Home Christian News Scottish Minister Who Helped 2,000 People Escape the Nazis Memorialized in France

Scottish Minister Who Helped 2,000 People Escape the Nazis Memorialized in France

This summer, the play version of The Tartan Pimpernel was staged at the Edinburgh Festival for the first time. Actor Graeme Dallas, who starred as Caskie, said the minister “was gentle but with a streak of iron, and that is why he was able to save so many servicemen.”

During production, Dallas said the crew “met lots of members of the minister’s family who came to see the play.” They brought mementoes, he said, which offered “an even greater insight into the man and his story.”

The nickname Tartan Pimpernel came from The Scarlet Pimpernel, a 1905 novel about an Englishman’s rescue efforts during the French Revolution.

Caskie reportedly enjoyed entertaining in Paris, where he hosted high-society parties. Church members, however, recalled him as shy and humble.

According to a 2001 documentary, Caskie was a homosexual. Filmmaker Angus Peter Campbell said the minister was “straight at home [and] gay abroad,” referring to Caskie’s time in Paris. The pastor apparently was able to keep his sexual orientation hidden from congregants.

Of Caskie, Campbell says, “I think he fulfilled the two prime commandments, which are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.”

Blogger Andrew Page writes: “Caskie was unquestionably a hero, but he deserves to be remembered for more than his remarkable wartime exploits. Donald Caskie the man is far more interesting than Donald Caskie the myth, and to view his life solely through his wartime experience risks dehumanizing this most human of men.”