BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – The hundred-year-old resistance fighter Andrée Geulen-Herscovici was named an honorary citizen of the municipality of Ixelles on Saturday during a ceremony in Flagey.
“The Ixelles City Council decided on the 9th of September 2021 to award this prestigious title to Ms Andrée Geulen-Herscovici in recognition of the exceptional courage she displayed during the Second World War, for her efforts in saving thousands of Jewish children. As well as for her contribution in defending the fundamental human values,” said the municipality.
Andrée Geulen was only 20 years old when she joined the resistance. Together with others, Geulen managed to save some three thousand Jewish children during the Second World War. She was a teacher. When she saw Jewish children with a yellow star coming to school, she jumped into action.
Through an acquaintance at school she ended up at a resistance organisation, the Jewish Defence Committee (JVC). It consisted of a dozen women who helped Jewish children go into hiding.
Geulen was made an honorary citizen of Ixelles on Saturday. This was done in the presence of associations representing the hidden children and victims of the Holocaust, schools, neighborhood associations, members of the Ixelles City Council and CPAS and representatives of the embassies.
“All her life, Andrée Geulen-Herscovici, who is now a hundred years old, has continued to testify, time and again, to prevent it from happening again to other children, to other religions, to fight today’s racism, as she fought the racism back in the past, ” says the mayor of Ixelles Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo)
Not the first recognition
In the year 1989, Geulen was recognised as Righteous Among the Nations which is an honorary title given by Israel to the non-Jews who helped the Jews hide and survive during the Holocaust. She was also awarded the honorary citizenship of Israel and the “Prize of the Human Being of the Year” from the ‘Centre communautaire laïc juif’ (CCLJ). Her life has been an inspiration for the young. The difference is only in our heads. All human beings are the same and everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect irrespective of where they come from and what they look like.
Image via BRUZZ