17 Rue Saint Fiacre
United States | 24 mins | French, w/Eng. subtitles
Bay Area native Daniel Meyers tells a true story of a 'conspiracy of goodness' by working class French Catholics who sheltered and loved the two young children of a Jewish family. Suzanne and Henri Ribouloue lived on the same street as the Melmeds, a Jewish family in the town of Compiegne during World War II. When asked about her courage, Suzanne simply says: ” I made the decision, you don't let children go to their death, after that it was easy.” Daniel documents Rachel and Leon Melmed's return to Compiegne to celebrate Suzanne's 90th birthday with the rest of their adopted family. Rachel and Leon were the only Jews from Compiegne who remained alive after 1942.
This is a very personal story for filmmaker Daniel Meyers. His mother, Odette Meyers narrowly escaped during a round up of Paris Jews in 1942. Like Rachel and Leon, she was hidden by a Catholic family and survived the war in German-occupied France. Her story was told in the 1986 Academy Award nominated documentary THE COURAGE TO CARE.