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Georges Loinger BVO (29 August 1910 – 28 December 2018)[1] was a French soldier during World War II. During his time in the French Resistance, he helped hundreds of Jewish children escape from occupied France to Switzerland.

Georges Loinger
Georges Loinger par Claude Truong-Ngoc octobre 2014.jpg
Georges Loinger in 2014
Born(1910-08-29)29 August 1910
Died28 December 2018(2018-12-28) (aged 108)
Known forResistance fighter
RelativesYardena Arazi (niece)
Marcel Marceau (cousin)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

He was born on 29 August 1910 in Strasbourg, France (then part of Imperial Germany), in a Jewish family,[2] to Solomon Loinger (1883–1941) and Mina Werzberg (1886–1981).[3] In 1925, he entered the Hatikvah Zionist youth movement.[4]

World War IIEdit

Loinger began fighting against Nazi Germany at the start of World War II, but was captured in 1940. He escaped from his prisoner-of-war camp later that year and joined the French Resistance. He rescued about 350 Jewish children, and helped them to escape from France to Switzerland,[5] for which he was awarded the Resistance Medal, the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honour.[6][7] Until September 1943, this frontier was guarded by the Italian army; Loinger remembered an Italian senior officer privately telling him he approved of Loinger's actions. After September, there was German occupation and Loinger's task became harder.[8] A physical education teacher, he used tactics such as organizing soccer games in Annemasse on the border of Geneva, and having players continue running across the border guarded only by barbed wire.[citation needed]

Awards and honorsEdit

He was appointed chairman of the Association of the Jewish Resistance of France (ARJF).[9] In March 2013, he was received by Shimon Peres, the former president of Israel.[10] In 2014, he was awarded the medal of honorary citizen of the city of Strasbourg.[11] In July 2016, he was made an officer in the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.[12] He was awarded the Resistance Medal, the Croix de Guerre, and in 2005 the Legion of Honour.[6][5][7]

Personal lifeEdit

His cousin was the famed mime Marcel Marceau,[6] and his niece is Israeli singer Yardena Arazi.[5] Loinger turned 100 in August 2010.

Loinger died in Paris on 28 December 2018 at the age of 108.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Delpard, Raphaël (2002). L'armée juive clandestine en France: 1940-1945 (in French). Paris: Page après page. ISBN 978-2-84764-001-4. Retrieved 31 December 2018 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "French Resistance hero who saved hundreds of Jewish children dies aged 108". The Guardian. December 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  3. ^ Hazan, Katy (2016). "Georges Loinger" (PDF). Œuvre de secours aux enfants (in French). Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Georges Loinger". Chemins de mémoire. Ministry of the Armed Forces (248). March 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "French hero who saved hundreds of Jewish children dies aged 108". The Times of Israel. Agence France-Presse. 29 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Georges Loinger: French hero who saved Jews in WW2 dies". BBC News. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b Topping, Alexandra (30 December 2018). "French Resistance hero who saved hundreds of Jewish children dies aged 108". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  8. ^ Montefiori, Stefano (30 December 2018). "L'eroe dell'Exodus e dei bambini salvati". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2 January 2019 – via Informazione Corretta.
  9. ^ "Mort du grand résistant juif Georges Loinger". Europe 1 (in French). 29 December 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Le voyage de Georges Loinger en Israël". CRIF - Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (in French). 14 March 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ "La médaille de citoyen d'honneur de la ville de Strasbourg remise à Georges Loinger". CRIF - Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (in French). 29 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  12. ^ Wernicke, Christian (11 July 2016). "Todesmutig - die Geschichte des Monsieur Loinger". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Le grand résistant Georges Loinger, né à Strasbourg, s'est éteint à l'âge de 108 ans". Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (in French). 28 December 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.