André Trocmé was born in St. Quentin, 1901, in the north of France to Huguenot parents. After seminary in Paris and graduate work at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he was ordained into the French Reformed Church and served for eight years among the coal miners and steel workers of Maubeuge and Sin-le-Noble, two small towns in the north of France. He preached nonviolence at a time when such views were unpopular in France. In 1934 André Trocmé accepted a call to be pastor in the remote Huguenot village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon on the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon in South Central France. These parishioners were more sympathetic to his views on nonviolence.
Magda Trocmé (1901-1996) was born in Italy to an Italian father and a Russian mother. She graduated from the University of Florence with a degree in literature and earned further degrees in French. She and André Trocmé met in the United States while she was attending the New York School of Social Work, and they were married in 1926. Together they had four children, Nelly, Jean-Pierre, Jacques, and Daniel.
Andre Trocmé was the spiritual leader of the Protestant congregation in the village of Le Chambon sur Lignon in South Eastern France.
He urged his congregation in 1942 to give shelter to any Jew who asked for it. Village was soon filled with hundreds of Jews, both permanent and temporary depending on whether they were able to cross the border or not.
Approx 5,000 Jews passed through Le Chambon. Vichy authorities knew what was happening for it was hard to hide. They demanded Trocme to stop but he refused and said “These people came here for help and for shelter. I am their shepherd, a Shepherd does not forsake his flock... I do not know what a Jew is. I know only Human beings.” and for that he was arrested but shortly released....