- Father Bruno (Henri Reynders, 1903-1981) was a Benedictine monk from Belgium who presided over a vast rescue effort that protected the lives of between 300 and 400 Jews, most of them children, during the German occupation. In 1941, after his release from a POW camp, where he was serving as a military chaplain, Father Bruno established himself at a monastery near Louvain known as Mont César. When the Nazis began to round-up and deport the Jews of Belgium, Father Bruno, in conjunction with the CDJ (Le Comité de Défense des Juifs) organized an underground operation to provide shelter for Jewish children. Hundreds of Jewish youngsters were dispersed in religious and secular institutions, as well as in private homes. Bruno saw to it that the children were provided with ration cards and false identification papers, and that financial support was given to the host families. His travels, as well as the level of activity at the Mont César monastery, drew the attention of the Gestapo, which staged a raid on the monastery in January 1944. Father Bruno, who was away at the time, was compelled to go into hiding. Discarding his monk's habit, he continued to direct his rescue operations clandestinely from Louvain and Brussels until the country was liberated in September 1944. For three months after the war, Father Bruno searched for surviving parents to collect the children under his care. In 1964 Father Bruno was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.
[Source: Paldiel, Mordecai. The Path of the Righteous, KTAV, Hoboken, NJ, 1993.]