Manny Pierre didn’t know where it came from, he only knew that it came and it helped in oh-so-many ways. The money always arrived with a small short note that simply said, “Keep up the great cause, we will prevail,” and was simply signed, “Manny.” Pierre didn’t know who Manny was – nobody did! Not then anyway, we do now. But this was during World War II when the Black Horror was sweeping Europe. That’s what Manny called it, The Black Horror, & of course he was referring to the Nazi plague that was taking over most of the continent. Pierre was a leader of the French Resistance, commonly called the underground. He fought with groups of French citizens in the best way he could, by living within main society and leading bands of armed resistance against the Germans in clandestine activities. They would ambush German patrols, blow up German installations and sabotage Nazi operations in any way they could. The Allies were good at providing arms and weapons, but the underground also needed money. That was a commodity that was very hard to come by during the war, especially when your country is completely occupied by an invading military force.
And that’s where Manny came in. He sent money, and he sent a lot of it. Manny was Emmanuel Goldenberg, born a Romanian Jew, who was now living in America . Manny had done very well in his life and he knew only too well what kinds of horrors were going on in his native Romania & the rest of Europe. Jews and others were being gassed and killed by the millions and he had to do something. One thing he could do was use his good fortune to help the war effort. He had tried to join the Armed Forces, but he didn’t qualify, so he did what he could. He sent money to where it was needed the most – to the resistance as I said, Pierre was one of the leaders of the resistance.
There were many, but Pierre controlled the action around the area of Normandy. He and his people were very instrumental in assisting the Allied invasion on D-Day by sabotaging redirecting many Nazi forces moments before the actual invasion. Much of this was possible because of the money that arrived every month. Month after month for two years money arrived for Pierre and his cause from Manny. It never failed! It literally saved the day. No, Pierre never knew who Manny was, only that he sent money for food, clothes, gasoline and many other important things. But years later, we know who Manny was, that silent guardian angel of the French underground.
He was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and a fine gentleman. It’s a Little Known Fact that a very important part of the success of the French underground came from a source they never knew: Emmanuel Goldenberg, or as you knew him, the very fine actor Edward G. Robinson.
P.S. Not many know that he was a famous actor in the Yiddish theater before he became a movie star