Resistance

Hi, My husband and I are trying to plan a trip that would include learning more about the Resistance during WW 2. I am specifically interested in France. Has anyone been to museums outside of Paris, especially in what was Vichy France? We have done extensive reading on the subject.
Thank you

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
1694 posts

Many French cities have exhibitions on Resistance history, often under names referring to "Resistance et Deportation" ("Deportation" referring to the Holocaust.) A couple of the most moving I've visited are in Lyon and Grenoble. They often have little or no labelling in English, however.

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
668 posts

It's a little out of the way, but I remember that the museum on the citadel hill in Besancon might have had quite a bit on the Resistance. It was a nice town to visit, on the way to Geneva, Rick's mountains (Chamonix), and Perouges. We day-tripped to the area Courbet painted from Besancon. (accent omitted)

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1004 posts

The town of Fontaine de Vaucluse has History Museum, also known as the Museum of the Resistance, which is one of the most interesting we've seen. It documents everyday life under the Vichy regime, including, in a classroom display, a chilling recording of school children singing about how they love their dear marechal (Petain). The museum is dedicated to the memory of the town's mayor, who was executed for his support of the Resistance. I remember there being explanations of the displays in English; but, maybe, my rudimentary French served me better than recall.

Posted by Lee
Dallas
898 posts

I can only offer an experience which might be of interest. We had a pleasant al fresco lunch on the place in Capestang, a Canal du Midi town. Afterward we strolled around the square. We came upon a plaque which memorialized the 179 local men who had been rounded up there and hauled away to Germany by the SS. And others of the resistance who had been arrested there, tortured and later shot by the Germans in Beziers. It was a shock to think what had happened in this small town in the Languedoc. You could say we were in a living museum of WW2.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2687 posts

Hi, This is not exactly what you asked, but if you want to see a museum on the resistance located in Paris I suggest "Musee du Marechal Leclerc and the Musee Jean Moulin near the Montparnasse metro station...very esoteric stuff. Outside of Paris: In the south (near Ardeche) the Vercors area is a museum on the resistance I saw it over 10 years ago...pretty poignant.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17745 posts

Nancy, While not specifically a "resistance" site, one of the most moving and significant historic sites in France is the "martyrs village" of Oradour sur Glane, just outside Limoges. The entire population of the town was exxecuted by the SS, for no apparent reason. There's a small Museum there as well as the remains of the town. De Gaulle ordered it to be left as it was at the end of the war, and a new town was built nearby. Happy travels!

Posted by Adam
Boston
2630 posts

I also enjoyed the Resistance Museum in Fontaine de Vaucluse very much. It has a lot about Vichy. Think poster of Winston Churchill as an evil octopus, his tentacles cut off by muscular French farmers. That said, it's not such a comprehensive exhibit that I would go to Provence just to see it. But it's worth taking the time to visit if you are in Provence (which of course has many other attractions).

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3406 posts

In Paris in the Mairie for the 3rd arrondissement there is a "salon des fetes" (for marriages, etc) named after Odette Pilpul, who was a French civil servant but also in the Resistance. Not Jewish but married to a Jew, she saved many Jewish lives before being deported. There are many websites outlining her heroism. She was my step-daughter's great-aunt and we visited the Mairie last December to photograph the plaque honouring her.

Posted by Nancy
Boston
158 posts

Thanks, Everyone, We've been to Oradour and will never forget what we saw there. I will look into the places you all mentioned. On previous trips, we would often come across a plaque memorializing some one who had been killed resisting. In some towns we saw monuments listing the names of all the deportees. I was wondering if anyone had visited any of the places where the former camps were located.
Thanks, again

Posted by Danni
Everywhere
41 posts

Nancy Have a look at a website called Traces of War . com
I believe it is a german site but they have a lot of info by country of all museums, monuments, etc, for WWII.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
681 posts

The Camp des Milles memorial site, opened last year, might be the place to go for a reminder of common WWII history in France.