In 1943 three young men got on a train and freed 200 Jewish prisoners using only one pistol and some wire cutters!
In 1943 three young men had a plan to save Jewish people from being deported to Auschwitz.
On the night of 19 April 1943, they got on their bicycles and cycled 40 kilometers from their homes in Brussels to Boortmeerbeek in Flanders.
There were 1,600 Jews on a train that was transporting them from Belgium to the infamous Nazi death camp and Robert Maistriau (22), Youra Livchitz(25), and Jean Franklemon (25), were adamant to free them from that horrible fate.
They were armed with one pistol, three pairs of wire cutters, a lantern, a red rag and a lot of courage and determination.
They made an impromptu stop sign by wrapping their lantern in the red rag and laying it on the tracks. They lay in wait and watched as the train actually came to a stop.
Robert then ran to the train and forced a carriage door open with his wire cutters. Seventeen people managed to jump out and run as the guards opened fire.
Livchitz returned fire with the pistol while Maistriau and Franklemon managed to break open another carriage. They told the prisoners to get out and run for their lives.
The guards were coming too close and the brave trio had to jump on their bicycles and flee, racing all the way back to Brussels, but some prisoners still on the train managed to break into the open cars and made their escape as the train started moving again.
The bravery of those three young men saved the lives of 200 of the 1600 Jewish prisoners and it was the only time in occupied Europe that resistance fighters liberated a deportation train.