On this day, the 63-year-old Maurice Trélut, a Frenchman, died in the Little Camp of Buchenwald. He had spent the last months of his life here in the camp slum, surrounded by filth, stench, disease and mass death.
In 1939, when he was in his late fifties, the trained veterinarian and World War I veteran had volunteered to fight against the Germans. After returning from war imprisonment in 1942, he had once again officiated as mayor of Tarbes in Southern France. He secretly continued the struggle, working with others to set up a refuge for persecuted Jews and members of the resistance in one of the city’s hospitals. His protest against the politics of the occupiers ultimately led to his arrest and deportation in July 1944.
Fifty years later, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem in Israel recognized him as a “Righteous Among the Nations”.
Reference: Jean-François Soulet, Maurice Trélut. Un homme de paix dans la tourmente des deux guerres mondiales, Morlaàs 2020.