Henri Frenay, April 1943

“For 18 months, in other words until January 1942, we grew alone, without any outside help or ties with London. Like the other movements, we spontaneously rose up against ‘the inevitable’, we were beholden to no one… We had no money and, after running out of all our paltry personal savings, had to beg from our relatives… That was the heroic period, when very strong friendships and trust grew between me and my comrades, relationships that bonded us to one another as much as the ideals we were upholding.”

Henri Fresnay quoted in L.Douzou, D. Veillon “La Résistance des mouvements: ses débuts dans la région Lyonnaise (1940-1942)”, in J.M. Guillon and P. Laborie (editors), Mémoire et Histoire de la Résistance, Privat, 1995
Henri Frenay, Combat, no. 44, 15 May 1943


In early 1943 the southern zone’s three resistance movements decided to unify their organisation and action. That unity was a decisive step in the history of the resistance. Differences of opinion, hesitations and mistrust were gone. All French republicans and resistance members in the southern zone were now grouped together under a single leadership. They were prepared to wage the ultimate fight.

The United Movements want the unity they have achieved to spread throughout France. They want the resistance to knock down the spiritual wall that the Germans have erected to try and divide France before the armies of liberation arrive.

The resistance, which will soon be united in organisation, is already united in spirit. The total occupation of France forced the French in both zones to have the same concerns. It made their hearts beat in unison. The French Resistance shares the same goals: to liberate the country, recover its freedoms and entrust General de Gaulle with the leadership of the provisional government in order to establish the Fourth Republic. The instrument of liberation today will be that of the revolution tomorrow.

If anybody in the Empire or France thinks they can take advantage of the liberation to set up a dictatorship of any kind, the entire Resistance will rise up against him, and the country too. The victory will be that of France and not of a clan or of reactionary forces.

It will also rise up against any form of interference in French affairs. Those who have never given up the fight and will have paid the price of blood for their freedom will make the voice of France heard and uphold its sovereignty.»

Henri Fresnay in Combat, no. 44, 15 May 1943