25 October 2009
On Tuesday, October 27, 2009, Louise Roger, a Righteous Among that Nations from France, will be posthumously honored at Yad Vashem. Her grandchildren, Robert Roger and Marie-Terese Roger, who will arrive especially for the event from France, will receive the medal and certificate of honor on her behalf. The event will take place in the presence of Dr Ehud Leob, who was rescued by Louise Roger, as well as Chairman of the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations Justice (ret.) Jacob Türkel, Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev, French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot, members of Aloumim, the Association of Jewish Children Hidden during the Holocaust, Holocaust survivors and French participants in an educators’ seminar taking place now at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies. A memorial ceremony will take place at 11:00 in the Hall of Remembrance, followed by the presentation of the awards ceremony and unveiling of the name in the Garden of the Righteous. The event will take place in Hebrew and French.
The events are open to the press. Media who wish to cover the events are requested to RSVP with the Media Relations Department: 02 644 3410.
The Rescue Story
On October 22, 1940, the Jews of Baden and Palatinate, Germany were deported to France, where they were put in detention camps. Among the deportees were the Odenheimer family: Julchen and Hugo Odenheimer, their six year-old son Herbert (now Ehud) and his grandmother, Sophie. Sophie died in the Gurs Camp where the family was interred; Julchen and Hugo were deported to Auschwitz in September 1942 where they were murdered.
In early 1941, Ehud was removed from the detention camp with several other dozen children and brought to a children’s home run by O.S.E., the Society for Rescuing Children, a Jewish organization in France. He was hidden with several different Christian families until he arrived at the home of Jules and Jeanne Roger. By the end of 1943, Jules’ underground activities increasingly endangered the young Jewish boy hiding with them, and the Rogers decided to move Ehud to the home of Jules’ mother, Louise in the village of Argy.
Ehud lived with Louise under an assumed identity, Hubert Odet, until the end of the war. He took part in the daily activities of the household, working on their farm, studying in the local school, even serving as a choirboy in the local Church, to help hide his Jewish identity. “Grandma” took care of Ehud, providing for all his needs and providing him a safe haven, despite the difficulties and risks.
Louise Roger died on June 24, 1947. Jeanne and Jules Roger were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations in 1989.
Close to 23,000 individuals have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. For more information about the Righteous Among the Nations program click here.