As part of our recognition of International Peace Day this year:
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Richard Unsworth, author of A Portrait of Pacifists: Le Chambon, the Holocaust and the Lives of Andre and Magda Trocme (Syracuse University Press, 2012) will visit Swarthmore College on September 20, 2012, to talk about this new book.
Unsworth, grandfather of Hannah Gotwals ’13, and a senior fellow at the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith College, taught religion at both Smith and Dartmouth Colleges. He served as headmaster and president of Northfield Mount Hermon School. His years of involvement with the College Cevenol in France led to a friendship with Andre and Magda Trocme.
A Portrait of Pacifists tells the story of Andre and Magda Trocme, two individuals who made nonviolence a way of life. During World War II, the southern French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and its surrounding villages became a center where Jews and others in flight from Nazi roundups could be hidden or led abroad, and where children with parents in concentration camps could be nurtured and educated.
The courage pf Andre and Magda during World War II has been well documented in books and film, yet the full arc of their lives, the impulse that led them to devote themselves to nonviolence and their extensive work in the decades following the war, has never been compiled into a full-length biography.
Based on their papers in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, including their unpublished memoirs, interviews, and the author’s research, the book details the couple’s role in the history of pacifism before, during, and after the war. Unsworth traces their mission of building peace by nonviolence throughout Europe to Morocco, Algeria, Japan, Vietnam, and the United States.