Publication of the book 'Boncourt, un dilemme Suisse’
Fondation Novandi is pleased to announce the release of a new book, to which it has given special support, entitled 1942-1944 • Boncourt: un dilemme suisse, written by Mr Philippe Turrel and published by Éditions Slatkine.
In the summer of 1942, terminal 239 in Boncourt (JU) at the border between France and Switzerland became a gateway for the federal authorities to expel “undesirables”, namely Jewish people who were fleeing Nazi barbarities.
A handful of inhabitants from the village, motivated by their conscience, helped these people to escape from being expelled. In the autumn of 1944, thanks to a surprising shift in politics favourable to refugees, the same border terminal 239 became the gateway for 13,500 French child war refugees, hailing from the Belfort and Doubs departments, to enter Switzerland in search of asylum.
By reflecting on these two opposing historic events that took place in Boncourt, this book gets straight to the heart of the dilemmas faced by the Berne administration, the Swiss Red Cross, and local citizens themselves, during the darkest days of the Second World War.
After the war, the people of Boncourt whose stories are told in this book were thanked and honoured for their bravery and goodwill by the future queen of the Netherlands and by General Guisan, and also by Generals Eisenhower, de Gaulle, and de Lattre de Tassigny. In Israel, a tree was planted in the Avenue of the Righteous by Jewish refugees from Amsterdam in honour of one family from Boncourt.
This work above all represents our duty to remember. It also aims to inspire young people to carry out benevolent and courageous actions for others, just like these people from the village of Boncourt during the Second World War.
See full French language article and video about the book on the website of the François Joseph Burrus family
You can order copies of the book in French at Editions Slakine: order the book