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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
If you like historical biographies about seemingly ordinary people who lead extraordinary lives, filled with almost unbelievable daring and adventure, and all to save the lives of others at the risk of their own, you’ll like The Mission of Abbé Glasberg in the French Resistance during WWII by Lucien Lazare, PhD, with English translation by Leo Michel Abrami. Ukrainian-born and later a naturalized French citizen, Alexandre Glasberg (1902–1981) isn’t the only Catholic priest or Christian who helped to save Jews during World War II. Born a Jew and later an immigrant himself, it’s understandable that he would have great sympathy for the plight of refugees in general, and of Jews specifically. But considering the totality of what he accomplished, not just during the war but in the difficult decades after it as well, Abbé Glasberg proves to be a very unique and heroic individual who can inspire all of us to work towards a better and more socially just world.
Dr. Lazare shares not just the historical facts and circumstances of Abbé Glasberg’s life, which he does with scholarly aptitude, but he also gives us glimpses of the man through the recollections of people who knew him in simple, touching, and sometimes humorous ways. It’s a very compelling story and it would take a television mini series to visually capture the adventure of it, as well as the tragedy and the triumph of it. In the preface, Cardinal Albert Decourtray notes that Abbé Glasberg had “no ordinary personal ambitions, only a limitless desire to transform the world he knew.” Lazare has skillfully conveyed the extent to which one man with ability, courage, and commitment can do just that.