Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Germain fought against the Nazis
France mourns the last resistance “hero”
1038 “Compagnons de la Liberation” exist – so-called companions of liberation. They were honored in France for their services in the fight against the Germans in World War II. Now the last of them, Hubert Germain, dies. He is buried in full honor.
France’s last known resistance fighter against the Nazis is dead. Hubert Germain died at the age of 101, said French Defense Minister Florence Parly. “This is a significant moment in our history,” she said. Germain was the last still living of the 1038 “Compagnons de la Liberation” (“Companions of Liberation”) – the highest title bestowed by General Charles de Gaulle for his commitment to the liberation of France from the Nazis.
The Elysée Palace announced that French President Emmanuel Macron “bow before the life of this figurehead of free France”. Chief of Staff Thierry Burkhard also paid tribute to Germain’s services. France is losing one of its most famous civil servants, he said. The country is “indebted to him for his courage”.
In France, the “Compagnons de la Liberation”, including six women, are revered as “heroes”. In 2020 three of them died, Daniel Cordier, Pierre Simonet and Edgar Tupët-Thomé. That made Germain the last survivor.
Germain, born on August 6, 1920 as the son of a colonial officer, was one of the first to join the French Free Forces (Forces françaises libres, FFI) around de Gaulle. Germain was assigned to an armored cruiser, on which he was trained as a naval officer. There he also participated in the air defense against German attacks.
Funeral service at the Arc de Triomphe
From 1941 Germain fought in the Middle East – first in Palestine, later in the foreign region in Libya. After fighting in Egypt, Tunisia and Italy, he was brought to Naples, injured, where de Gaulle honored him in 1944 with the title “Compagnons de la Liberation”.
After the war, Germain worked in the chemical industry and was politically active – first as mayor of the municipality of Saint-Chéron south of Paris, then in the 1960s as a member of the national assembly for the Gaullist party Union pour la Nouvelle République (UNR) . In the 1970s, under President Georges Pompidou, he became Minister of Post and then Minister for Cooperation with Parliament.
Germain is buried on Mont Valérien, west of Paris, where France honors its “martyrs”. According to the Elysée Palace, President Emmanuel Macron will attend the funeral services on November 11 at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and Mont Valérien.