Jean Mattéoli

”After an almost epidermic reaction to the German presence, for many of us commitment to more specific, organised action was a matter of circumstance.

One day a boy who knew I was on friendly terms with the daughters of the prefect of the Côte-d'Or asked me if I could obtain fake ID cards for English soldiers who had fled the German invasion, French prisoners who wanted to enter the “free” zone, English families who didn’t want to be interned, etc. All those people wanted to get across the demarcation line.

I talked about it with the prefect, who told me, “I’ll let you into the prefecture temporarily. Once inside, you’ll have the prefecture stamps. You can make the necessary papers yourself.” He gave me a few blank ID cards so that we could get started right away. That was my first step in the Resistance.”

Jean Mattéoli in Jusqu'au bout de la résistance, FNDIR and UNADIF, Stock, 1997