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80th anniversary of Liberation: Macron is expected at the Vercors maquis

Emmanuel Macron is expected in Vercors on Tuesday to pay unprecedented tribute to this maquis, “the embodiment of France inseparable from the Republic”, which was attacked by French militias before the last attack by German troops exactly 80 years ago.

The head of state is due to travel to Vasier-en-Vercors, a small village in the Drôme mountains completely destroyed during the Second World War, as part of a new phase of his memorial series to mark the 80th anniversary of the Liberation. At the beginning of the month, he had already visited the Glier plateau, another destroyed Maquis, and the Izier house, where the Gestapo detained Jewish children. The celebrations will culminate in June in Normandy to commemorate the Allied landings.

In Vassiers-en-Vercors, the ceremony will take place in two stages from 15:00: first in the necropolis of the Resistance, then in front of the martyrology, a bas-relief with the names of the victims in the main square, where the president will give a speech. This is doubly unprecedented.

“This time when the French didn’t like each other”

In fact, Emmanuel Macron will be the first president of the republic to pay his respects there. Charles de Gaulle made a “short stop” there only in 1963, the Elysee Palace recalls, and Nicolas Sarkozy went to the neighboring village of La Chapelle-en-Vercors in 2009.

In addition, the poppies of Vercors are traditionally celebrated on July 21, the day of the last and especially “brutal” assault by German troops (840 resistance fighters and civilians were killed, 570 houses were destroyed). The choice of April 16 corresponds to the first attack by the French militia, so as not to obscure the “painful memories that continue,” the president further asserts.

This “time when the French didn’t love each other” also needs to be talked about, says a close friend of the president, while another suggests “taking history as a whole.” “Creating a memory also means showing all the gray areas,” he explains.

Formed “following the Nazi invasion of the free zone” in November 1942, this Maquis was originally composed of “non-persistent” forced labor employees created by Vichy for the benefit of the occupier, and numbered up to 4,000 people. including about fifty Senegalese shooters and about thirty Polish schoolchildren, the presidential adviser reminded reporters.

The head of state intends to insist on the “exemplary” character of this maquis, which shortly before the German attack declared itself the “Free Republic of Vercors”, which the Elysee Palace today praises as “the embodiment of France, inseparable from the Republic.” “

In July 1944, there were fierce battles with the Resistance here, until the withdrawal of German troops on August 12. Vasier is one of five municipalities awarded the title of “Companion of Liberation” along with Paris, Nantes, Seine Island and Grenoble.

Source: Le Parisien

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