Lyon: Macron pays tribute to Jean Moulin and memory smugglers
“He was a child of the Republic, a servant of the State and a soldier…
“He was a child of the Republic, a servant of the State and a soldier of France. ” The president of the Republic gave a speech in tribute to Jean Moulin this Monday at the Montluc Prison Memorial in Lyon, where the resistant was imprisoned in 1943, a few days before his death.
The Head of State ***ociated the name of the former prefect and leader of the resistance who died in 1943 under torture with the historian Marc Bloch, also tortured and then shot in 1944: “Moulin and Bloch tell us that the French Republic is by definition neither good nor bad, it is necessary, vital, just”. Jean Moulin “had the intimate, ineradicable certainty that the France in which he believed would be victorious, that others if not him would reap the fruits”, added Emmanuel Macron.
Emmanuel Macron visited the cells of the Montluc prison, accompanied by the Klarsfeld spouses. Reuters/Laurent Cipriani Copyright 2023 The ***ociated Press. All rights reserved.
As for the Nazis, “they stumbled on something silent that smoldered in their chests (…), the fragile and eternal spirit of resistance” which “deeply characterizes our people”, he underlined. “But it is not enough for justice to be done, for a door to be locked, for the last executioner to go behind bars”, he added, before paying tribute to the memory smugglers. To continue this transmission, “let us have confidence in ourselves and in those who will follow us”, he said.
Before his speech, the Head of State visited the prison of Montluc (Rhône), place of detention of the resistant, the historian, but also of the Nazi official Klaus Barbie. The head of the Gestapo in the Lyon region, who had fled to South America after the war, was indeed symbolically imprisoned for a week in Montluc after his extradition to France in 1983. He was sentenced to life for crimes against humanity in 1987 before dying in 1991. Spouses Serge and Beate Klarsfeldwho contributed to his hunt and extradition, were present alongside the Head of State.
Seven or eight in a cell
Among the guests at the ceremony on Monday was Claude Bloch, 94, who spent 15 years in prison before being deported to Auschwitz, and who accompanied the president on his wanderings. The survivor said he was “satisfied with the speech” to the press. He said: “In cells, at seven or eight, I still wonder today how they could last 24 hours a day. In the evening we slept on the ground, we fought against bedbugs”.
But “the most terrible thing was in the morning when there were these calls from prisoners and the call ended with the formula with luggage Or without luggage “, related Claude Bloch. “When it was without luggagewe knew that meant that we were going to leave the prison and be shot during the day” otherwise “it was to be transferred elsewhere”.
On the sidelines of this trip by the Head of State and despite a ban on demonstrating near the prison, a few thousand demonstrators against the pension reform gathered in Lyon, where degradations were committed.