Imprisonment

“I spent five months in Fresnes, from March to September 1943. I was in a cell all by myself. My family sent me linens and food once a month. My mother came from Bar-le-Duc to Paris every month with two suitcases. One for my sister [arrested at the same time as him], one for me, which she left at the entrance.


There was a straw mat in a corner, a board against the wall on the other side, a toilet bowl with a water tap above it and a chair. A bowl, a beaker, a scoop and a brush. A closed frosted glass window.

And then the daily routine: the judas hole that opens day and night and then, in the morning, the ‘Kalfaktor’ [trustee] accompanied by a German soldier. In the morning you put the contents of the scoop into the pail and washed yourself the best you can. You held out your beaker and they poured you a kind of black water with a small piece of bread.

During the day they gave you a watery soup with a few bits of cabbage in it. I was hungry, cold, lonely, afraid of the interrogations and above all of not having enough air.

Nothing happened the first three or four days. You could vaguely hear noises in the distance, but you were really alone. Your fellow prisoners stayed away from you. A newcomer might be an informer. A few days later you started forming relationships. »

François Perrot in Jusqu'au bout de la résistance, FNDIR and UNADIF, Stock, 1997