1. They didn’t blend into their communities and tended to act on their own principles. In short, they were nonconformists.
2. They were independent and they knew it.
3. They had a long history of doing good deeds and therefore these deeds didn’t seem extraordinary to them.
4. They identified with victims of injustice and they saw beyond race and ethnicity.
Unlike social scientists who look for patterns of commonality, we reveled in their diversity. They proved that there were many paths to goodness. They suggested that all of us can be rescuers. When we asked them: “Why did you do this?”, they bristled, resenting the question.
Ivan Beltrami joined the Resistance in Marseilles in 1942. As a physician, he was able to keep Jews and resistance workers in the hospital to avoid deportation.