A Place of Remembrance, History, and Education
Dedicated to the transmission of humanity and tolerance that led to the mass rescue, the permanent exhibition, with an interactive approach including films, animated movies, and multimedia tools, allows a large number of visitors, including children, to understand the history of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon. Visitors will follow the narrative and learn how the local population came to choose Civil, Spiritual, and Armed Resistance. The testimony room features audiovisual testimonies of rescuers, refugees, and members of resistance.
Cultural and Educational Activities
Each year, the Memorial offers various events such as temporary exhibitions, family and children workshops, and conferences. The Memorial also has an educational service for schools. The younger public has access to instructional activities and specific guided tours. For students this is also the occasion to discover WWII in a different way—the commitment of the righteous.
To meet the expectations of the public who had many to discover the history of the Plateau during the war, the municipality wanted to create a place of both memory, history and education. To remain at the territorial level, it was decided to renovate the old cross-country home and the unoccupied end of primary school. Attached to the school and in front of the temple, the Place of Memory is part of a historic and symbolic site in the heart of the village. To connect the two buildings, the architect David Fargette imagined a canopy. It illuminates the spaces, ensuring the visibility of the location in the village. The scenography was conceived by the Cartwrights Workshop. To design the historical course, the Municipality used a scientific committee made up of specialists. It also worked in conjunction with scholars, historians and associations of the territory. Research to establish the museum led to the creation of a major holdings, largely unpublished. Under construction from 2010 to 2013, it took three years for the Place of Memory to open its doors to visitors. The time was required for finances, historical research, architectural and stage design and, of course, to carry out the work.
A commemorative plaque has been on display in the center of the village of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, France, since 1979, to honor commitment of the inhabitants of the Plateau. In 1990, the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem honored “the population of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon and the surrounding villages,” declaring them “Righteous among the Nations.” Only one other village in Europe—Nieuwland in Holland—and the land of Denmark have received this award.
Read the 2014-2015 Annual Report from the museum.
North of the buildings, a communal plot of 800 square meters is used as a memory garden to enjoy the outdoors in an enclosed space. Access to the garden can be found in the extension of the canopy. It is designed as a place of healing during or after the visit. Signed with the French landscape architect Louis Benech, it is composed of a particular orchard, extension of existing lower gardens. Louis Benech has created more than 300 parks and gardens around the world. The second terrace has a sculpture block by Paul-Armand Gette, the result of a public order. This space, still under construction, was donated to the town by a patron in memory of the welcome reserved for his mother and his uncle, refugee children in the village during the war.