Germaine Belinne, Belgium

In Louviere, Belgium, Germaine grew up in the same neighborhood with two Jewish brothers, Charles and Simon Moncarz.

One day in 1941 word got out that Charles and his family were about to be arrested. Germaine obtained papers from members of her family (who were out of the country) and gave them to Charles. Germaine got her first taste of helping Jews, a compassionate yet exciting work.

Charles’s niece, Tova, came to stay with Germaine and her daughter, Liliane Gaffney. It was difficult for Germaine to place Tova in Belgium since she spoke no French or Flemish. If a stranger came to visit, Tova pretended to be deaf.

Germaine needed many to get more fake papers for relatives of Charles and Simon. Fortunately, she had a friend who worked in the courthouse and was able to get ”legal” papers belonging to actual people. Because of this, Germaine was able to help make disappear a total of about thirty desperate Jews. Germaine would take the people she was helping to places where no one knew them to minimize questions.

Germaine also managed to procure rations cards for those she helped.

In 1948, after the war, Germaine and her family moved to the United States. Germaine felt depressed at times, which she attributed to two factors. First, she missed taking care of people every day, and having that purpose in life. Secondly, she felt guilty that possibly she could have done more, saved more people.