Civil resistance

La chanson des V (The Song of the Vs)

“We must not
lose hope
We will win
We must not
Do not forget
the letter V.
Write it
Hum it
On walls and
on paving stones
Make the V sign”

La Chanson des V (The Song of the Vs) in Les Voix de la Liberté, Ici Londres 1940-1944, vol. 1, Jean-Louis CREMIEUX-BRILHAC, La Documentation française, 1975


Demonstrations: the French speak to the French, text read by Maurice Schumann on 29 April 1942

“France itself is where the French Workers Movement issued the appeal we are going to repeat:

Frenchmen and women, demonstrate on the 1st of May!
For the workers’ dignity!
For a more just order!
For a liberated France in a free humanity!
At 6:30 p.m. on the 1st of May walk silently and individually in front of the statues of the Republic and town halls.

The French Workers Movement has issued the appeal that we have just repeated to you in France itself. Let people around you know about it.”

Call to demonstrate in Les Voix de la Liberté, Ici Londres 1940-1944, vol. 2, Jean-Louis CREMIEUX-BRILHAC, La Documentation française, 1975


Pierre Chassé, maquisard in the Ain, participated in the march of his maquis in the streets of Oyonnax on 11 November 1943:

“On the 11th of November 1943 three sections of armed Maquisards marched through the streets of Oyonnax and laid a Lorraine cross surmounted by the words "from the victors of tomorrow to those of 14/18". Romans, regional maquis chief Belleroche, and his two adjutants, Duvernois and Dunoir, led the procession.

The Army of the Resistance came out of the shadows that day in the Ain. Romans showed the civilian population that the maquisards were neither swarthy foreigners nor bandits, as Radio-Vichy had tried to convince them. The result exceeded expectations. The event was even reported by the BBC. General de Gaulle used it as a decisive argument to obtain weapons from the Allies for the homeland forces.

The march was planned in total secrecy. I was sent to Oyonnax on the 10th of November and it was not until getting there that I found out I had to lead the march on a set itinerary the next day. Lieutenant de Lassus-Saint-Geniès, who later became the head of the FFI in the Drôme department, and Lucien Bonnet, alias Dunoir, who was executed by a firing squad in June 1944, commanded the head section. Marc Jaboulay, Belleroche’s son, made an 8mm film of the event. A copy is on deposit at the Museum of the Order of the Liberation.”
Pierre Chassé in Le rôle des maquis dans la Libération de la France, SENAT, 19 October 1994