The French mime artist Marcel Marceau made a name for himself as the silent Bip the Clown, whose performance was comedic and tragic at the same time, echoing life itself in its mixture of happiness and sadness.
What is far less known about Marcel Mangel, who changed his name to Marceau during the German occupation of France in World War II, was that he was an active participant within the French resistance, who managed to evacuate an entire orphanage full of Jewish children just before they were to be deported to a concentration camp.
Coming from a Jewish family living in Strasbourg, in the border area between France and Germany, Marcel, who was 16 at the time, was among the first to witness the horror of German invasion. Together with his family, the teenage Marcel was evacuated from Strasbourg, just before it was overrun. They headed south to Limoges, a municipality in central France.
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