Considered one of France’s final remaining French resistance heroes Daniel Cordier, has died aged 100.
Considered one of solely two remaining Compagnons de la Libération, an honour awarded by France’s exiled wartime chief, Charles de Gaulle, to those that risked their lives to liberate France from Nazi occupation, Emmanuel Macron stated there could be a nationwide ceremony to honour his reminiscence.
“When France was in peril, he and his compagnons took each danger in order that France remained France. We owe them our freedom and our honour,” Macron wrote in a tweet.
Cordier was secretary to the French resistance chief, Jean Moulin, who was killed by the Gestapo in 1943.
Born right into a rich household in Bordeaux, Cordier admitted he was a monarchist and in his personal phrases “fiercely antisemitic” earlier than the battle when he was a member of the ultra-nationalist Motion Française.
After the German invasion in 1940, Cordier was appalled as he listened to the radio deal with by Marshal Philippe Pétain, chief of the collaborationist Vichy authorities, calling on the French military to give up, a call he thought-about a disgraceful betrayal.
“I raced upstairs and flung myself on my mattress and I sobbed. However then it will need to have been half an hour later, I instantly drew myself up, and I stated to myself: ‘However no, that is ridiculous. He (Pétain) is only a silly outdated idiot! We have now to do one thing,” he later recalled.
He and 16 associates instantly set off aboard a ship from Bayonne to affix De Gaulle in London, touchdown in Falmouth seven days later. Cordier underwent army coaching within the UK after which transferred to the key intelligence service of the Free French, studying sabotage, radio transmission and parachuting.
He was parachuted into France in 1942, aged 22, with the codename Bip W, and ordered to make contact in Lyon with a person recognized solely as “Rex”. The person he made contact with was, in reality, Moulin, who had organised and unified the Conseil Nationwide de la Résistance (Nationwide Resistance Council).
For a yr he was Moulin’s right-hand man, drafting his correspondence and liaising with different resistance leaders. Moulin died after he was arrested by the Gestapo in July 1943, having been betrayed to the Nazis and tortured. He died onboard a practice to Germany.
Cordier continued to rally and organise resistance fighters whereas dodging the Germans himself, lastly fleeing over the Pyrenees the place he was arrested and interned earlier than being transferred to London in Might 1944.
After the battle, Cordier opened a gallery in Paris – described by newspapers on the time because the “most unique” within the French capital for its promotion of beforehand little-known modern artists.
He additionally wrote a bestselling and award-winning novel, Alias Caracalla, based mostly on his wartime experiences with Moulin. His demise leaves just one surviving member of the 1,038 Companions of the Liberation, Hubert Germain, who can be 100 years outdated.
In 2018, Cordier was awarded the Grand Croix of the Légion d’honneur, the very best ornament of the French state. As he adorned him, Macron instructed Cordier: “To be nose to nose with you is to search out oneself instantly and compellingly nose to nose with historical past.”
Cordier, who was residing in Cannes on the French Riviera on the time of his demise, instructed Le Monde in 2018: “I’m an outdated however very, very pleased outdated man,” and described his expertise as not one life however “successive lives that had been so completely different from each other”.