[Varian Fry Institute Home]         [Chambon Foundation Home]

Tribute to Charles Fernley Fawcett

Holocaust Memorial Day 2006
Jan. 26, 2006, Cardiff, United Kingdom

in the presence of Prime Minister Tony Blair

Charles Fernley Fawcett was honored with a tribute on Holocaust Memorial Day in Cardiff, United Kingdom, Jan. 26, 2006, in the presence of Prime Minister Tony Blair.  Pierre Sauvage, president of the Varian Fry Institute, led the tribute with excerpts on Charles ("Charlie") Fawcett from his upcoming documentary And Crown Thy Good: Varian Fry in Marseille.  The event was broadcast on BBC Radio.

video excerpts from the Holocaust Memorial Day tribute to Charles Fawcett,
with additional remarks by Tony Blair and Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks

Playing are audio excerpts from the BBC Wales broadcast of the 2006 Holocaust Memorial Day

Remarks by Pierre Sauvage (after excerpt from Weapons of the Spirit)

That was me on that train, a while back, revisiting Le Chambon.  There, the peasants and villagers of this Huguenot community turned no one away.  Betrayed no one.  Attempted to convert no one.  There was something to be done and they just did it.  No big deal!  It was who they were!

But I am also here because earlier in the war, my parents had been part of the flood of refugees who had found their way to Marseille after France fell to the Nazis.  Marseille—France’s big port onto the outer world, the escape hatch from then unoccupied, collaborationist Vichy France.  Or so people hoped.  The real Casablanca.

Tonight, we also honor some Americans who cared, and who had also found their way to Marseille.  Among them was a New York intellectual named Varian Fry, the first American to be honored by Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.

For thirteen months, Fry led the most successful, private American rescue rescue operation of those terrible years, ultimately helping to save some two thousand people, many of them among the luminaries of Europe.

Joining in this rescue effort was a young Virginian, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who now lives in London, and who joins us here tonight.  I give you Charles Fernley Fawcett in Marseille.  [Excerpt from upcoming And Crown Thy Good.]

In the course of his life, Charles Fawcett was not only to be an actor, a musician, a songwriter, a composer, an artist, an athlete, a socialite, a Foreign Legionnaire, a wartime R.A.F. pilot and rescuer of British soldiers, but also a freedom fighter in many of the major hot spots of the globe.

I am proud to call him my friend.

[Sustained applause for Charles Fawcett.]

Account by BBC News

Back to Charles Fernley Fawcett

[Varian Fry Institute Home]             [Chambon Foundation Home]

[email us]   [contact information]   [table of contents]   [search]   [feedback]   [guest book]   [link to us?]

© Copyright 2006. Chambon Foundation. All rights reserved.                    Revised: February 23, 2008