NEW YORK (Jul. 29)
The award of the “Righteous Gentile” was presented to Jeanne Bonhomme of St. Etienne, France and to her late mother by the Consul General of Israel, Paul Kedar, at a ceremony at the Consulate General of Israel.
Both women went to great lengths to hide several members of the Schanzer family from the Nazis during World War II at risk to their own lives. On presenting the award, Kedar compared these acts of courage to a “small beacon of light in the abysmal darkness of Europe at that time.” He praised Mrs. Bonhomme and her mother for their moral inner strength and deep conviction of the human spirit which rekindled the hope of so many Jews who were aided by such demonstrations of dedication to humanity.
Mrs. Bonhomme, speaking in French, spoke of other members of her family who aided her in her task and asked that they be honored as well. Bernard and Henry Schanzer, twin brothers, and their sister Anna Steinberg, each movingly paid tribute to the two women who saved their lives and described the care and compassion they received from them despite the hardships involved.
The ceremony, which took place last Thursday, was attended by members of the Schanzer family and representatives of survivors’ organizations.