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The French pay homage to the last comrade of liberation

The French pay homage to the last comrade of liberation

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Prior to his burial in Mont-Valérien, the public gathered on Wednesday in front of the remains of Hubert Germain under the dome of the Invalides. Descendants of the opposition, soldiers, history buffs or enthusiasts, wanted to pay tribute to the determination of the last comrade of liberation.

On each side, two soldiers are watching the remains of Lieutenant Hubert Germain. In the coffin, a tricolor. Behind, the reproduction of the cross of liberation. Just above Napoleon’s tomb, between the vaults of Marshalls Foch and Liatti, The last comrade of liberation, Who died on October 12, is entitled to all honors under the Dome of the Invalids.

The French were invited to pay their last respects to him on Wednesday, November 10, just before his burial at the French memorial in Mont-Valerian on November 11, “as well as by him an extraordinary nightmare created by 1,037 comrades, in the words of General de Colin, at the most serious moment in French history”. According to the release order.

Audiences gather under the dome of the Invalitz, in front of the remains of Hubert Germain. © Stéphanie Trouillard / France24

Passing on the tradition of comrades to the younger

Among the guest books available to the audience, there is a long cult of “thank you”. “I wrote that he was a man of opposition,” wrote Lewis, a high school student in the Paris region. Hubert Germain “Passionate about the history of World War II, the young man sees it as a model. He already knows he wants to pursue a military career. It’s important that I get involved.”

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Ariane also came with her young son Emilian. They made the trip from Mutton. For this mother of a family, this awareness is an excellent means of transmission. “It is important for young people to understand what happened at that time. If we are free today, they need to realize that it is thanks to comrades.”

Facing Hubert Germain’s coffin, Caspar and Anne seem very frightened. Wearing their uniforms from the Naval Lycee de Brest, they arrived in Paris after participating in a competition organized by the World War II Disability Foundation. They took the opportunity to attend this tribute event. “It’s a duty to us,” the young man estimates. “Hubert Germain represents courage. One day, I want to be a commando myself. It touches me because it turns a page,” he adds. On their side, Adjutant Boyard, who comes with them from Brittany, agrees with these words. He knows the last actors and witnesses of the war are missing, but he wants to be confident. “He is the last comrade of liberation to be able to wear this medal. It is now a part of history, but it is in our hands to continue to revive this history. He will not bear these values ​​to the last.”

Guest books were made available to the audience to gather testimonies from Hubert Germain and the Comrades of Liberation.
Guest books were made available to the audience to gather testimonies from Hubert Germain and the Comrades of Liberation. © Stéphanie Trouillard / France24

“The flame of free men will not be extinguished”

Therese and Elizabeth grew up with these values. For this moment of meditation, they brought their father’s medal, Jean Lejeune, also a supporter of Liberation. “We have come to pay tribute to Hubert Germain and all his comrades through him. The present generations do not know all this. They live in another world, and in the future it may take others. Courage.” In the months leading up to the presidential election, in Colombey-les-deux-Églises, the descendants of Combagnan are outraged against the “masquerade” the day before all sorts of politicians gathered around General de Colin’s grave. 51e The year of his death. Faced with the political recovery of the past, especially by the far right, both sisters want to be reminded of the essence of the opposition. “They were a diverse people, people from all walks of life. Foreigners also died for France.”

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Franுவாois, son of Jean Boyer, was also a supporter of Liberation, Shares the same hatred. “History in Colombo yesterday was misguided,” he insists. According to him, it is important to keep this memory forever in the face of those who try to falsify it. “This is our role as a family.” To this end, he is engaged in the mandate of liberation in charge of protecting and smuggling this past. “We donated a dress from my father to the museum. We need to perpetuate the idea of ​​what Free France is.” When the last friend was now missing, he recalled these words of Hubert Germain, whom he had the opportunity to meet. “What’s going to happen after I die?” In one of the guest books, some lines written by the visitor have already answered this question. “My Lieutenant, may you encourage us and may we be worthy of your heritage. The flame of free men will not be extinguished.”