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27 November 2014

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Albert Bedane - Righteous Among the Nations
Albert Bedane

Point 4 - Albert Bedane

During the Occupation Albert Bedane sheltered a Jewish woman and escaped slaves from the Nazis in his cellar. He was declared 'Righteous Among the Nations' by Israel in 2000.

Albert Bedane was born in France in 1893 and his family moved to Jersey in 1894. He served in India and Siberia during the Great War. By 1925 he was married with a daughter and running a physiotherapy clinic from his home in Roseville Street, St. Helier.

Memorial to Albert Bedane in Roseville Street
Plaque at the site of Bedane's home

After Jersey was Occupied by Nazi troops in July 1940, some of them came to his clinic for treatment. As the war progressed little did they realise that Bedane was also using his home to shelter an escaped French POW, three escaped Russian slaves and a Dutch Jew - Mrs Mary Richardson who was married to a local man.

Beneath his clinic there was a three-roomed cellar, which he use to shelter those who had sought refuge with him. By asking for payment in food rather than money from his clients, Albert managed to feed everyone without arousing suspicion.

Mary Richardson escaped to Roseville Street after managing to slip way from the Guards that had taken her home to fetch her belongings and valuables after being identified as Jewish. She had been told that she would be taken to a "very nice, special camp" where she would be looked after.

For the next 2 1/2 years, Mary lived in the cellar and attic of Bedane's house, whilst her Husband, Captain Richardson feigned senility when the Germans came to question him.

"I had a few nightmares occasionally but I thought that if I was going to be killed, I would rather be killed for a sheep than a lamb anyway."
Albert Bedane speaking in 1970

Albert Bedane knew he stood to be shot, if caught but that did not deter him from protecting those that had found refuge under his roof. Speaking to the Jersey Evening Post in 1970 he said, "I had a few nightmares occasionally but I thought that if I was going to be killed, I would rather be killed for a sheep than a lamb anyway."

Albert Bedane received little recognition of his bravery during his lifetime, although the Russian Government did present him with a gold watch for his services to those Soviet citizens to whom he had offered a place of safety. He died in Jersey in 1980.

In 2000 Israel posthumously conferred its highest honour on Bedane, by declaring him 'Righteous Among the Nations.' The Medal and Certificate are now on display at the Occupation Tapestry Gallery at the Maritime Museum on New North Quay.

Albert Bedane's house at 45 Roseville Street no longer exists, but a plaque was unveiled on the site to celebrate his remarkable story.

Moving on to Point 5

Route du Fort
Proceed along Route du Fort

Follow the footpath along La Route du Fort towards the Tunnel, you will pass the pedestrian entrance to the back of Green Street cemetery and car park on your right.

At the roundabout cross Green Street and take the first right hand turning into Snow Hill Car Park.

last updated: 12/07/05
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