The Children of Château de la Hille
Preface by Henry Massie
Published August 2017, paperback 372pp — ISBN 978-09847142-5-4) $18.95, order here
The Château de La Hille is a stolid, forbidding manor that sits on a hillside shelf (hilla in old Norse) above the Lèze River in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains in the south of France. In the early 20th century it was abandoned. Then came World War II and it rang with the laughter of barefoot children in the summer and the clatter of their wooden clogs on cold, bare floors in winter. One hundred Jewish children found shelter there from the Nazis after their parents were sent to death camps.
The story of how young volunteers from the Swiss Red Cross—Aid to Children (Croix Rouge Suisse—Secours aux Enfants) took over the abandoned Château and gave a refuge to the children during the German occupation of France is not unknown. A few of the survivors have written their story as adults, as have some of the adults who protected the children. However the most detailed account of the children’s time at the Château de La Hille, by their school teacher Sebastian Steiger, The Children of Château de La Hille, has not been available in English until now.
Read the introduction and flick through an extract of the book below.