Part 3 – The History of Conflicts

Lieutenant FFI’s widow

our neighbor.

updated on 25/08/2012, 16/05/2007, 23/02/2012, 29/09/2013, 19/04/2014, 31/08/2014, 14/05/2018, 16/04/2021.

Charles BIRETTE, his commitment to the Resistance

This widow, our neighbor who lived in two houses above ours, was always silent and bruised after her husband’s death.

Engaged since 1942 in the Resistance-Fer movement, lieutenant of the FFI, group leader at the 1st battalion of the 2nd regiment of France, he participated in early August 1944 in the preparations for the Paris insurrection of which Resistance-Fer with the communist movements are the instigators. This was done without the permission of either the allies or the provisional government led by General de Gaulle.

Charles Birette in 1944 was 49 years old. In August 1914, at the age of 19, he had refused to wear a German uniform and had crossed the border into the Vosges and joined the French army. At the end of the war, he will return to Alsace. In 1940, he was taken prisoner in the Saint-Dié area. Demobilized in 1941, after being a prisoner in Germany, he moved to Paris and engaged in resistance. His job as a railwayman and his command of German enabled him to carry out acts against the occupier.

Member of the Turma-Vengeance network

updated on 29/09/2013: link to Vengeance website

July 2011

Details of Mr. Pierre Mallez, liquidator officer of the Turma-Vengeance network :

I read your comment about the Cascade du Bois de Boulogne shootings. I think you could clarify that Charles Birette was the head of the Corps Francs Vengeance du Raincy.

Jacques Delaporte, Arthur de Smet, Jacques Schlosser, Roland Verdeaux and Pierre Weczerka were members of the Corps Francs Vengeance of the group of Chelles.

Historians try to eliminate our network, because it was not political, when it was very well organized and very full of valuable men. See our website « Chantran.Vengeance”.

Thank you for mentioning the membership of our network of a few men drawn into this trap by Dr. Blanchet’s obstinacy.

The Bois de Boulogne massacre

updated on 14/05/2018: link to the website Rail et Mémoire, the page of Charles Birette with in particular the article of the Last News of Alsace of 4 September 1999 very well documented and very complete,

charles birette résistant article des DNA

The decorations of Charles BIRETTE

Charles Birette sarrelouis mess officier
charles birette décorations militaires

End of documents on the page Railetmémoire

Understand what happened to those resisters captured by the Germans

Events such as the neighborhood learned from this widow are simple at first: the group commanded by this lieutenant FFI is responsible for distributing weapons to future insurgents. On that day, around 15-16 August, the group returned from a weapons transport, its mission was over. This is the Raincy Group.

Birette is replacing an absent chef.

Another group of Chelles had to leave but its leader was not there, Lieutenant Birette then took command and went to join the other groups of Chelles to carry out this mission. This decision is explained by the fact that Charles Birette, in 1942, was part of a group of five resistance fighters of the Réseau Résistance Fer who were charged with creating groups at the Vaires marshaling yard and in the surrounding communes. He knew these different local groups well and did not want to abandon this group of Chelles who were going to leave for this very particular mission on many points.

As his widow said, the Chelles group was waiting for him to come back from his first mission with the Raincy group so that he would go back with them. What did he know about this mission organized by Dr. Blanchet de Chelles?

Capturing the resistance group

They are expected to be in a garage by the Gestapo, taken prisoner, tortured and then are the last shot at the Bois de Boulogne, near the waterfall. 

However, it would appear from the widow’s words (as oral tradition preserves them) that the second group of resistance fighters from Chelles belonged to the same resistance movement, Turma-Vengeance, and that her husband knew this comrade who for some reason was not on time to make this second group leave. According to our latest information, Dr. Blanchet contacted Commander “Albert” (actually Mr. Bouteiller, a teacher in Lagny) who, suspicious, preferred not to participate in the operation… But that remains to be verified… We will meet Mr. Bouteiller as leader of the resistance group of the Vengeance network during the bombing of the Vaires Yard. Why didn’t the 28-year-old doctor listen to the suspicions of a much more experienced local resistance leader who knows all about the arms distribution chain?

The official version is as follows:

“Fallen with forty of his comrades in a trap (the group had a meeting at Porte Maillot with an English officer who was to deliver arms to them for the insurrection, in fact it was an agent of the Gestapo who led them to rue des Saussaies), he was shot on August 16, 1944 at the Cascade du Bois de Boulogne. “

On a page presenting the village of Lutzelhouse, we read: 

At the communal cemetery lies a great resistance fighter: Mr. Birette Charles, born at 32 rue de la Fontaine on 11/04/1895, this lieutenant was shot with 21 of his comrades at the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne 

This figure does not correspond to the 35 martyrs of Chelles. The figure of 42 deaths was established in 2004: 35 for the Chelles group and 7 for the FFI commando. 

A commemorative plaque can be found at the Bois de Boulogne, to read: 

n.e.l.r: the link no longer works, see the links above and the brochure on the Paris city website. 

A street bears his name in the town of Villemomble where he lived during the war 

In the book: the heritage of the communes of Bas-Rhin, with Flohic editions, is found in the following photo and text which establishes a very close relationship with the story of the resistance of the city of Chelles below. 

Charles Birette photo

Charles Birette circa 1940 Private collection Hero and martyr of the resistance, Charles Birette was born in Lutzelhouse on 11 April 1895.

He entered the Resistance-fer movement in 1942 and fell on 16 August 1944 in an ambush. Taken prisoner by the Nazis, he was tortured and executed with thirty-four of his companions at the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne, a few days before the Liberation of Paris.

His remains have been at Lutzelhouse Cemetery since 1948.

Below THE DOCUMENTS that relate to the last resistance fighters massacred or shot at the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne, shortly before the liberation of Paris. 

the brochure describing the events and a specific site on these events: 

The testimony of his widow

Her widow will return to the village but will silence herself, she speaks only to complain to her husband victim of an abominable betrayal a few hours before the liberating insurrection. She also gives the impression that nothing was done by the Resistance to save her husband and her group, that on the contrary, they may have been abandoned to their tragic fate in the interests of the higher interests. Having received a large sum of money to compensate for her husband’s loss, she was not short of money at the end of the war.

In 1948, her husband’s body was buried in the village cemetery with the highest military and civilian honors. Many personalities are present. However, a second misfortune will hit this widow: their only daughter died of pleurisy caught during the war for spending long months hidden in the cold, damp cellars of Paris. It seems that this widow spent a lot of money trying to save her daughter, but despite the money and the doctors, nothing happened. This is probably the cause of his silence and sorrow, and later of some material discomfort. The doctors couldn’t save her only daughter, she felt this as a second betrayal. No one could save either of his family.

The historical context of mid-August 1944:

Since then, we have known that it was indeed the Parisian resistance which, by launching this insurrection, modified the military plans of the allies and that, in the face of the unrest, the massacres committed or made possible by the German troops, General Eisenhower yielded to the pressure of General de Gaulle to authorize the 2nd Armored Division of General Leclerc to enter Paris to the rescue of the FFI.

Preparations for the insurrection in Paris.

To convince the Allied General Staff to change their strategy, did the resistance and the provisional government of Free France “need” martyrs, victims to present the allies with a fait accompli? Was it to obtain these martyrs that the Gestapo’s premises and the places where it shot the resistance fighters were not the first targets of the fighting? That the decision to lock oneself in the heart of the city was made, leaving at a tragic moment the field free to the German troops in order to better legitimize the request for help to the Allied troops? This would be an aggravating reason to understand the resentment that this widow bore in her until her death towards the French leaders of any party—

In the film “Paris on fire”, a sequence shows the German governor of Paris complaining to the Swedish consul that he is tired of having to do the dirty work for the benefit of the future French government, namely arrest the many “bad” resistance and negotiate with the few “good” ones to let them organize the liberation of the city, knowing that the Vichy militia is still active and plays its personal card without necessarily obeying German orders. 

Recently, thanks to the work of historians, the circumstances of the deaths of 35 young people from the group of the city of Chelles have begun to be clarified. Below are the texts published on the Internet commemorating these martyrs. The betrayal of the group by a German secret service agent infiltrated in a young and inexperienced resistance movement is no longer in doubt. As reported below, a commando of this group went well into a garage on Rue d’Argyle in the 16th arrondissement of Paris where they were captured. This is in line with what the widow said.

In the texts below, it is said that there was a supply chain of arms that the young people of Chelles and neighboring cities had just discovered and they were seeking to use it to arm themselves. This sector was certainly organized by a well-structured resistance movement such as the Iron Resistance and FTP. 

Many resistance groups were arming themselves in those days and they were not only those in Chelles, even though events have made us remember their martyr above all today. The fact that her husband died in the place of another leader who was less serious or responsible and who would have been entitled to the honors granted to the liberators of Paris may also explain the bitterness of this widow (it is always the bravest who die first and victory is often left to others… less brave!). 

The treachery of the resistance and its political use in the liberation of Paris

A former Alsatian driver of the June Generals in Italy then De Lattre during the campaign of France and Germany who had retired to the village, had also undertaken research to explain this secret or this silence of the “Birette case”. He concluded that the people of the village would never know the truth because it cannot be said or confessed.

The worst hypothesis would then be to consider that in the face of the confusion and the capture of young and inexperienced resistance groups, the non-communist resistance leadership took the initiative to bring down groups of FTP resistance affiliated to communism so that the latter armed better than the others did not take the total direction of the insurrection to the point of making Paris a free communist city when the allied troops arrived.

Knowing that Iron Resistance was one of the first movements to launch the insurrection, this could explain this and explain that no proof will ever be given. It is known that some people occasionally denounced others and that the German authorities had been moved to do the dirty work instead of the French authorities, understanding well the internal quarrels of the French resistance but having much concern with their “German” responsibility to not yet assume an additional “French” responsibility (this was also one of the reasons for the German authorities to sign the armistice and then the capitulation of Paris, thus avoiding to put on the account of the German troops the victims of fratricidal fighting between French resistance fighters or the victims of Vichyist purification).

It also seems that the shots fired from the roofs of Paris during the parade of General de Gaulle did not come from German soldiers but from French Militia shooters, it seems… All this to explain that the political situation of the resistance was complicated even if in the victorious march unity was imposed, the victory making everything forget! 

The resistance of the railway workers at the Vaires triage station in the Resistance-Fer group.

update of 25 august 2004 and 16/05/2007: 

In view of the press reports on the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the massacre of the resistance fighters at the Bois de Boulogne waterfall, the situation is becoming clearer and the story of the 35 resistance fighters from Chelles massacred at the waterfall is almost established. The role of the traitor posing as an English agent explains this capture of the resistance.

But Lieutenant Birette’s FFI group was operating under a different structure: he had his own cache of weapons and didn’t have to “run the streets” to find them. This group was stealing and storing weapons on trains parked at the Vaires Yard, which was its primary objective. Charles Birette is one of the first five resistors of the Resistance-Fer network in the east of Paris and he will form groups of 10 resistors each in this region. It is worth remembering that he was a soldier who fought in the French army in 1914-18 and in the French army in 1939-40 before being liberated by the Germans and entering into resistance in 1942.

And we have documents which show that the resistance group to which Charles Birette belongs is well organized and that its objectives are clear and of major military importance. Here we find the name of Commander Albert Bouteiller, responsible for the Vengeance network in Thorigny. The main weapon of this group was the destruction of the Vaires Yard in connection with London.


In 1943, this network adopted an agreement with the F. T. P. groups to ensure with the Iron Resistance a “reasoned” destruction of the works of art. The idea is to keep some of these works standing to ensure the rapid restart of the SNCF network.

 Without it, it will be difficult to deliver the equipment necessary for the rapid advance of the Forces de libération du Territoire français. On the morning of March 29, an agent of Résistance-Fer, Jean-Marie, a switcher at Vaires-Triage, noticed the successive arrival of three trains: one carries troops, one carries fuel, and one carries ammunition.

Captain Louis Martin, resistant and Thorignian, immediately informed his leader, Commander Albert Bouteiller, responsible for the Vengeance network in Thorigny.

The main fact of weapons of this group is the destruction of the Vaires triage station in conjunction with London.


In 1943, this network adopted an agreement with the F. T. P. groups to ensure with the Iron Resistance a “reasoned” destruction of the works of art. The idea is to keep some of these works standing to ensure the rapid restart of the SNCF network.

 Without it, it will be difficult to deliver the equipment necessary for the rapid advance of the Forces de libération du Territoire français.

On the morning of March 29, an agent of Résistance-Fer, Jean-Marie, a switcher at Vaires-Triage, noticed the successive arrival of three trains: one carries troops, one carries fuel, and one carries ammunition.

Captain Louis Martin, resistant and Thorignian, immediately informed his leader, Commander Albert Bouteiller, responsible for the Vengeance network in Thorigny.

The latter will discuss the English intelligence services that have agents in France.

Captain Lacoste de Lagny and JMF went to Vaires-Triage and saw the importance of the intelligence. At 1:00 p.m., the resistance made contact with London. Bombing of the site is scheduled for 9:00 p.m.

other document:

On March 29, 1944, the municipality of Vaires, in the Paris region, ordered the evacuation of children aged six to fourteen years who were within a 500-meter perimeter around the marshaling yard. A reasonable step that follows the Allies’ recommendations. All people who live near railway nodes and have opportunities to stay away from home are invited to move away. Nearly 1,500 children were displaced with a group of adults and the support of Red Cross volunteers.

At about 9:20 p.m. on March 29, 1944, the most important sorting center in eastern Paris was the target of 76 Halifax crews from Britain and Canada, who were preceded by eight Mosquitos intended to mark the target. At 9:35, the scouts dropped their markers. At 2142, a fire marker fell over the center of the yard. At 2145, a first wave of bombers arrived and delivered their ammunition at an altitude ranging from 1000 to 600 meters. Three waves follow one another. The sorting is burning.

A parked ammunition train received several direct blows, which caused powerful explosions and a huge plume of smoke that interfered with subsequent aircraft. When it exploded, the convoy dug a trench 250 meters long, 30 meters wide and at least 6 meters deep. Wagons deformed by the force of the blast are propelled against those of neighboring trains which are themselves overturned by the shock wave.

…/… All main lines passing through Vaires station are interrupted. The German losses were considerable because of the trains that were there at the time of the strike. While the British cite the number of 1,270 victims, on the German side, 2,735 people are reported dead or missing. The rescue team identified nine railway workers killed and whose charred bodies could not be identified as known at the time. Fifteen civilians were injured while 74 houses were more or less seriously damaged.

Two days later, the Germans requisitioned all able-bodied men aged 16 to 60 to participate from 7 a.m. and until 5 p.m. in the excavations.

end of document.

The infiltration of resistance by the German intelligence service.

The German intelligence service soon realized that the bombing of Vaires-triage was carried out with the help of local resistance. So is this a possible explanation for why he chose to specially infiltrate this resistance group with experienced spies to take revenge and try to destroy it?

To attract their prey, the German intelligence service makes believe that there will be a significant distribution of weapons from London. At that time, this was the case for most of the large maquis who had received their parachuting of weapons this time with bazookas and mortars, as for example in the Savoies at the Col des Saisies. Charles Birette’s group had been in direct contact with London for the bombing of 29 March. This information could be credible. Yet the day before, messages from Radio-Londres asked the Paris resistance to beware because a raid was planned by the Germans. Was this intelligence gathered by decrypting German transmissions made by Ultra, the allied intelligence service using the world’s first computers and which had broken the secret code of German Enigma machines? Did this information come from the Parisian resistance fighters who had alerted London by radio and asked to use radio-Londres to warn everyone?

A resistance fighter in contact with the group of traitors and Germans had indeed been arrested a few days earlier by the Gestapo because he was able to understand the deception and was dealing with Germans and not British. Jean Guérin was arrested on 7 August and then deported. This indicates that this watch is prepared for long dates by the Germans… and by the resistance fighters of Chelles and surroundings.

The L’Humanité web site of August 24, 2002, presents the text of the speech of the Deputy Mayor of Chelles ( read below). This text provides yet more recent information and mentions “the recent investigation into this tragedy by historian Adam Rayski (3). It reveals new elements. According to him, it would be through the obviously involuntary intermediary of an acquaintance of Abbé Borme, in this case Sabine Zatlin, alias “Jeanne”, famous resistance fighter since she is the former director of the Izieu children’s shelter, that the trap could have been set. “Jeanne”, whose husband was being deported while she herself was being actively sought, was reportedly in contact with a certain “Alexander”, an English intelligence agent. “Alexander”, whose file, first annexed to the only police report devoted, to our knowledge, to this case, has disappeared, allegedly worked under the orders of a named Charles Porel (sometimes called Borel), his real name Karl Rehbein, officer of the Abwehr, the German counter-espionage service. 

Moreover, according to Adam Rayski, this Porel was accompanied by a young woman named Lydia Tscherwinska, called “Katherine”, known as “Joan”. Finally, Porel, whose superior was known only under the pseudo name of “Captain”, is said to have worked during the months of May and July, notably in Marseille, Toulouse and Paris, to bring down a network of young resistance fighters: “the Jewish Army.”

But this group of Resistance-Fer apparently was not informed of this threat or as indicated above by Mr. Pierre Mallez, liquidator officer of the Turma-Vengeance network, these men were dragged into this trap by the obstinacy of Dr. Blanchet.

Further details on the capture of the three groups of resistants.

The myth of young students wanting to liberate Paris is false. Experienced resistance fighters, police and gendarmes, ex-soldiers lead the 3 resistance groups captured that day. Why did they leave without any protection at these appointments?

This capture of resistance networks in the Paris region with the help of French traitors managed to attract three groups on August 16: a group of young people from the Christian movement led by Guy Hemery, a group of communist FTP, these two groups from Chelles or the surrounding area are led by Jean Favé alias “Paris”, co-responsible with Doctor Henri Blanchet, and a group of resistance fighters from Draveil. The first two meet in the morning, the third in the afternoon.

Draveil’s group was last arrested at about 3 pm in the middle of Leroux Street following a shooting with German troops because it included armed resistance fighters, some of whom were police. The other two groups were arrested in the morning. Another mission to this arms cache on Rue d’Armaillée will be canceled the next day (which is what the press reports are talking about), once these arrests on August 16th have been made.

The prisoners of the FTP group will join those of the group of young people of Chelles, rue des Saussaies and will be massacred on the evening of August 16 at the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne. The leader of the group of Chelles, Dr. Blanchet, will be shot near the premises of the Gestapo, Avenue Foch. Lieutenant Birette’s widow reports that her husband was transferred to Foch Avenue in the Gestapo premises to be tortured because the Germans understood that he was Alsatian and spoke German, so they could interrogate him in German directly without an interpreter and they thought that under torture he would speak and give information, especially since his family was still in Alsace and could therefore serve as a hostage and a means of pressure. He was also among the oldest and probably was part of the management of these groups. Resistance comrades of Birette rushed into the premises of Gestapo Avenue Foch as soon as these premises were taken by the FFI and they found notes showing that Birette had not spoken.

When the bodies were gathered in the barn, the bodies were photographed for later identification by the families. Lieutenant Birette’s widow received these photos and once she showed them to her neighbors in our family: Birette’s face was no longer recognizable after torture. Did he die under torture?

Testimonies indicate that the body of the captain of the Chelles youth group, Doctor Blanchet, was thrown next to the pile of corpses at the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne. Birette’s Alsatian identity may have been quickly discovered simply by the fact that he had insulted German soldiers in German, which would be amply understandable, or by the fact that he gave counter-orders in German to mislead the soldiers who had captured them, and that from that moment on he was separated from the groups of captured resistance fighters and the latter lost track of him. There is also the very plausible hypothesis that the presence of an Alsatian speaking German is suspect or difficult to explain to the Parisian public and that his case was put aside after this massacre and the liberation of Paris. The cases of the two commanders of these groups, Jean Favé alias “Paris” who managed to escape with far too much luck and whose escape will be suspect as soon as Paris is liberated, the assassination of Blanchet in the street before arriving at the headquarters of the Gestapo rue de la Pompe while he is separated from the group of resistance will also be suspect.

There is also the hypothesis that during the detention on Argyle Street or their transfer to Foch Avenue, Birette and the head of the Chelles youth group, Guy Hermery who had participated in the discussions with the alleged British agents to set the 3 appointments, were able to discuss the situation and that Birette realized the stupidity that the other had committed. At that time this official certainly realized his mistake and that a man like Birette could have told him that it was not normal for an appointment to be fixed at the garage rue d’Argyle by someone else outside Birette and his direct superiors who had successfully organized the previous transports of arms in Paris.

In the brochure of the City of Paris, it is indicated that the resistance fighters of the second group remained prisoners in the garage on Rue d’Armette until their departure at the beginning of the night towards the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne. Blanchet would then have gone to Rue de la Pompe with a few others and Birette to Avenue Foch, two Gestapo headquarters in Paris. Rue de la Pompe, there were French auxiliaries and Avenue Foche only Germans. This may explain these different addresses and Birette’s being questioned in German by higher-ranking Gestapo officers because he knew more about the resistance networks in the region than Blanchet did. Then they would have returned in a truck to meet their group in the garage or the hotel next door to go to the Bois de Boulogne. Blanchet was dead and Birette was horribly tortured and probably unable to move.

We repeat, Birette is one of the founders of the Resistance-Fer groups in the east of Paris, in the Turma-Vengeance network, he is a comrade with Dr. Henri Blanchet. He was last approached when the group was ready to leave. He was not aware of what had happened to set up this operation. He and his group had been engaged in another arms transport operation and that operation had been successful. He might have thought that the second operation he was going to participate in was as well organized as the first. His wife probably more aware of the situation had to warn him too, but he went to join his comrades whom he knew well… except that Blanchet before the departure told him nothing about the threats, warnings, advice not to go from Albert Bouteiller which he had not taken into account and which in reality he, Charles Birette, was replacing.


One witness, Robert Israel, attributed to him the recklessness that cost the entire group their lives. Originally from Champs-sur-Marne and a member of the Corps Francs Vengeance de Seine-et-Marne, Robert Israel (alias Paul) knew some actors in the drama, as evidenced by one of his writings dated 18 June 1965 (comments on the commemorative ceremony of 6 June 1964, at the Bois de Boulogne): “The Bois de Boulogne affair is not that(3). An ambitious(4), a reckless(5) are responsible. One died.

[…]Why didn’t Blanchet listen and obey, when he was told that it was impossible that 3,300 tons(6) of weapons should be at our disposal.No Resistance fighter who had been practicing the Resistance since 1941 wanted to believe in this miracle. On August 15 at 5 p.m., with Petitdemange(7)([unreadable] lieutenant), I again begged Blanchet not to leave, that it could only be a trap. Same plea to the one who contacted the so-called Canadian.”


3 Report to the ceremonial speeches.

4 Perhaps Jean Favé.

5 It is therefore Dr. Henri Blanchet, as the rest of the text seems to indicate, who will be killed (indicated dead below).

6 Wrote thus, and underlined.

7 Lucien Petitdemange, of Revenge.

end of document.

Birette knew the route of distribution of stolen weapons to the German army and prisoners in the cellars, which Hemery had to tell him and certainly also the young doctor Blanchet convinced him of the trap in which they had fallen. At that time, Blanchet, aware that he was the main culprit in this disaster because of his stubbornness in trying to recover weapons, may well have chosen to try a vain suicide escape to escape torture and thus choose death himself. He rested and was executed. ( another version indicates its execution in the premises of the Gestapo rue de la Pompe). The Germans were able to subscribe him on the sidewalk to pick him up afterwards, his case for them was less important than that of Birette who spoke German and who under torture could give much more important information on the FTP and communist networks, on Resistance-Fer and his participation in the bombing of late March 1944.

Birette did not give the names of the members of his group who had made the first trip and who knew the real distribution chain of arms in Paris. This is a certainty verified by his comrades and passed on by them to his widow. “He hadn’t spoken,” that was the only pride he had left of her husband.

The responsibility of the Parisian resistance leadership.

These well-supervised FFI groups were familiar with the issue of arms transport and were already engaged in these arms distribution operations. Birette had just been able to transport weapons with his group. This places the responsibility of the direction of the Parisian resistance and it is certain that no official likes to take responsibility for such a tragedy, hence the occultation of facts and the construction of a myth to dismiss any link between these shootings and the direction of the resistance. Beyond the shootings, there is the damning and unflattering observation that the resistance was largely infiltrated by the German secret services, which could decide for themselves what the resistance should do: evidence: this capture and massacre of august 17, 1944.

Clarity needs to be established on an important point: Was this garage on the rue d’Argyle a hideout, a cache of FFI-FTP weapons or had nothing to do with the organization of the resistance?

Why was there another group arrested in the afternoon on Rue Leroux? Why did the command still not understand and prevent the capture of the 3rd group? Twenty years after the fact, the incomprehension was still on the face of this widow when she spoke about the circumstances of her husband’s death. In his memoirs, Colonel Rol-Tanguy, will take only half a line to evoke this massacre of resistance fighters at the Boulogne wood waterfall and he will disclaim any responsibility from the Parisian leadership of the FFI, indicating that it did not have the means to control all its resistance networks that came out of the shadows to arm themselves. A so-called SOE agent who tells several resistance groups that he will distribute stocks of weapons delivered by London and the English radio that announces that a raid is being prepared among the resistance and you will want the FFI command in Paris not to know? There is mismanagement in the air!

The communist FTP and the Iron Resistance had only just started distributing weapons, contrary to Gaullist directives, so there is the insidious question: did any party want to break up these arms distributions immediately and did it use the enemy to achieve this end, impossible to achieve on its side? A double agent, even a rather bad one, then represents the best thief for such treachery because initially the address of the arms caches of the resistance was known only to the resistance and not all were discovered by the Nazis, far from it! The invention of the address of a weapons cache by a double agent to attract resisting youth is one thing, the betrayal of the address of a weapons cache another. The intervention of Draveil’s group, like that of Birette, may mean that the FTP movement sought to infiltrate a Catholic and probably Gaullist group in order to better control it in the perspective of the uprising led by the communist movement, which the hierarchy of this lieutenant would never recognize, preferring to forget these events of the fighting and blaming them for a lack of coordination and leadership of the resistance groups between August 12 and 19, 1944. 

The worst hypothesis is that after learning of the capture of the 2 resistance groups and to further increase the responsibility of the Gaullist movements that did not want an uprising of the Resistance, the communist leadership let the third group leave during the afternoon as if the number of prisoners was not enough. It is possible that some minimized the scale of the German response by not imagining the massacre that would follow. Just as we can return to this desolate observation of total incompetence in the organization of the Parisian resistance. Or did the choice to sacrifice resistance fighters from the Vengeance network, an apolitical network of young recruits from a Christian movement, with admittedly some Communist resistance fighters, represent a lesser evil than losing communist comrades inside Paris? There were indeed military operations of the Parisian Resistance controlled by the Communist Party to try to take power in the city and why not in the liberated country. The German military governor of Paris, had complained of having to do the dirty work within the Parisian Resistance to eliminate certain groups instead of the French.

How could such a leadership make itself credible to the Allied General Staff in claiming a major responsibility for the liberation of Paris? On the contrary, in order to avoid further massacres and other disasters led by the German secret services, it was better to immediately bring into Paris an armored division, if possible French, to protect the population and take the place of the leadership of the resistance, impose a military direction of operations to avoid any other threat of treason and manipulation of the resistance movements. But to claim on the rooftops that the Parisian resistance was so disorganized that it was manipulated by the Germans was intolerable. The myth of the strong and victorious resistance had to be constructed and therefore the tragic events that led to the massacre of the Bois de Boulogne waterfall had to be discarded and placed in the shadows or forgotten.

The families of the victims and the people of the cities affected by these deaths have never forgotten these events. Most did not seek to understand what had happened, some persisted in this refusal of silence and continued their quest for truth to understand the full extent of the betrayal that had led to these massacres as well as the importance of the internal conflicts of the Resistance.

Explanations of the internal conflicts in the Resistance in France by some leaders.

Today, we can propose a historical response to these conflicts within the Resistance, drawing on documents and testimonies from former leaders of resistance movements. Here we take two more.

first document:

As regards the coordination of the Resistance’s military action in the Paris region, this document indicates that this was not an easy task for the officer of the Free French Forces sent by their headquarters in London.

In early February 1944, Pierre Sonneville left the submarine La Curie and, after a short stay in Algiers necessary for his assignment at the Central Intelligence and Action Office of London (BCRAL), he arrived in Great Britain on 20 February. He quickly completed a few internships and, in mid-March, was appointed Military Delegate of the Paris region, responsible for coordinating the action of the resistance movements and convincing them to accept the directives coming from London, notably concerning the decentralization of the Military Action Committee (COMAC) created by the National Council of the Resistance (CNR). Once again parachuted into France on 5 April 1944, under the pseudonym of “Equilateral”, he arrived on 15 April in Paris and quickly came into contact with the Military Delegates of the two zones, with the National Military Delegate, Jacques Chaban-Delmas and with the members of COMAC. In his task of unifying the military command of the Paris region, he encountered great difficulties due to the lack of resources and disagreements between the General Delegation and the FFI command, on the one hand, and the CNR and the COMAC on the other. Despite the arrests, “Equilateral” manages to organize the operations of the Paris region in accordance with the directives of General Koenig, commander of the FFI.”

source: Assistance and Cohesion between All Uniforms

[#ActUniformes]invites you to follow the path of memory: the companions of liberation

PIERRE SONNEVILLE ALIAS: Marco Polo – Equilateral – Pierre Cordier – Pierre Sauvel Born on 18 January 1911 – Armentières (59280 NORD FRANCE) Died on 09 April 1970 – Paris (75000 VILLE DE PARIS FRANCE) Companion of the Liberation by decree of 19 October 1945 The Units / Networks / Movements of belonging of the Companion: Minerve BCRA Network Marco Polo Curie DMR.

end of document.

second document:

“The texts published by Mr. Kriegel-Valrimont concern only the short period during which the C.O.M.A.C. operated: May 15, 1944 – August 28, 1944, but it was during these one hundred and five days that the essential military action of the Resistance took place, with the liberation of Paris as a major event.

Between the civil and military organizations of the Resistance on the one hand, and the governing bodies of Free France and their representatives in France on the other, there is a duality of structure, a duality of conception of armed struggle and, underlying but fundamental, a duality of political perspective. By May 1944, all the resistance movements, clandestine political parties and trade union centers hostile to Vichy had achieved, not unity, but coordination of their movements within the National Council of the Resistance which had adopted a program of clearly progressive spirit.

The military formations of the Resistance were also gathered within the French Interior Forces. These were then composed of the military formations of the National Liberation Movement, those of the autonomous movements of northern zones: C.D.L.R. (Those of the Resistance), Libération-Nord, O.C.M. (Civil and Military Organization), C.D.L.L. (Those of Liberation-Vengeance); the F.T.P.F. (Francs-Tireur et Partisans Français); military sections of the O.R.A. (Army Resistance Organization). Not all of these items merged. Their formations remain under their own management but are placed under a single command which is exercised by the national staff and by the regional and departmental staff of the F.F.I.

On May 13, 1944, the C.N.R. decided to create the C.O.M.A.C. (Military Action Committee of the C.N.R.). This organization follows the C.O.M.I.D.A.C. (Military Action Committee of the Central Movements Committee) whose powers were rather ill-defined and which, not emanating from the C.N.R., did not have sufficient authority. On the contrary, the C.O.M.A.C. is directly dependent on the authority of the C.N.R. and is given the status of supreme command body of the F.F.I. in France.

The C.O.M.A.C. is composed of three men: Pierre Villon, National Front representative in the CNR, Communist Party activist; Maurice Kriegel-Valrimont representing movements from the southern zone; he is also a communist, but his membership in the communist party is not yet known to all his fellow resistance fighters. The third member of the C.O.M.A.C., Count Jean de Vogue, who belongs to C.D.L.R., is an industrialist, a former naval officer, far removed from communism in political and social terms; but his ardent desire to fight the Germans with maximum energy without taking any other consideration and to carry out the national insurrection before the arrival of the Allies, to wash away the shame of June 1940 brings him closer to the communists without however ever making him lose his independence from them.

General Revers, representing the O.R.A., sits on the C.O.M.A.C. as technical advisor. Alfred Malleret, known as Joinville, also a Communist militant, was appointed, from the first sessions of the C.O.M.A.C, chief of staff of the F.F.I., in place of the colonel of Jussieu, known as Pontcarral, arrested by the Germans.

At the same time, the French National Liberation Committee has appointed General Koenig as head of the French Interior Forces and he sits on the Allied General Staff. His representatives in France are Jacques Chaban-Delmas, Inspector of Finance, who has the title of D.M.N. (National Military Delegate), General Ély, in charge of General Koenig’s mission in France, Bourgès-Maunoury, Military Delegate for the southern zone, and a number of regional and departmental military delegates.

It is these representatives of General Koenig who have the weapons and funds parachuted from London and the means of transmission and communication with London and Algiers. The antagonism between the two organizations will be permanent. It will focus on three areas: the effective direction of the F.F.I. , the conception of the conduct of clandestine war, the role of the F.F.I., in the liberation of the territory and particularly in that of the capital.

This duality of command continued until 14 August 1944, when a compromise was finally reached between the C.N.R. and the G.P.R.F. delegation, on a basis very close to the C.O.M.A.C. positions. The latter was indeed confirmed in all its functions, notably that of the supreme command of the F.F.I., by delegation of General Koenig and he undertook to execute, as a matter of priority, the orders of the latter. An arbitration procedure between the president of the NCRC and the general delegate of the government or, failing agreement between them, the office of the NCRC, was organized to resolve any disagreement between the members of the NCRC or between the NCRC and the national military delegate. She never had to work.

But the antagonism between the C.O.M.A.C. and General Koenig was not only theoretical. Even before the landing, the C.O.M.A.C. advocated the immediate distribution of parachuted weapons and the engagement of guerrillas to harass the enemy through small operations. Instead, the government’s military representatives adopted a wait-and-see tactic: do not distribute weapons prior to the actual military action and do not undertake the action before D-Day of landing. However, when this occurred on June 6, 1944, General Koenig immediately sent a telegram to all his military delegates urging them to “put the brakes on guerrilla activity to the maximum” because of “the current impossibility of supplying the F.F.I. with weapons and ammunition. ”.

On the contrary, the C.O.M.A.C. gives orders to hinder the enemy’s activity as much as possible through multiple guerrilla operations and to prepare the national insurrection “by supporting the takeover of the Liberation Committees” as soon as the disorganization of the enemy allows, even without waiting for the arrival of the Allies. It was this view that prevailed, particularly in Paris, in central and southwestern France.

Finally, at the liberation of Paris, the unanimous C.O.M.A.C. strongly opposed the truce agreements concluded between certain members of the G.P.R.F. delegation and the German General Von Choltitz, through the Swedish Consul Nordling. This truce, concluded on August 20, was to be broken as early as the 21st, after being repudiated by the CNR. On August 22, Mr. Chaban-Delmas told the C.O.M.A.C.: “So far, I’ve been a brake. Today, I tell you, we must fight. The supporters of the truce put forward four sets of arguments: the victory, which represented for the Resistance its de facto recognition by the Germans, the conservation by the Resisters of public buildings, which ensured them the direction of the civil life of the capital, the manifest inferiority of the Resistance in the field of armaments, the fear of having to wait for a long time for the arrival of the Americans who had decided to move eastward neglecting Paris. The C.O.M.A.C., supported by the C.N.R., had, on the contrary, considered that the military success first won by the Resistance should be fully exploited and that the cessation of combat, decided by a part of the delegation which left the way open to the Germans to evacuate their troops and equipment, was contrary to the stated aim of the Allies to obtain unconditional surrender. Moreover, as a military measure, it could have been validly decided only by the military authorities and not by the civilian authorities.

In his memoirs, General de Gaulle also stated that the news of this truce made him “an unpleasant impression”.

It is indisputable that the decisive reason, conscious among some, subconscious among others, for all the measures aimed at curbing the action of the FFI, was the fear felt by the majority of non-communist resistance fighters, that the communists would take power during the battles of Liberation. Did the communists really want to take power in France with the Liberation? All their political action, in the weeks that followed, contradicts this thesis. In the division of the world, carried out in Yalta, France remained as well as all Western Europe, outside the zone of Soviet influence. The establishment of communist regimes in the part of the world that was to be occupied by British and American forces would have provoked violent repression on the part of the British and American forces, and perhaps led to the rupture between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, before the complete crushing of Germany, which no communist wanted.

The French Communists had two objectives: to secure in the new France as many positions as possible, not with a view to a communist revolution but a democratic renewal of France. They were considering making the F.F.I, the backbone of the new army. They also wanted to help preserve France’s independence from its British and American allies. This second concern was in line with the views expressed by General de Gaulle, who, for his part, knew that he could not then govern France without the support of the working class, which was mostly communist. As a result, agreement is easily established between them. Already in Algiers, the communists were participating in the provisional government: in Paris, they would continue to be part of the two governments presided over by General de Gaulle until his spontaneous departure from power in January 1946.

Thus, having seen their military designs triumph in the clandestine struggle and in the struggles of liberation — because they were the best suited to the conditions of the struggle at that time — the Communists will bow down when, as early as 28 August 1944, General de Gaulle took the decision to dissolve the higher organs of command and the headquarters of the forces of the interior. It is on this decision that Mr. Kriegel-Valrimont’s book ends, without a word of comment. This abrupt ending does not fail to give an impression of sadness and bitterness in a man who had successfully deployed so much energy to give the F.F.I., an autonomous life. — Pierre Stibbe


Press reports provide further details on the massacre of the resistance on 17 August 1944.

article in the Nouvel Observateur: The cascade’s guns 

On 16 August 1944, 35 young resistance fighters who came to take delivery of weapons were arrested, tortured and then shot in the Bois de Boulogne by the Nazis. A story of an ambush. 

It was Jean-Louis Trintignant who, in the film “Paris on fire?”, played the traitor who trapped three networks of resistance fighters to deliver them to different offices of the Gestapo in the 16th arrondissement. Arrested at the meeting place, in front of the Luna Park which then existed at Porte Maillot, 35 young resistance fighters, students, railway workers, workers, teachers, who came to take delivery of weapons to participate in the liberation of Paris, were shot on the night of 16 August 1944 at the Bois de Boulogne. They were promised “tons of weapons” and came in large numbers: the FFI leader of Chelles (Seine-et-Marne) had gathered 21 comrades from the FTP, the Mouvement de Libération nationale and other sensibilities. The Young Christian Fighters (JCC) came to 11, including the whole group of the parish of Saint-Marcel in the 13th arrondissement. Finally, the Civil and Military Organization (CMO) had sent 3 young people, including the regional leader. They all burned to fight each other with guns in their hands. On the same day, 7 other resistance fighters from Draveil (Essonne) fell into the same trap. A final group, scheduled for the next day, escaped shortly after a last-minute cancelation. Who was the traitor who managed to mount such a deadly operation? The issue continues to stir people, particularly in Chelles, who lost most of his network managers in this operation. 

Two trials, held at the Liberation, would allow the trap to be completely reconstituted. But they’re protected for a hundred years. Exceptionally, the National Archives for one, the military archives for the other, open their boxes for a researcher or a simple curious. Christian Bernard, the son and nephew of two of the Boulogne Wood shootings, is one of those who plunged into this archive. Pierre Bourget, author of a book on the liberation of Paris (1), also. And they uncovered a formidable plot. 

Everything revolves around a certain Alexander. In fact, in these times of secrecy, “Alexander” juggles identities. Francophone, he is sometimes called “Comte de Marcheret”. Or ‘Eu Glebb Walker’. English-speaking, he is “Captain Jack”. In spite of the “meters”, Guy Marcheret was at first only a small indicator who sold political gossip to the German police. An officer of the Abwehr was to invent a role commensurate with his ambitions. What interests the German intelligence officer, Karl Rehbein, is Marcheret’s perfect command of English: He’s going to turn him into a fake Intelligence Service (IS) agent. 

Karl Rehbein, himself a double agent by profession, is in contact with a resistance fighter – a real one -, Wigen Nercessian, who was helping Russians get through to Spain. We are at the end of July 1944 and the Resistance is desperately looking for weapons and ammunition to organize the Paris uprising. And it was at the end of July 1944 that Karl Rehbein presented “Captain Jack” at Nercessian. “Captain Jack spoke very pure English, with a slight Oxford accent,” Nercessian testified(2). He was keen to find us weapons quickly through the Intelligence Service and he asked me how many resistance fighters would take delivery: it was desirable that there should be a large number of them, so that the load could be carried out quickly, which seemed reasonable to me.” 

A second meeting takes place “on August 10 or 12” in a café in the Place du Théâtre-Français. Nercessian goes with two network managers from the Paris region: Jean Favé, FFI manager of Chelles – who coordinates a hundred resistance fighters of Seine-et-Marne, especially those of the Vaires marshaling station. And Guy Hemery of Clamart, who resumed the fight after an escape in 1943, in contact with two other networks, the JCC and the CMO. “Captain Jack was the organizer of the expedition,” Nercessian says. Resistance fighters would supply trucks and men, IS agents in Paris would supply arms and, as a precaution, Jack would bring other trucks to the meeting place. An appointment was made for August 15, then immediately rescheduled following a certain float on August 16.” 

In haste, resistance fighters bought vehicles and gasoline, which was scarce at the time. The group of Chelles mobilizes a moving truck – that of the Lord company – and its driver “Coco”. As well as the municipal ambulance and the employee who usually drove it, Gabriel Verdier, 42. He is by far the oldest of the expedition. The JCC military leader, Bizet (actually François Bellanger), found a truck – which would break down before arriving at the appointment. Guy Hemery, the head of the CMO, arrives by bike from Clamart. It is this bike that will be used by Captain Jack to make the connection between the groups that he will treat one after the other. 

The group of Chelles left at 7 a.m. from Gournay Point, just in time for the meeting at Luna Park. They are not armed, as agreed. The convoy heads for rue d’Arméné, close by, to the garage where the delivery is to take place. There, the vehicles are immediately surrounded by armed Germans who stop everyone. 

The JCC group was slightly behind schedule, due to the breakdown of its East Station truck, which arrived at 11:30 with four armed resistance fighters on board. Guy Hemery had them lay down their arms at Captain Jack’s request. And all, including bikes, get on a reliable truck provided by the chic captain. One survivor, Michèle Boursier (Diane as her resistance fighter), said: “We drive a little bit of time, maybe a few minutes. Suddenly we hear gunfire: we’re shooting at the truck. The vehicle stops, we hear “Raus” shouting, the tarp is lifted and we see Germans with machine guns around the truck. They make us line up our arms up along a trellis: I think I recognize Avenue de Salonique.” 

The first group is taken to the Gestapo on Rue des Saussaies, the second to Rue de la Pompe. During this time, Captain Jack joins the group of Draveil on a bicycle to which he has given appointment place Victor-Hugo. They arrived at 3 p.m., were guided to Rue Leroux where they were met by German machine guns. In total, 42 people were shot and gathered in a makeshift chapel on Chardon-Lagache Street. 

On 17 August at 5 a.m., while the bodies were discovered at the Bois de Boulogne, Marcheret (aka Captain Jack) left Paris for Germany. Arrested in Denmark, he was shot on 20December 1949 at the fort of Montrouge. Karl Rehbein was dismissed on 23 December 1950 as an “officer on duty”.Catherine Erhel 

(1) “Paris, year 44”, Editions Plon, 1984. 

(2) Statements at the trial of the Gestapo de la rue de la Pompe, which took place from 28 March to 2 April 1949 (National Archives), cited in Pierre Bourget’s book. 

Catherine Ehrel 

Bitter liberation in Chelles. 

Jean Favé and Dr. Blanchet were the two leaders of the Chelles expedition. Jean Favé managed to escape from the Hôtel de Chevreuse, where they were interrogated by German officers. Survivor, he was under suspicion: was there not internal betrayal? Incarcerated for three years in Fresnes prison, Favé was cleared by a dismissal in 1948 and rehabilitated as a resistance fighter. But at the time, the passions were so intense that the Local Committee for the Liberation of Chelles had the body of Dr. Blanchet exhumed on 1 October 1944 to prove that he was not on the run. The committee was chaired by his widow. 

Catherine Ehrel links to this post: The New Observer, August 2004

Les 35 fusillés du Bois de Boulogne PARIS (AFP), 22-08-2004 

On 16 August 1944, at nightfall, 35 young resistance fighters, who had gone in search of weapons for the Parisian uprising that was to be launched a few days later, were shot by the Germans at the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne.

Recalling the “brutality” committed by the Germans and “which was not justified by any military necessity”, Adrien Dansette wrote in his “Histoire de la Libération de Paris”: “on the eve of the Paris insurrection, the sound spread that the bodies of 35 young men were found at the Bois de Boulogne, near the waterfall, with machine guns and grenades.”

Aged 17 to 22, most belonged to the FFI (French Forces de l’Intl) and FTP (Francs-tireur et partisans) of Chelles (Seine-et-Marne) and the surrounding area. The others were members of the Young Christian fighters of the Paris region or of the Civil and Military Youth Organization (CMYK).

The young Christians, who had heard of an opportunity to supply themselves with weapons, had come into contact with a so-called English “captain”, presenting himself as an officer of the Intelligence Service.

Unsuspecting, they offered other resistance groups to share these weapons from London and all went to the fixed meeting place, Porte Maillot, on 16 August 1944.

The 35 resistance fighters had no idea what a French agent of the Gestapo, a Marcheret, was going to give them.

They were brought to a center in the Gestapo, rue des Saussaies, where they were handed over to soldiers of the Wehrmacht and to plainclothes policemen. At nightfall, they are taken near the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne. They were shot with a machine gun, just as they were getting off the truck, before being grenaded.

One of their leaders, Dr. Blanchet, had been murdered earlier near Avenue Foch: his body will be thrown at the corpses of his comrades.

On the same night, seven resistance fighters of the same group, victims of a similar trap, were executed in another Gestapo headquarters, on Leroux Street.

Forty-two resistance fighters, from very different social and political backgrounds, will die during the summer night.

Arrested after the Liberation, Marcheret was sentenced to death and shot on 20 December 1949. Eight other French gestapists were sentenced to death by the military court of Paris in December 1952. 

end of document.

Note from 1/06/2007:

following the ceremony organized at the monument of the Resisters of the Bois de Boulogne by the new President of the Republic during his inauguration, several people who were linked to these tragic events of August 1944 came forward to a webmaster and historian of the liberation of Paris with whom we are in contact. These people want to tell what they have not wanted to say so far and they indicate that they have revelations to make. We will see that these interventions serve mainly to discredit the communist resistance in Paris and its suburbs on the pretext that these railway resistance fighters were feeding their networks, looting the wagons at the marshaling station, which was publicly known and thus ran a significant risk of reprisals on the civilian population. Moreover, these resistance fighters did not share anything with the residents of the neighborhood. Obviously they had enough comrades to feed and help in the area. In short, the eternal conflict between those who are struggling and those who want above all to remain passive and not meddle in matters of which they are afraid or worse, of which they are perfectly indifferent.  

The Scars of the Past 

Just next to the waterfall of the Bois de Boulogne, a tree bears the scars of history…

The marks of the bullets are still clearly visible on the bark of this tree on which 35 young resistance fighters were attached and then shot by the Germans on 16 and 17 August 1944.  This information contradicts the narrative of the texts below that speak of machine gun and grenade slaughter for the martyrs of Chelles. Would there have been two groups executed the same night or one the night and the other the morning, the latter being shot tied to the tree? This second group would be the one that had been horribly tortured by the Gestapo and of which Charles Birette was part?

Bois de Boulogne, Paris, traces de balles du massacre du 17 aout 1944

Other documents.

Paris, 16 août 1944. Cascade du bois de Boulogne. Tragedy of a summer night.


On the eve of the Paris uprising, thirty-five young men, in search of liberating weapons, fell into a trap. Gestapo, Abwehr? A few questions remain unanswered. 

It was a particularly tragic episode in the history of the Resistance that it took suffering and mourning for Paris to finally free itself from the Nazi yoke, for France to regain its freedom and independence. It is the massacre, during the night of 16 to 17 August 1944, at the Cascade du bois de Boulogne, originally designed by Napoleon III for walking and relaxing (1), of thirty-five young people who went in search of weapons, with the hope of participating in the liberating battles. Ten days after the tragedy, General de Gaulle was descending the Champs-Elysées. News of the carnage spread at a time that saw so many others. There was something significant about this event. In the first book entirely devoted to this period, Adrien Dansette, referring to the “brutalities” committed by the Germans and “which were not justified by any military necessity”, could write: “· on the eve of the Parisian insurrection, the rumor spread that the bodies of thirty-five young men, shot and grenaded, had been found at the Bois de Boulogne, near the waterfall ” (2). 

The tragedy of that summer night is also indicative of the level of unity achieved by the Resistance. The thirty-five young martyrs were for some of the FFI (French Forces of the Interior) of Chelles, for the most part FTP (Francs-tireur partisans), for the others members of the Civil and Military Organization (OCM), for others still, Young Christian fighters from Paris and Clamart. They were very active, in liaison with Abbé Borme, who was engaged, with the priests of the conference Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (13th arrondissement of Paris), in the fight against the occupier. It was long thought that these young Christians had echoed a possibility of supplying themselves with weapons, would have come into contact with a certain Marcher and pretending to be sent by London, who turned out to be an agent of the Gestapo. Eager to share liberating weapons with other groups of young people, they would have shared their sad fate. In substance, the explanation is not called into question: young resistance fighters were indeed victims of an undercover agent. However, during the ceremony held on 18 August, at the very site of the massacre, it was possible to report on the recent investigation into this tragedy by the historian Adam Rayski (3). It reveals new elements. According to him, it would be through the obviously involuntary intermediary of an acquaintance of Abbé Borme, in this case Sabine Zatlin, alias “Jeanne”, famous resistance fighter since she is the former director of the Izieu children’s shelter, that the trap could have been set. “Jeanne”, whose husband was being deported while she herself was being actively sought, was reportedly in contact with a certain “Alexander”, an English intelligence agent. “Alexander”, whose file, first annexed to the only police report devoted, to our knowledge, to this case, has disappeared, allegedly worked under the orders of a named Charles Porel (sometimes called Borel), his real name Karl Rehbein, officer of the Abwehr, the German counter-espionage service. 

Moreover, according to Adam Rayski, this Porel was accompanied by a young woman named Lydia Tscherwinska, called “Katherine”, known as “Joan”. Finally, Porel, whose superior was known only under the pseudo name of “Captain”, is said to have worked during the months of May and July, notably in Marseille, Toulouse and Paris, to bring down a network of young resistance fighters: “the Jewish Army.” Adam Rayski did not mention the existence of a Marcheret in his investigation report. The hypothesis has been advanced that it was the “Captain” (?)… In any case, Marcheret’s existence was confirmed by witnesses of the time. They point out that the Marcher in question, contrary to what was long believed, was punished: he was sentenced to death on 2 april 1949 and was reportedly executed on 20 december of the same year… Charles Porel and his companion were arrested. Adam Rayski writes about them: The trial of Charles Porel (Karl Rehbein), Lydia Tscherwinska and the French Gestapoists began before the military court of Paris on 20 November 1952. On the bench of the accused, a woman and thirteen men, including Georges Guicciardini and his two sons who were barely twenty years old. The Rehbein (Porel) case was dissociated, because “German officer on duty”. As for Tscherwinska, she was released, as the court found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that she knew the true role of her lover. The court delivered its verdict on December 23, sentencing eight people to death and seven others in absentia. 

You can see: questions remain. There is room for further research. The theme of the Resistance and Deportation School Competition will be, in 2003, “Youth in the Resistance”. All the more reason not to forget the thirty-five of the Cascade. 

Jean Morawski 

Read Historia nø 668, August 2002. 

Adrien Dansette, Histoire de la libération de Paris, bookshop Arthemum Fayard, 1947. 

Adam Rayski: the Letter of the Jewish Resisters and Deportees, Nø 53-54, September-October 2001. Also read, by the same author, the Choice of Jews under Vichy, preface by François Bédarida, Editions la Découverte, 1992. 

Page produced by Intern@tif – Wednesday, August 28, 2002 

Commemoration of the Martyrs of the Waterfall 


Sunday 18 August 2002, by Serge Goutmann 

On the night of 16-17 August 1944, thirty-five young resistance fighters (including fourteen FTPFs from Chelles) died in a terrible watch-over, a few days before the Liberation of Paris. This is the text of the speech given by Serge GOUTMANN, Deputy Mayor of Chelles, on the occasion of the commemorative ceremony, held this Sunday, August 18, 2002 

“Passers-by, respect this oak: he bears the traces of the bullets that killed our martyrs”… 

Here we are gathered – ladies, ladies, gentlemen, friends and comrades – here we are, as every year at the same time, at the foot of the sign bearing these terrible words, to remember the thirty-five young resistance fighters who fell here on the night of August 16 to 17, 1944, fifty-eight years ago… 

As I have the honor and responsibility to introduce this ceremony, let me briefly recount the context and facts that bring us together – perhaps in a slightly more precise way (and therefore a little longer) than I have had the opportunity to do so in previous commemorations (and I apologize in advance). But new elements, due mainly to the patient research of the historian of the Resistance Adam Rayski, allow me to give a more precise account of the tragic sequence that led our heroes to death. 

In August 1944, after endless years of occupation, terror and deprivation, Paris and its region finally began to gush with new hope, after the announcement of the landing of Allied forces in Normandy and their advance towards Paris, while the Russian front for its part had retreated from Stalingrad to beyond the borders of Prussia, and the columns coming from Africa now went up Italy, Corsica and southern France. 

But a terrible question arises for the resistance networks which, from 1943 – and even before, following the call of General de Gaulle of 18 June 1940 and that of Maurice Thorez of 10 July 1940 also – operate in the shadows, most of the time, but also in the light of the bullets and acts of sabotage which multiply to kick the Nazi occupiers out of France. 

The historical question that arises in this month of August 1944 to all the resistance organizations then grouped under the generic acronym of the F.F.I. is as follows: Should the Allied armies be allowed to bypass Paris in order to hasten their march towards the Rhine – as was the plan – at the risk of seeing the capital torn apart, or even totally destroyed, by the frightened forces of General von Choltitz / or should we already launch the great popular insurrection, allowing General de Gaulle to subsequently evoke “Paris by itself liberated”…? The stakes of this question are measured for the rest of history, and we can appreciate the historical intelligence of the Parisian Liberation Committee actually launching the insurrection. 

This is what U.S. General Bradley says: “Paris had no tactical significance. Despite its historical glory, Paris was a stain on our maps; we had to avoid it in our walk on the Rhine”. 

General Eisenhower himself said: “The FFI and the Paris insurrection forced our hand”. No comment. 

It is therefore in this feverish climate, full of hope and exasperation, but also of a great spirit of responsibility, that the networks of resistance come from the suburbs and suburbs hard to search for the weapons that are then sorely needed. 

Thus, young leaders of the Catholic Youth Fighter and of the O.C.M. – Civil and Military Organization of the Christian Youth – come into contact, through Abbé Borme, with the Conference Saint-Vincent-de-Paul of the XIIIth arrondissement (very linked to the Catholic Youth Fighter) and a nurse of the Red Cross: a certain “Jeanne”, better known by the name of “Lady of Izieu”, in other words the former director of the House of Refugee Children of Ain… “Jeanne”, of her real name Sabine Zlatin, actively sought by the Gestapo, and whose husband had already been deported… They come into contact with a named Charles Porel, who masquerades as an envoy of London, agent of the Intelligence Service likely to provide them with weapons. This Charles Porel turned out to be in reality an agent of the Abwehr, named Karl Rehbein. He will be tried in November 1952, as well as fourteen gestapistes of French nationality, protagonists of near or far of the terrible get-apens concluded here. 

I do not know, we do not know whether or not the French gestapist named Marcheret, who was named as the sponsor of the whole operation, was in the dock. We remember that during a commemorative ceremony held here a few years ago, the late Albert Ouzoulias (alias Colonel André dans la Résistance, former Commander-in-Chief of the Francs-Tireur and Partisans d’Ile-de-France and member of the Parisian Committee for Liberation, but also long Chairman of our Committee for the Remembrance of the Martyrs of the Cascade) told us that the said Marcheret was running happy days in Germany. To be checked…  

However, our resistance fighters from Paris and Clamart, proud to have found this sector, inform some of their comrades FFI from Draveil as well as a Francs-Tireur and Partisans de Chelles group; they invite them to join them in going to the different rendezvous points set up to take possession of the weapons allowing them to take part in the liberating battle:  

Rue Troyon, in the XVIth, for the group of Young Catholic Fighters of Paris, Avenue de la Grande Armée for the group of the O.C.M. Rue d’Armilié, still in the XVIth, for the FTP-FFI group of Chelles.  

The trap then closes: the group of Chelles is taken to a garage Rue d’Argyle where the SS in arms await them. Young people from the CMO, Paris and Draveil are gathered in trucks waiting for them at Porte Maillot, then taken to Place des Ternes where they discover the SS and French gestapists. They were then forcibly taken to various Gestapo headquarters in Paris: Rue des Saussaies, Avenue Foch and Rue Leroux, where they were tortured. 

On the morning of August 17, the inanimate bodies of seven resistance fighters will be found at the foot of the Gestapo building at 10 Rue Leroux. The others, thirty-five in number, will be taken on that same night from August 16 to 17, in this clearing where we are, and shot as they are pulled down from the trucks, with grenades and machine guns. 

The horribly mutilated bodies were discovered on the morning of the 17th by a instructor from the Ecole des Cadres de Bagatelle. Families and relatives are informed of the tragedy and come to recognize the bodies. The unclaimed bodies are buried collectively on Saturday 19 at the cemetery of Bagneux. As far as the Chellois group is concerned, the funeral is held on Sunday 20th, with virtually the entire population taking part in the funeral and marching in front of the very eyes of German officers who had crossed the avenue, which has been renamed Avenue de la Résistance. From the procession cries are growing louder: “Murderers, murderers…” 

Unfortunately, the city of Chelles was not yet finished with the occupier’s murderous folly. Only a few days later, on August 25, 1944, while the Notre-Dame bells were celebrating the liberation of Paris, thirteen other innocent victims were taken hostage by the German army in disarray and savagely shot in front of the walls of the Town Hall of Chelles. The youngest of these victims was only 16 years old: He was the brother of Roland Verdeaux, one of the martyrs of the Cascade whose memory we honor today. 

These are the facts – or at least some of them – that history has not forgotten, and that remind us at the same time of the violence and barbarism of an occupier distraught by the imminence of his defeat, and thus capable of the most murderous follies, but also of the courage and self-denial of young resisters willing to risk their lives to save France and their human dignity. 

In conclusion, allow me to offer a few brief reflections on the historical significance of these tragic events, on the meaning we can give them fifty-eight years later. 

In other words, what are the commemorations for? Who are we and why do we gather to gather each year in this clearing? 

First, to mercilessly castigate the ignominious horror of such acts, to excipitate the disgust inspired by the evocation of Nazi savagery. There is no trace of revanchist nationalism or old-fashioned grudge in this evocation. For by saying ‘never again!’, we are at the same time unequivocally condemning all forms of violence committed in the name of ideologies which make it possible to claim the right to take the lives of other human beings. We are talking here, of course, about the attacks that are indiscriminately hitting innocent civilian victims in various parts of the world more than ever before; but we are also talking about organized violence, what is shamelessly called “collateral damage”, the logic of the “cannonière” which still today bruises peoples and nations… 

Millions of men and women around the world still face violence, oppression, colonialism, indiscriminate attacks and human rights abuses. This is not and will never be our conception of humanity. 

The second reason that brings us together here is attachment to historical truth. We know the excesses that threaten peoples and nations when forgetfulness sets in, when history is rewritten – or tragically repeated – and when racial, political or ideological supremacy feeds on the dismay of the weak souls to call for the rejection of the other. Our planet is still continuously shaken by poisons that have the name of fundamentalism, racism, fanaticism, negationism or exacerbated nationalisms…  

In our own country – as, unfortunately, in other neighboring countries, including within the European Community, such as Austria, Germany or Italy – there are still people, currents and movements with a roof over their heads to minimize the traumas of history, to try to justify the untenable theses of racial inequality, the “detail of history”, ethnic cleansing or social inneism. 

Whether it is therefore the disastrous rise of fundamentalism and populism of all stripes, the persistence of revisionists in denying the Holocaust, or the difficulty that we still encounter today in officially lifting the veil on certain periods of our history (dark period of collaboration or torture in Algeria…), it must be conceived that the “work of memory and truth” is imposed both as a necessity and as a fight. Yet it must be conducted, continuously for oneself and for others…  

We also gather – the third reason – to pay a solemn and universal tribute to the courage and patriotic ardor of the young heroes of the Resistance who fell in this clearing. Despite the harshness of the period and the uncertainty of the appointments, the thirty-five of the Cascade did not hesitate for a second to risk their lives to contribute to the liberating struggle. 

A few days after the tragedy, Madame Blanchet, the widow of Dr. Blanchet, who died here after leading the Chellois group to their ill-fated appointment, said: “Some will say that what was done by the Resistance is little. It would be very easy for me to tell them that it was up to them to do more and do better; we would have been very happy to applaud them. Others will say that the actions and actions of our Committee were inopportune, reckless, and that it was better to wait and not take certain risks. To them, I will answer: heroism is not cold calculation. Caution is not the writing on the page. When you want to save your country, you have to put yourself at risk. No doubt, after happy or unhappy events, one can always sit in a soft chair and feet in cozy slippers, criticize the authors and demonstrate that everything would have been better if one had done otherwise. To act is to risk. And at the end of the risk, there can be error, sometimes death. The FFIs of Chelles were heroic to the point of recklessness because their sense of honor forbade them to wait with their arms crossed… The Chelles Liberation Committee is proud of them. By throwing them into the fight, he responded to their dearest desire. He did his duty as they did their duty”…  

Our presence here, elected representatives of the cities of Chelles, Clamart, Draveil, Boulogne and Paris, representatives of trade union and political organizations, veterans and resistance fighters, or ordinary citizens of all ages and all sensibilities… means that the history and spirit of the Resistance are constitutive of national identity and conscience. And that nothing can ever erase this truth that even in the darkest hours of the Occupation, men and women were found, often of simple condition, to rise to the honor of France. The values that animated their struggle are more relevant than ever. We owe them eternal respect. 

The fourth lesson we can draw from these events is the importance of movements and the organization of collective action in helping individuals to surpass themselves. How can anyone believe for a moment that the young heroes of the Cascade could have acted alone or with a simple whim. Their courage is, as we know, the result of months and even years of slow work of conviction and organization led underground by the National Resistance movements. And their boldness was a necessity of history. 

What we honor is, of course, the individual courage of the actors on this page, but it is also and above all the genius of a fighting people, of their youth bearing hope, and their ability to organize, in the shadows as well as in the light, to live the flame of human dignity.  

This is finally the fifth message that I believe we can draw together from these events – and I will conclude on this: the people of France have shown themselves capable of the greatest things, each time they have been able to come together – in the face of adversity, of course, but also to build universal hope in a better world of freedom, peace and fraternity.  

Thus, from all the horizons of the Resistance – whether Christian, Gaullist or Communist – the thirty-five of the Cascade united in their blood the example of their diversity. And it is this diversity that ultimately made the strength of the Resistance, and then of the Liberation Government. 

Do our society, people and country need unity in diversity less today than they did yesterday? The aspiration to live together in a free France, in a world of progress and cooperation, in a Europe of peoples and not of markets, joins somewhere the hope and the fight of the resistance of the Cascade who also wanted to live free and build a better world. 

Allow me to quote again Madame Blanchet, widow of the dead Doctor Blanchet, who addressed the people of Chile only a few days after the liberation of the city, said: “It is our dead who dictate this duty to us, those who did not hesitate to make the greatest sacrifice and who from the cemetery, setting up an eternal guard on the city, lovingly watch over us and those who will come after us. It is also France that has a huge future ahead of it: immense by works, by worries, by responsibilities to the homeland and to humanity, immense by true glory if it is guided by wisdom and justice, immense by shame if it fails. This double call, the Liberation Committee will never tire of making it heard”… 

Let us therefore be inspired and respect the memory of this commitment. Beyond the absolute darkness of the crime committed here and the indignation it inspires us, what we commemorate here is not the atrocity of the facts; What we commemorate is the message of hope and ambition delivered to us by the resistant youth of France: eternal youth of a hope that is one because it is human. 

So God does – for those who believe in it – but above all, men make this message of hope come in sharing and continue to inspire the world. It is to this unwavering flame that we dedicate our flowers and our thoughts. 

It is our task, all of us gathered here, to perpetuate this flame. The message of the thirty-five of the Cascade did not die with them in this clearing; it must not die with us as we continue to commemorate the event. In order to pass through time and keep its human and humanist scope, it must be transmitted and presented in a correct way to the generations that follow. 

That is why I believe we must subscribe to the proposal that is made – by ANACR in particular (National Association of Veterans and Resistance) – to make 27 May – the anniversary of the constitution in 1943 of the National Council of the Resistance which unified all the resistance movements, and above all opened the way to the government of national union of the Liberation – to make this 27 May a National Day of the Resistance – a great day of training and citizen education for the young generations of our country. This is the condition for commemorations like today’s to continue to exist and even to regain the scale they should never have left. 

Glory to the thirty-five martyrs of the Cascade and to all those who perished on the altar of freedom!  

Glory to the Resistance organizations that inspired them with strength and determination in the love of the homeland! 

Long live free and plural France in a Europe and a world of peace! 

end of speech.

For the history of the liberation of Paris and the arrival of the 2nd Armored Division of General Leclerc after the invention of General de Gaulle: 

The responsibility of Eisenhower and American leaders.

As the deputy mayor of Chelles stated in his speech, Eisenhower received orders to avoid Paris and hijack the 2nd DB from Paris. The argument was that a city like Paris is not a military objective and that in addition to the war effort, the Allies could not take on the task of feeding and managing such a civilian population.

The American excuse is that the insurrection began too early, although the orders of the American leaders were to let the SS divisions of Normandy run, it was too early on August 16 and 17, 1944. But the chronology of the Battle of Normandy indicates that the encirclement of the Falaise pocket was possible a week before the date that took place and therefore the allied troops could be in Paris also a week before what happened. 

updated on 23/02/2012. 

Following the posting of web pages on the masters of the world and the role of the financial oligarchy in the two world wars, we know how the financiers of Wall Street, the Rockefellers, Rothschild, Warburg… helped the Nazis to take power and how they decided the course of the war to extend it and then to prepare the confrontation with the Soviet Union. 

The decision to wait in Normandy for German armored vehicles to escape

In Normandy, General Leclerc complained that he had to wait almost a week before he could free Paris. The 2nd French DB was the first since August 14 to be able to pass Argentan and try to close the pocket but it received US orders to move slower and not to take Argentan whose take was reserved for an American armored division.

On August 17, the Langlade group regrouped to continue the operation towards Trun, to close the Falaise pocket in support of the 80th, 90th Infantery Division and 2nd Armored Division US. The Battle of Chambois from 17 August to 20 August ended with the annihilation of the German 7th Army. But by August 14, the German army was planning a retreat, and its losses would not be as large as they could have been.  On August 20, the 2nd DB stops just behind Chambois, the lock of the Falaise pocket: Massu’s men stopped at coast 226 ahead of Ommeel and Minjonnet’s at Frénée, just behind Chambois and the crest line on which the Polish division sacrificed to hold the lock. The French soldiers estimate that they lost at least 3-4 days due to the indecision of the U.S. General Staff which in fact allowed the SS divisions to escape with their officers. (source Raymond Muelle, the 2nd DB, Presses de la Cité).

It is obvious that the closing of the pocket around August 14-15 would have prevented the 5-15 days of fighting that were necessary to achieve this. The breach opened by the 2nd DB of Leclerc in the German device from Alençon, was not used.

General Patton in the autumn of 1945 asked questions about this strange conduct of the military war contrary to military interests and which for the events of Normandy resulted in the failure of the taking of bridges on the Rhine in the Netherlands and then in the fighting of the German counter-offensive in the Ardennes.

The decision not to exploit the rupture of the front in Alsace

There was also Eisenhower’s decision on November 24, 1944, in Saint-Dié, which prohibited the immediate crossing of the Rhine into Alsace by Generals Devers and Patch, mainly the French troops of Leclerc and Lattre, the only ones who had just succeeded in breaking through the German front during the great offensive ordered by Eisenhower himself. This fateful decision resulted in the long and bloody fighting of the winter of 1944-1945 in the pocket of Colmar.

Later, military and historians demonstrated that Eisenhower was in charge of the Wall Street financiers who planned and directed the Second World War, beginning in 1928 to supply arms to Hitler’s SAs to help him take power in Germany. It is more than plausible that the American General Staff received orders to let these SS divisions of Normandy escape. When the German governor of Paris refused to carry out any longer the low works of the allies in order to eliminate the Communist resistance in Paris and to promote Gaullist maneuvers, there would be no alternative but to bring the 2nd DB into Paris as soon as possible, once the German troops had been withdrawn in good order. And we know General de Gaulle’s statement full of relief to affirm and reaffirm that Paris was liberated by the French, the resistance and the French army, at last! He had understood well that the Americans had not wanted to liberate Paris.

In this context, where the supreme command does not come from Berlin or from the Allied General Staff but from New York and its families of bankers already ruling the world, the massacre of the Bois de Boulogne waterfall is a low police measure carried out by the Germans, probably on the initiative or with the approval of the American General Staff at the orders of the bankers and politicians of New York unless it is on the direct order of American financiers transmitted to the leaders of the SS with whom they had close and permanent ties to avoid any risk of the communists taking power in Paris.

Lieutenant FFI’s widow was right to lump Gaullists and Communists together to blame them for this tragedy, which should and could have been avoided. It forgot, but perhaps it was to blame, to name the American military and financial oligarchy, which were entangled in their desire to let the SS divisions escape in preparation for the continuation of the war against the Soviet Union or simply in order to prolong the war to maximize their profits while not allowing the Parisian insurrection to develop with the risk of the Communist Party taking power.

The FFIs represented the union of resistance, but it must be admitted that this union was only a façade, probably a market of additional fools like the political tricks know so well how to manage them from Paris. The battle schedule of Normandy allowed the liberation of Paris around 15 – 17 August but as General Patton pointed out after the capitulation of Germany: why did the fighting not follow the strict military logic, which intervened to decide otherwise? We know of the enormous surprise that constituted the battle of the Ardennes carried out precisely by the SS officers escaped from Normandy and that Patton had to repel after intense fighting that should no longer have been.

The cause of this massacre at the Boulogne wood waterfall is to be found, its causal link certainly more in New York and Washington than in Paris and weighs far more on Wall Street financiers and bankers than on the military or the staff of the FFI. In trying too hard to save the SS divisions of Normandy, the American financial leaders forced the Allied armies to be a week late while Paris was waiting for them but the FFI could not imagine that the priority of the Allied leaders was not to free Paris but to let the SS divisions escape from the Falaise pocket in anticipation of the next conflict against the Soviets. 

As for the echoes that have come to us to discredit these networks of resistance FTP Seine and Marne, which these ceremonies have put too much light on to the taste of some, we understand. Many of these resisters were railway workers, like Birette, at the Vaires Yard. They had the opportunity to visit freight or arms cars in transit. To be sure, these railroaders created black-market networks or distributed food to members or sympathizers of the resistance. Surely other thieves unrelated to the resistance also visited the wagons. This was known in the region and many were left out of these particular food distributions or black market. Are these resentments related to the denunciation of the resistance? It is possible as it is certain that the Gestapo was investigating the thefts at the marshaling yard and that these thefts were a starting point for shadowing and penetration of networks of thieves or resistance. 

Nevertheless, these arrests and massacres of 16 and 17 August were organized to set an example, to frighten and to push back the resistance, while the battle of Normandy was not over and the German troops who escaped were to go to Paris in the following days. The German military governor of Paris knew that his main mission was to help the retreat of German troops from Normandy and that he should not destroy the city as Hitler ordered.

This massacre served as an example to calm the resistance in Paris. He arranged all stakeholders: Gaullists who wanted to prevent a communist-led insurrection in Paris, Germans who needed a few days to get their troops out of Normandy, Americans whose priority was to let the SS divisions and their officers leave the Falaise pocket, free French who finally had the pretext, the right cause to disobey Eisenhower and launch the 2nd DB inside Paris, the FFIs of Paris to start the organization of the insurrection from scratch.

This massacre could be avoided through proper coordination between the Allied staffs and the FFIs in Paris. This correct coordination was possible by following the basic principles of warfare, which meant that when the capture of the enemy was possible, everything was done to achieve it and that when a breach was created in the enemy’s device, it was necessary to penetrate it to encircle and destroy it. This was not the case in Normandy because of American political and financial leaders, and it was the Paris resisters who needlessly paid the price. No party can be proud of these events and it still remains to unmask the true culprits of these criminal orders and to try them, even in the court of history so that all know how the heroes died for the profits of some. 

To conclude momentarily and not definitively: 

There remains this nagging question that his widow has passed on to us: Why did his “Tramp” return to command the second group when he was back from his successful mission and knew the strange organization of this new and improvised expedition? Why take so many risks and don’t rest, let others sort of manage on their own? 

Charles Birette began his resistance within the Vengeance network, which has the characteristic of being apolitical. He probably remained more or less, even within his FTP and Iron Resistance network. It was not, therefore, out of partisan militant conviction that he decided alone to take the place of a group leader who refused to carry out his mission. It remains as possible explanation, his childhood in his Alsatian valley, the fact certainly to know that his comrades of the village went to Russia then to Normandy in the ranks of the Alsatian Despite-us or went to join the maquis and the free French army, in short that they are night and day in combat, free in the camp of the Allies, prisoners in the camp of the Nazis. Perhaps he also knows that where the young people of the valley slept in the winter there is now the Struthof concentration camp and that the French railway workers are also driving trains of prisoners and deportees to Rothau station…and who pass by Vaires station to go east?

There’s plenty to do here to demand a bigger share of fights with a tenfold fervor. Alsace from its seat in Europe knows what is happening on both sides of the Rhine, in Berlin and Paris, and in August 1944, liberating Paris was only the first step before Strasbourg and then Berlin.

There is probably still the painful certainty that the one who was one of the five resistors to found the groups of Resistance-Fer east of Paris and especially to the Vaires triage guard, could not let a group leave alone without its leader, whatever his mission in these days of euphoric agitation where it was necessary to find weapons to liberate Paris and hasten the arrival of the allied troops from Normandy.

It is also the painful and incomprehensible French reality since 1789 and symbolized in the national anthem: To the citizen weapons, train your battalions! Why are there no weapons at home, as the song of the Marseillaise seems to indicate, and finally our resistance to oppression and to the new tyrannies cannot form their battalions because we do not yet have weapons and we must seek them at all costs, at the risk of the worst betrayals, traps and massacres?

So we see them stand around their campfires, pallet or tire or straw fires, on roundabouts, on street corners or on a few squares with only banners and still no weapons… In Lausanne, at a meeting, my Swiss comrades smiled and said that they had the weapons at home, but do they know, do they want to turn their guns against their tyrants at home? On, our answer is advanced in the description of the political institution of Security and Defense of Life Networks and in particular the National Guard.

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