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And whoever saves a life...
on September 7, 2012
And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.
- Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5; Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a
Enter the disturbing world of the altruist,who sets out on a mission to rescue select members of Europe's artistic and intellectual community from certain death at the hands of the Nazis and their Vichy puppets.
The author, using manuscripts recovered from archives,and personal interviews,reveals the personal turmoil of a dedicated individual who created a list of preferred survivors in a large community of unfortunates marked for certain death in Nazi dominated Vichy France. Bereft of consistent organizational and government funding and support, the main character selects those creative individuals whose loss he feels would represent a disater for modern civilization and sets about, often at great odds and personal danger to bring them safely to America.
His country, and mainstream relief organizations eventually turn against him. Those he rescued at great personal risk shun him out of embarassment at having required relief. His underlying motive of altruism is challenged by those who feel he sought only personal recognition and a wish to bask in the glory of the famous he saved. The ethical reader will challenge his right to select the life of one human as being more valuable than another.