Lois Gunden et le secours mennonite aux enfants (France, 1941-1943)

The year 2020 marked the centenary of the Mennonite Central Committee. Although relatively unknown in France, the Committee, the main aid organization of the Mennonite community, was active on French soil from the end of the Spanish Civil War, primarily in establishing children’s convalescent homes during the Second World War. One young Mennonite volunteer named Lois Gunden, who managed the Villa Saint Christophe in Canet-en-Roussillon from 1941 to 1943, helped rescue Jewish children from extermination by the Nazis. As such, Gunden, who was posthumously recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations,” exemplifies the significant contribution of care organizations in the rescue of the persecuted Jews and the growing status of women in American Mennonite churches through their humanitarian contribution.