Diana Mara Henry, distinguished author, journalist, photographer, historian, and Holocaust scholar, introduces her new book, “The Man and the Book. The Memoirs of Andre Scheinmann: A Hero’s Journey.”

The public is welcome to all guest speaker events. Admission is free.

“The Man and the Book. The Memoirs of Andre Scheinmann, A Hero’s Journey,” a new book by Diana Mara Henry, is the topic of her presentation at Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation, at 5 p.m., September 12.

In this memoir of scandalously daring exploits as a spy for the British from the director’s office of the French National Railroads for Brittany, Andre Peulevey, the name by which the Jewish German ex-pat Joseph Scheinmann was known, details others’ and his own sacrifices and heroism – documented in eye-witness accounts – that saved many lives and inflicted savage damage on the Nazis and their collaborators. Then, punished under the “Nacht und Nebel” (Night and Fog) decree, Andre and his comrades continued to fight from inside Gestapo prisons in Paris and at Natzweiler-Struthof in Alsace, the only Nazi Konzentrationslager on French soil. This camp was dedicated to the punishment, exploitation and elimination of political prisoners from two dozen European countries and the gassing of Gypsies and Jews.

How did Andre, freedom fighter and spy, a Jew who wasn’t known to be one, manipulate the Nazis and survive a camp designed “exclusively for non-Jews”? [dmh@dianamarahenry.com]

Diana Mara Henry’s presentation reveals the exploits of the remarkable Andre Scheinmann, freedom fighter, soldier, concentration camp prisoner and kapo, and spy, from his teen years in Germany and France, to adulthood, survival and liberation in 1945.

Scheinmann and Henry worked together for three years before his death in 2001 to create the final version of the detailed memoirs which are now available at www.callmeandre.com.  

Diana Mara Henry, B.A., photojournalist, researcher, and photographer, has devoted her creative and professional life to documenting socio-political phenomena and causes.

For her award-winning journalism she received grants from the NY State Council of the Arts, the NY Foundation for the Arts, and the Schlesinger Library. As an undergraduate at Harvard she earned the Ferguson History Prize. Her photography for private literary, social and fashion clients in New York City has been widely published.

Since 1985, when she first visited Natzweiler-Struthof, the camp has been the subject of her exhibits, lectures (French and English), research and academic pursuits. Encouraged by a variety of specialists in the history of the Second World War and the Holocaust who recognized her work on Natzweiler, she earned a master’s degree in translation at Brandeis where she fine-tuned her translation of Eugene Marlot’s memoir, “L’Enfer d’Alsace.” Her research is summarized at www.natzweiler-struthof.org.

Henry recommends “Pilgrim Among the Shadows” by Boris Pahor for information about Natzweiler, and “Night and Fog” by Arne Brun Lie. Both books guide the reader from the present to the past of the survivor authors. Pahor, a man of letters in Europe who was promoted for a Nobel Prize in literature, was a dedicated Slovene anti-fascist and nationalist arrested in Italy. Lie was a 19-year-old who had barely begun to explore the resistance in Norway and hadn’t even had the nerve to distribute leaflets. His book was written as a way to overcome lasting inhibitions and trauma.