Something has just happened, looks like WWII's hand came out from the past to knock at my door. My mother was born in 1936, during WWII, her parents sent her to a small village in SW of France were she was born in the 1st place and where her grandfather lived, it was a very rural and remote place which was supposed to remain quiet...and her parents thought it would be a safer place for her. Anyway, in this village area they hid Jews on the run, moving families from place to place, most people in the village knew pretty well about this, for example Jew children went to school, so the teacher knew (some Jews were French,other were coming from foreign countries like Austria). My grandmother's father was a doctor, which was very handy because he had some fuel tickets allowing him to use a car, and also could travel at night without being much bothered. He helped the Jews hidden in the area, as long as a pretty big resistance network also hiding in the area. She recalls that not a single Jew got caught during the whole war. Last week (!!!!) a guy phoned my mother, at the time he was a Jew hiding there with is father (and mother ?) 2-3 years older than my mother is, of course they more or less recall each other because he spent almost the whole war in the village (at this time I think there were less than 300 inhabitants). He explained he is now filling a case to obtain a "Righteous" status for my grandmother's father, along with some other people from the village who contributed to hide and protect Jews from the French and German governments. He had trouble to track her back because it was may mother's grandfather on the mother side so they don't have the same lastname. He'll meet my mother to discuss next week, in the meantime she has to find some old papers and names to help him fill the case, and also help filling case of the other people who helped the Jews but have no more relatives to take care of the case today. I had not heard of this "Righteous" status before, for those like me, read more there : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Righteous_Among_the_Nations this looks like a serious thing, I hope this is not a sect or extremist thing, but it looks pretty much OK. That's fun because I've always been interested into WWII, and I feel that now WWII got interested in me lol. Of course, it's history, and I have nothing to do with the good things he did and don't even know what I would have do in his place Anyway, this lead my mother to tell me a war story. In this village area, there were many resistants (the Lemance valley network but I'm not sure). In 1944, on mother's day (which BTW was a creation of Vichy government) a company form the SS Das Reich division arrived in the village, they gathered ALL MEN BETWEEN 18 (or 20 she's not sure) AND 60 and deported them. they were sent in concentration camps (she says it was Dachau but she's not sure), many of them did not return. This action has no relation with Jews (the SS had no idea there were Jews in the area) it was reprisal action against local population because of the resistance network. The SS bastard murderers (including many french BTW) searched the houses for weapons, but the Jews were hidden in remote farms or were women or children so they were not asked for ID, they checked the ID of adult males in order to determine if they were between 18/20 and 60 years old; My grandmother's father shoudl have been taken away had the German properly checked his gage, because he was a few months under 60, but it looks like they only checked the year of birth (not the day and month) ! My mother told me 2 details, the SS felt embarrassed to put the village's priest in the trucks, but he asked to go with the other men and survived. 2nd detail : the SS caught a milician in the village (the "milice" was a french pro german paramilitary organisation ) the guy said they had to leave him because he was on their side, and a SS officer told "you're a bad French, you'll go with the rest". During the trip or on arrival, the other prisonners threw him on wire fences and he died. Less than one month later, the Das Reich coward assassins SS would commit the infamous Oradour sur Glane manslaughter. My mother never allowed me nor my brother to make her any present on mother's day.