Dominique Lormier, historian specializing in World War II, salutes on franceinfo the courage of the last companion of the Liberation, who died at the age of 101 on Tuesday, October 12.
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“Boldness and courage always prevail”, declares Tuesday, October 12 on franceinfo the historian specializing in the Second World War, Dominique Lormier. While the last companion of the Liberation Hubert Germain died at 101, he believes that we must now continue to “remember why we became free again in 1945 and why we should never bow our heads even in the worst moments of history”.
franceinfo: How could we qualify the life of Hubert Germain?
Dominique Lormier: It is a life of courage, of giving of oneself, of dedication, of patriotism. It is that of a Free Frenchman who joined General de Gaulle in June 1940 and who then fought in the First Free French Brigade under General Koenig. He took part in the Battle of Bir-Hakeim where, one against ten, the French stood up to Rommel’s troops, allowing the British to reestablish themselves at El-Alamein. He then integrated the 1st DFL and made the quite honorable and magnificent course which was that of this unit during the campaign of France then the campaign of Germany.
They were only 1,038 Liberation Companions. It took courage to join General de Gaulle in June 1940?
All the more so since France was defeated! Everyone was convinced that the war was over and that England would capitulate. It was necessary to be bold and intelligent to join General de Gaulle, to have a panoramic vision of the conflict and to realize that it was in truth a world war and not a war simply limited to the national territory. It was really a high risk expedition because we had to reach England by boat. He left Saint-Jean-de-Luz at the end of June 1940 to join Liverpool. Germany had mastery of the skies in the area, they could have been attacked by the German air force, and the Kriegsmarine, the German navy, which was very active.
How to make this memory last from now on?
This is done through the work done by National Education, history teachers, but also you the media, librarians, historians, writers like me and historical documentaries that are regularly broadcast on television, or even institutes, such as the Jean Moulin institute in Paris, which continue to carry the flame of French courage. We must remember why we became free again in 1945 and why we must never bow our heads even in the worst moments of history. Boldness and courage always prevail. It is always important to defend the values of freedom which were those of the free French who fought against Hitler’s Germany.