Lassana Bathilly is Malian, black and Muslim, and lives and works in Paris. On 9 January 2015, the Jewish supermarket Hyper Cacher of Paris where he works is assaulted by the Islamic terrorists who, after the attack against Charlie Hebdo, are laying the French capital to siege. Bathily, who at the moment of the attack is placing the goods on the shelves, does not hesitate one single moment to defend the Jewish customers of the supermarket: he hides a dozen in a walk-in fridge of the shop in wait for the assailants to leave, he tries to comfort them and switches off the fan not to attract downstairs Amedy Coulibaly and the other terrorists who are ravaging the shop in the upper floor.
“I opened the door of the fridge, taking several people with me - said Bathily - I turned off the light and the freezer and told them to keep calm and silent because if they heard us they would come to take us".
After taking the hostages into safety, Lassana manages to get out of the fridge, through the shop goods hoist, going out and warning the police about what was happening inside.
At the beginning, the agents take him for an accomplice of the terrorists: he is handcuffed and compelled to explain for 90 minutes that he works at the shop, because the cops do not believe a black man can work at Hyper Cacher. He manages though to provide the police with information such as the map of the shop, the security devices and the position of the terrorists and the customers.
For his deeds he has been granted the French citizenship and he has been honoured as a Righteous in the Gardens of the Righteous of Tunis and Vercelli. Now he works in the office of the Mayor of Paris and he has started a non-profit firm to help his country of origin.
"Why did I rescue the Jewish customers? -said Lassana many times - I simply acted, without seeking honours. I never hesitate for a single moment, when I think we have to do a right thing".