The man on the left of this group is Nicolas Kubler, who contacted Victor Guicherd and arranged the rescue. We now searc
The man on the left of this group is Nicolas Kubler, who contacted Victor Guicherd and arranged the rescue. We now search for Nicolas, a missing link, or his family.



Has the like of this happened in your days?

Tell your children about it, and let your children tell theirs and their children, the next generation

(1 Joel 2 - 3)

He who saves one life, it is as if he saved an entire world

The Talmud


This, then, is our immediate purpose. The quest for missing 
links becomes more urgent and compelling as time goes by.

 
Since the events described here and particularly in recent times, we have been looking for, finding missing pieces and building a jigsaw. The most moving and intriguing moment was the telephone conversation with Fanny, who also escaped and found refuge in the village. On the phone and soon in person, Betty and Fanny could recall and celebrate the memories of their presence in Dullin.
 
Other phone calls, following up on tips and scant information, have revealed aspects of the remarkable ad hoc network put into place by young people to save Jews running away from the Germans.
 
As we progress with the project we shall record the work and activities of so many people, all incredibly brave in face of the dangers, who stood up to be counted during Europe’s worst hour and did everything they possibly could, not only to ease the plight of children, but to find safe homes for them.
 
On these pages we have outlined the essence of our quest for the hidden roots in Dullin. The story will evolve in the coming months as each clue is investigated, verified or discarded.
 
The entire narrative may never be revealed – many people who acted so courageously left no record of their work. Like Victor Guicherd, who wondered why we asked - when we asked him to explain why he did it - others felt they were not acting in any special way. They did the natural thing; for them it was not bravery, it was normal behavior.
 
For us, it is moving to find them; it is touchingreal to hear their voices, still alive and vibrant, still displaying the attributes that make them the unspoken heroes of our century.
 
We invite you to join us on our search. From time to time in the coming months we shall update our web site with the latest information and details of our progress. We may never find everyone, but we shall certainly reveal the true essence of humanity -so often concealed - in our times.
 
As we explained elsewhere on these pages, two of our heroes, Isaac and Victor, had similar human ideals and the courage to act in face of danger.
 
In this context, Hidden Roots continues its exploration of the remarkable people who built the State of Israel.
 
From our vantage point, across the bridge of time, a strong and stable link has been established and the hidden roots in both cases are secure - ready to be revealed, recognized and given the honor and respect they deserve, so profoundly. When the persecuted and hunted Jews needed them, they did not turn their back.

 

Update January 2007:

 

Betty has been in steady contact with Frida Wattenberg at the l’Association des Anciens de la Resistance juive en France (ARJF-OJC), a group that helped find homes for Jewish children. Frida had been trying for some time to help find the missing link—Nicolas—with no results. But as the two women spoke, Betty remembered that she had a friend in New York who had some contacts with the Jewish community in Dijon. In early 2006, Betty contacted this friend, from whom she learned that Fanny Bernstein (nee Kupersberg)—who once lived in Dijon and with whom Betty went to school when she lived in Dullin—now lives in Paris.

 

During a series of very moving telephone conversations, Fanny gave Betty the family name of Nicolas, the man who brought Betty and Jacques from Lyon to Dullin—and whose family name, Kubler, Betty had never known. Nicolas Kubler was the man who first contacted M. Guicherd, asking him if he would take care of two children.

 

In May 2006, when Betty went to Paris for the opening of ‘The Righteous’ at le Memorial de la Shoah, she met Frida Wattenberg (who is very active in this museum) for the first time. Now knowing Nicolas’ family name, Frida promised to try to learn what had happened to him.

 

During the same trip, Betty had an incredibly moving reunion with Fanny Bernstein in Fanny’s apartment in Paris. The two women now regularly call and write.

 

In June, Betty found an audiotape that David had made of her conversations with M. Guicherd in 1982, when David met the Guicherds for the first time. This meeting was so moving that Betty remembered almost nothing of the details of the conversations. The quality of the tape had been inexplicably poor, and although David had meant for some time to take it to a radio technician, he was always busy with another project.

 

Betty took it to a technician, who returned it in improved form as a CD. As she listened to it, she heard M. Guicherd say that Nicolas Kubler had died.

 

Meanwhile, Frida continued her intensive search for Nicolas Kubler, looking for clues of anything—conversations he might have had with people, etc. But nothing ever turned up, and this search is now closed.

 

 

 



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