In a Paris police station, government clerk Alfred Le Guellec overheard two policemen complaining that they must wake up early the following morning in order to round up the Jews of Paris. Over 13,000 Jews were apprehended by the French police as part of the notorious Vel d’Hiv Roundup of July 16, 1942. Most were sent to their death at Auschwitz.
Le Guellec rushed back to his office and warned Stepha Skurnik – holding her two-year-old baby Dora and waiting to renew her papers – of the looming danger. He then ran out to the street and warned every Jew he identified by a yellow star not to sleep at home that night. The Le Guellecs then hid the Skurniks and their baby daughter in a maid’s room throughout the remainder of the war.
Le Guelllec and his wife Augustine were posthumously recognized on July 7 as “righteous gentiles” in a ceremony at his hometown of Douarnenez in Brittany. Read more here.