945; finding food for the cows and allowing a few chickens to feed themselves; not having much experience in communal living but being led with inspiration and commitment by Father Roger; how the need to produce food led them to work closely with the villagers who also had very little; and the ideals, humanity, devotion, inspiration, and leadership of Father Roger.
Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
- Frère Daniel de Montmollin
- Frère Emile
1 digital file : MOV.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Communauté de Taizé
Record last modified: 2020-06-03 13:28:36
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn633512
Also in Archives de la Communauté de Taizé collection
Oral history interviews regarding the Taizé Community, an ecumenical Christian monastic fraternity in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France which aided a large number of refugees during WWII.
Frère Roger Schütz discusses the events of October 1942 and the dangerous conditions; the tip that the Gestapo was aware of the Taizé activities; fleeing the Taizé Community house which hid Jews and Christian refugees; and how those hidden had only first names, many if not all of which were not their own, and they had neither identity papers nor ration cards.
Frère Denis (Jean-Daniel Aubert) recalls his arrival in Taizé at the end of the 1950s; the Roman Catholic Church, which was largely empty on Easter; the arrival beginning in the 1960s of a German group with several young people; the Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste (or the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace) which seeks to promote acts of reconciliation in countries formerly occupied by the Nazis; the arrival of the group in Taizé, to find Frère Roger initially uninterested; his thesis for his architectural degree to build a large pilgrimage church on Taizé property; Frère Roger’s hesitancy, the German group’s enthusiasm, the decision by Frère Roger to direct Frère Denis to reconfigure his project for a considerably smaller church; Frère Roger’s instructions to site the church at the far end of the property, noting few pilgrims would visit; and the moment when the scaffolding was removed, and Frère Roger saw the inside of the church, responding with great emotion.