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Marcel Verzeano ("Maurice")
in southern France in 1941

Marcel Verzeano
(died 2006)

Biographical note
and history of his association with the Varian Fry mission in Marseille
by Marcel Verzeano


I was introduced to Fry in August 1940, shortly after his arrival in Marseilles. He decided that, as a young physician who was fluent in several languages, I might be useful in taking care of the refugees’ minor ailments.  After a few weeks, as Fry got to know me better, he realized that I might be helpful in other activities in which he was beginning to get involved.

In a very short time, I began to participate in all the secret activities of the organization. I found hiding places for the refugees, moved them from one location to another when they were in danger of being discovered and provided them with false passports and visas. Eventually, with the help of other Fry associates and of Spanish refugees who had established themselves in France after the Spanish civil war, I found a way to send to Lisbon many of the refugees who were in the greatest danger of being delivered to the Nazis by the Vichy government.


Born in Jassy, Romania.  Left Romania in 1930. Reason: to pursue advanced studies in France and Italy.
Degrees: M.D. University of Pisa, Italy. 1936

Academic Work:
1942 and 1943: Internship and Residency in hospitals in New York City.
1947 to 1950: Research Fellow: Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Mass.
1951: Assistant Research Anatomist, UCLA Medical School
1956: Associate Professor of Biophysics, UCLA Medical School
1967: Professor of Neurobiology, UC Irvine.
Member of the Brain Research Institute UCLA: 1954 to 1966.
Corresponding Member 1966 to present.

Military Service:
1939-1940:French Armed Forces.
1943 to 1946: United States Army Medical Corps.
First Lieutenant 1944, Captain 1945. Served in the Mediterranean theater of operations. was awarded two campaign medals and, in 1945, was made a Knight of the Crown of Italy.

Marcel Verzeano will provide posthumous testimony in the upcoming documentary And Crown Thy Good: Varian Fry in Marseille.


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