Exhibit: Women Who Dared
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What She Said
  Denise Schorr
  Member of Jewish French Resistance
  Boston WWD Event 2000
  Found safe shelter for children whose parents had been deported by the Nazis in
Biography  up to top

Denise Khaitman Schorr was born in Paris to Russian immigrants. Her family ran a shoe business. Although her parents did not provide her with a religious upbringing, Schorr always had a strong Jewish identity, which was reinforced by her experiences during the war. When World War II broke out, Schorr was a teen-ager. Her parents were visiting relatives in the US, and although they had the opportunity to stay and to send for their children, their patriotism prompted them to return to Paris. Three days before the Germans arrived in Paris, the family escaped to the countryside in a truck filled with relatives. Schorr came back to Paris on her own but was quickly followed by her parents, who did not want the family to be separated. They managed to stay together throughout the war.

During the war, Schorr became involved in the French Resistance through the Union Generale des Israelites de France. She worked as a social worker with displaced children and placed them with Gentile families through underground connections. Schorr has maintained close and affectionate ties with two children whom she helped save. Toward the end of the occupation and after liberation, she also helped adults and elderly people who were in hiding.

Schorr married an American man who was part of the force that stormed the beach at Normandy. They met soon after the liberation of Paris and were engaged after three dates. She returned to the US with him in 1946. Until 1969, they lived in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, where her husband was the director of the Jewish Community Center. Schorr taught cooking, wrote cookbooks, and catered, while she and her husband raised their 5 adopted children. Schorr also served in myriad volunteer positions at the JCC and their synagogue. Today, Schorr gives testimony to school children about her wartime experiences and is completing her memoirs.

What She Said  up to top
My mother was always worried about me. When we left each other in morning, we never knew if we would see each other at night again. ...More 
[The occupation] made [my Jewish identity] even stronger. I mean, the fact that we were singled out. ...More 
I didn't think I was a hero, believe me. And I still don't. I did what had to be done, ...More 
I tell you how my experiences affected me. There is one thing. I cannot tolerate complainers. I feel there is always something constructive that one can do. ...More 
The most rewarding part was when you felt like you gave some comfort to those kids. You know, that you made them feel that they were worth it ...More 
I feel very strongly that teenagers and younger children -- this is the group that has to be inspired. ...More 
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How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Denise Schorr." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pdschorr>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Denise Schorr," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pdschorr>.