You probably read the title of this post and wondered "Charles Fernley Fawcett? Who's that? And why the rather melodramatic heading of 'for whom the bell tolls'?"
Charles Fernley Fawcett worked with Varian Fry [another too little known name] after the fall of France in 1940 to get desperate refugees out of the country. Many made their way to the United States where, in addition to finding refuge, they changed the face of American and, ultimately, all of Western culture.
Among the people saved by Fry with Fawcett's help were Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Jacques Lipchitz, Heinrich Mann, Franz Werfel, Alma Mahler Werfel, André Breton, Victor Serge, André Masson, Lion Feuchtwanger, Konrad Heiden, Hannah Arendt.
For more on Fawcett you can go to the page the Varian Fry Institute. You will also learn there about the forthcoming documentary by Pierre Sauvage who did the compelling documentary [a must see] on Le Chambon, Weapons of the Spirit.
Often this blog devotes space to characters who do no good and who do much bad. It's nice to devote space, even at this sad moment, to someone who did so much good.
When he is buried in London the bells will be tolling for all of us, given how he risked his life to do good. May his memory be for a blessing.