Born Marcel Mangel, he changed his last name to hide his origins. During the years prior to the beginning of World War II, he helps some friends to take care of the Jewish children they receive at the German border; hundreds of people whose families have been destroyed by Nazism.
With the outbreak of the war and the German occupation, Marcel and his friends are part of the French Resistance for a while; a group of opponents of the regime who seek to destroy Nazism, among other things, helping the settlement of infiltrators. After several dramatic situations, they decide to leave the Resistance and dedicate themselves to moving Jewish children to Switzerland.
Finally, Marcel Marceau became a key player and at the end of the war, he returned to his passion for acting. His talent made him one of the most critically acclaimed mimes, as well as a member of the Academy of Fine Arts. For his work during the German occupation he was awarded the medal of the Legion of Honor, one of the most important French distinctions.
Children in Nazi Germany
The Nazis murdered about 1.5 million children, of whom more than 1 million were Jews. The rest of those killed were of Roma, disabled or “dangerous” origin. This measure was advocated as preventive security as well as a tool of repression.
On the other hand, those in their teens, because of their physical condition and anatomy, were sent to concentration camps as forced laborers.
Source: The Holocaust Encyclopedia.
As the film shows, the children had their names changed, were converted to Christianity and were forced to reject and forget their origins. Measures to prevent them from being annihilated simply because they were Jewish.
Resistance (2019), the movie
The film tells the story of Marcel Marceau, the mime who saved the Jews. Marcel wants to be an actor, is passionate about art, and finds inspiration in Charles Chaplin. The story is contextualized in the years before the war until shortly before its end; a period in which Marcel helped to re-house Jewish orphans, as well as being part of the Resistance.
The film, although entertaining, instructive and moving, stays on the surface and tiptoes over the heroism of a man who endangered his life on numerous occasions in order to save Jewish children from Nazi extermination.
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