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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Texas HRW Webinar with Dr. Eileen Angelini

Event details
Calendar   Workshops
Location Virtual
Date Thu, Jan 26, 10:00am - 11:00am
Duration   1h
"What It Meant to Be an Upstander During the WWII Occupation of France"

To understand fully the risks undertaken by upstanders during the World War II Occupation of France, Dr. Angelini will begin with a brief explanation of the problematic position in which France found itself as it was defeated by the Germans (June 12, 1940), occupied by the Germans (June 14, 1940), collaborated with the Germans (July 1940), and declared victory over the Germans (June 6, 1944: Allied landing in Normandy, France; August 25, 1944: Liberation of Paris by the Allied forces).

She will then share the story of Françoise Bielinski, better known as Paquita Sitzer, who, as a child with her family, escaped from France to Spain via les Pyrénées with the help of their savior Victor Mesple-Somps. Mesple-Somps did not survive the war. He was captured for his Resistance activities and murdered in Sachsenhausen concentration camp in February 1945. Dr. Angelini's presentation will include some of Paquita's photos and testimony that Dr. Angelini curated for her chapter, “France: World War II Occupation and the Holocaust” – Forthcoming in Polgar, Michael and John, Suki, eds. The Holocaust: Remembrance, Respect, and Resilience. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 2022, an Open Education Resource project.

Register here.

Ticket registration and Zoom access are for TEACHER and STUDENT ACCESS ONLY. Please only register for this virtual presentation as a classroom teacher or other on-campus educator.

All other viewers may access the live stream from our website or YouTube page. Please visit for more information. Registration is not required for the live stream.

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