Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Resistance and Deportation

As we were driving home from Figeac on Sunday, I saw the tip of something poking up through the tops of the trees. "Let's stop and see what it is," I said. (That is one of the many things I am loving about this trip. Staying put in one location for an entire month gives us the gift of time. Joe and I are constantly stopping the car to take photos at the side of the road, making detours, or driving into villages that weren't even on the day's itinerary.)

When we pulled off the road to investigate, we found it was a Resistance And Deportation Memorial. It looked so lonely and desolate in the rain. We took a few photos, I pulled a couple of weeds around the base of the monument, then we continued on our way back to Martignac.

As we wound our way through the green rolling hills and fields of southwest France, I started to think about the books I have read set during WW ll and the occupation of France. 'Suite Francaise', 'The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society', and 'Sarah's Key' are a few novels that came to mind.

The French refer to the Lot Valley as 'La France Profonde'; which means 'Deep France'. The Lot Valley was also the heart of the French Resistance. I can't imagine what it must have been like to have one's country be occupied by another; that the Vichy regime served up it's Jewish citizens to the Nazis. It hurts my heart just thinking about it.

I began to look at the old stone farmhouses with new eyes.

I wondered which of them had housed Nazi soldiers six decades ago? Who here had relatives who fought for the French Resistance? What must it be like to live in a war zone? What must it have been like to leave everything behind to try and escape the Nazis? How do people go on after having lost loved ones in concentration camps?

I have so many questions and no answers.



  1. Good article, wife! Very interesting. It is interesting about the French that they put these kind of interesting sites in the middle of nowhere and you stumble upon them when you least expect.

  2. Thank you for the nice compliment, husband! I also love a comment that uses the word 'interesting' three times.

  3. A beautiful article, really. In no other country in the world do I spend as much time wishing that the walls could talk as I do when in France. Actually, maybe it is better that the walls don't talk.