Documentary about Father André and Jewish children hidden during WWII
Monday, 20 October 2014
On Thursday, the documentary “Les Preuves Vivantes” will be officially presented to the public at Pier 22, announced Patricia Grandchamps, the Namur Alderman for the Youth. This documentary is dedicated to Father André and the hundreds of Jewish children he hid in Namur during World War II. In 1968, Father André, who died in 1973, was named “Righteous among the Nations” by the State of Israel. Father André saved these children from certain death by housing them in the local parish of Namur, Place de l’Ange, and several homes.
In one year, Xavier Istasse collected six stories and put them together in a film that is”very serious and embraces the words and emotions” of these survivors. One survivor relates how, one night, he and some of the children had to climb to the roof to escape the SS. Another expresses the sense of guilt felt by these children: “What have I done that they have to hide me, not say my name, and cheat because I do not go to church?”
All pay tribute to Father André. “He didn’t feel pity, but compassion, the ability to help anyone in trouble. This is the most humane person I have ever known,” said Father Malherbe. “I am living proof of the evidence of human kindness,” concludes one of the hidden children.
This documentary was made following the restoration and relocation of his commemorative plaque, on Rue de l’Ange, as part of the Devoir de Memoire project explained the deputy mayor.