Varian Fry at work on the street in Marseilles, c. 1940-41.
Photo courtesy of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Association Varian Fry - France. . .

An educational association, affiliated with the Varian Fry Foundation Project/IRC, established in Marseille, France, in October 1999.


This association has the purpose to bring to the largest public audience and to schools and universities in France the memory of the humanitarian resistance of Varian Fry and of the American rescue and relief organization he established in Marseille during World War II. Thanks to this non governmental organization, more than 2000 refugees and their families, endangered by the Nazis, were helped or were rescued from Vichy France.

The Association sees as its task the furthering of citizenship education of younger persons and, for the general public, a recall of the atrocities of the war and of the genocide perpetrated by totalitarian regimes, in order to bring about a better understanding of the present world.


The Association is developing an educational booklet for French secondary schools, which will be the basis of an educational kit similar to the one produced by the Varian Fry Foundation Project/IRC. The video "Assignment: Rescue" has been translated into French and negotiations are under way to translate also Fry's autobiography with the same title (see RESOURCES).

The Association hopes to distribute the kit first in southern France. If it finds good acceptance by secondary schools in that region, the distribution will be extended nationally.

As part of its public education program, the Association furnishes speakers to local historical groups and associations, and intends, in the future, to participate in historical exhibits related to its purpose.


As noted under Recognition, the square in front of the U.S. Consulate in Marseilles has been renamed "Place Varian Fry."

The Association presently is negotiating with the owner of the former office of the "Centre Americain de Secours" at 18, boulevard Garibaldi, Marseilles, to see whether its future headquarters and a small Varian Fry museum might be located there.


The Association is funded by membership fees and donations and is seeking grants from local and regional governments, which will permit the planned distribution of the educational kit. Contributions are welcomed.


The Association is governed according to the French Law of 1901. It has an Honorary Committee, an Administrative Council, and Corresponding Members.

Administrative Council

President: Prof. Jean-Michel Guiraud
Treasurer: Bernard Delavaud
Secretary: Rose-Marie Vilafranca
Assistant Secretaries: Genevi'eve Beaumont, Huguette Lafont
Education and Training: Prof. Rene'e Bensousan
Relations with Universities - Education: Prof. Robert Mencherini
Relations with Universities - Research: Prof. Emile Temime
Relations with Schools: Prof. Michel Barbe,
Prof. Isabelle Debilly
Public Relations: Pierre Balesi
Relations with Administrations: Pierre-Jean Senie
Relations with United States: Prof. Christine Orsola
Relations with Spain: Prof. Francoise Nin
Relations with Germany: Prof. Sylvette Gall
Research and Documentation: Jocelyne Rotily

Corresponding Members:
Ge'rard Bonet (Perpignan)
Prof. Ge'raldine Gil (Italy)
Michel Neumuller (Marseille)
Vincent Noce (Paris)
Edith Ochs (Paris)

Association Varian Fry - France
Maison des Associations
93 La Canebi'ere
13001 Marseille

Tel. (direct): 06-85-75-92-57
Fax: 04-91-55-38-57 (from U.S. 011-33-4-91-55-38-57)

Rev. January 2, 2001

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©1997 The Varian Fry Foundation Project/IRC


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