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Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

Paulette Weill (Oppert) Fink

Paulette WeillPaulette Weill (Oppert) Fink was born in Mulhouse, France on October 22, 1911.  Paulette and her husband Yves Oppert were members of the French Resistance during World War II,

Paulette and Yves were involved in sabotage operations that strove to bring down the German war machine.  They collaborated with a network of Catholic and Protestant volunteers to hide and save Jewish children left behind by Polish, Hungarian, Romanian and French Jews when they were deported to the concentration camps.

Their daughters Nadine and Francelyne were hidden in the French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, and were under the care of Pastor André Trocmé and his wife Magda.  Le Chambon-sur-Lignon (population 5,000) and the villages on the surrounding plateau (population 24,000) provided refuge for an estimated 5,000 people. This number included an estimated 3,000-3,500 Jews who were fleeing from the Vichy authorities and the Germans.

Yves was captured by the Germans after the Allies landed in France.  He was tortured and killed at the age of 35 on June 24, 1944.  He was posthumously awarded France's War Cross, Military Medal and Legion of Honor.

After Yves' death, Paulette continued her resistance activities, and worked after the war with the Joint Distribution Committee, helping to find housing for children who survived the Holocaust.  She traveled the United States helping to raise funds for the JDC.  She settled in Minneapolis in 1954 upon her marriage to local business man Israel “Iz” Fink.  She was active in the Jewish community her entire life and passed away at the age of 93 on April 2, 2005.

Paulette Weill (Oppert) Fink's testimony is available at the University of Minnesota through the Visual History Archive developed by the USC Shoah Foundation institute for Visual History and Education (Also known as the Shoah Project). Visit the Visual History Archive website for more information.

Articles

Paulette Fink, member of French Resistance, dies at 93. American Jewish World 4-2-2005 (PDF)

Le Chambon Sur-Lignon

Chambon Foundation
Postcards from Le Chambon sur-Lignon. CHGS Collection

Resources

Books, films, articles and papers about Le Chambon sur-Lignon