Book Review: The Forgotten Names by Mario Escobar

June 20, 2024


The Forgotten Names by Mario Escobar is a historical fiction story of a woman who is trying to find the original names of Jewish Children in France who were hidden from the Nazis. Mr. Escobar is a historian, a published best-selling author, a writer, and a director of an NGO.

  • 336 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Muse
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1400248418

Book Review: The Forgotten Names by Mario Escobar
My rating for The Forgotten Names – 5

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The Forgotten Names by Mario Escobar tells two true stories, that of the operation to save 108 Jewish children during World War II, and that of a French student researching the operation in 1992. I have read several books, fiction, and non-fiction on this subject. Several of the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, whose residents banded together to save as many of their countrymen as they could.

The Night of Venissieux, the efforts of about 500 French citizens to save 100 or so Jewish children from deportation to Lyon is now well documented. The senior Catholic clergy in Lyon, Archbishop Pierre-Marie Gerlier, supported this effort which was headed by Father Alexandre Glasberg. Mr. Glasberg was posthumously awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in recognition of his work saving hundreds of Jews in Vichy France during World War II.

Mr. Escobar took an inspiring story and wrote a powerful book about it. He looks evil in the eye, and what makes good people stand up to it. Even those who were ideologically anti-Semites, could not stand by.

This was not a simple operation; it took sacrifices by everyone involved. Not the least from the parents who were asked to give up their children and put the rescuers in mortal danger. This is a short book, but dramatic, well-written, and extremely interesting. I will certainly put Mario Escobar on authors whose books I’m going to be looking out for, unfortunately my Spanish is not good enough to read the ones I eyed on his website.


Valérie Portheret, a French law student, is writing her thesis on the notorious Nazi, Klaus Barbie (the Butcher of Lyon). During her research, Valérie finds a list of 108 names. Investigating further she finds that those are names of Jewish children who smuggled from under the nose of the Nazi occupying regime, giving them new names and hiding them in plain sight.

ValĂ©rie takes on a new mission, to find these kids, if they’re still alive, and gift them their old name. As a historian, she also wants to hear their stories.

Buy The Forgotten Names from*
More Books by Mario Escobar*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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The Forgotten Names by Mario Escobar

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