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Daniel Cordier, Compagnon de la Liberation

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
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    Stirling, Scotland
    "French Resistance figure Daniel Cordier - who has died at the age of 100 - was one of a last remaining heroes decorated by Charles de Gaulle for their role in fighting the Nazi occupation.
    His death on Friday leaves only one survivor among the 1,038 men and women who received the title "Compagnons de la Libération" after World War Two.
    The son of a wealthy merchant in south-western France, Cordier first became involved in politics in the 1930s as a teenage member of the royalist far-right.
    In June 1940, after German forces crushed the French army and the government of Marshall Philippe Pétain sued for peace, Cordier's activism took a different turn.
    "As my mother collapsed into my stepfather's arms, I raced upstairs and flung myself on my bed, and I sobbed. But then (…) I suddenly drew myself up, and I said to myself, 'But no, this is ridiculous," Cordier recalled in a 2018 interview with the BBC. "[Pétain] is just a stupid old fool! We have to do something."
    He joined the movement's intelligence arm and was parachuted into central France in mid-1942. A high point in his life was his meeting with Jean Moulin, the man tasked by de Gaulle to co-ordinate Resistance groups.
    Cordier had come to deliver a message. The two men hit it off and he became the commander's right-hand man, based in Lyon.
    "I admired Jean Moulin from the moment I first saw him," Cordier told the BBC. "He had an elegance and a kindness, and also a huge capacity for work. In his view, he was the Resistance. I hope in my own small way I was able to serve him as he wanted."
    Ten months later Moulin was betrayed to the Gestapo and killed under torture. Cordier moved to Paris, where he continued to rally the resistance before escaping to London in 1944.
    After the war he became a painter and a successful art-dealer, promoting contemporary masters such as Braque and Dubuffet.
    He later credited Jean MouIin for initiating him into modern art. The education, he said, had begun as a kind of code. Moulin, he once said, decided to give him loud lectures on painters so as not to arouse suspicion when out and about in the danger zone that was occupied France."
  2. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2013
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    ...the resistance is my ''more favorite'''subject ---now....long ago it was the regular military ....the guts/bravery of these men and women are not understood or recognized by many ....they could have just sit out the war...
    ..Moulin had a run in with the bad guys before being betrayed .....after being imprisoned and beaten--he continued to resist!!!!

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