He was the penultimate Liberation Companion still alive. Daniel Cordier, former resistance fighter and Jean Moulin’s assistant, died at the age of 100, announce The world and AFP.
Born August 10, 1920 in Bordeaux, Daniel Bouyjou-Gauthier, whose real name was then a young activist from Maurras and a monarchist, was about to be incorporated into the army when Marshal Pétain announced the armistice. Revolted by this speech, he decides to rally the Free French Forces (FFL) on the spot. He embarked on June 21, 1940 in Bayonne, direction London.
“I am the son of the 1914 war. My childhood is monuments to the dead, the disabled, etc. So, in 1940, when France lost the war it had won twenty years earlier, it was unbearable for me, ”explained Daniel Cordier.
From the secret services to Jean Moulin
In the summer of 1941, he was appointed to the “Action” service of the Central Bureau of Intelligence and Action (BCRA), the secret services of the FFL, and for a year followed special training on sabotage, radio, landings. and airdrops.
Parachuted into occupied France in July 1942 near Montlucon, he became secretary to Georges Bidault, head of the underground press agency of the Resistance.
Very quickly, he met Rex, alias Jean Moulin, representative of General de Gaulle and delegate of the French National Committee in Lyon, who hired him to organize his secretariat in Lyon.
Daniel Cordier is then the privileged witness of the immense difficulties encountered by Rex to unify the Resistance. He will remain his right-hand man until Jean Moulin’s arrest in June 1943. He will not know his real name until October 1944.
A turn towards art
After Rex’s arrest, he continued his mission in the northern zone with Claude Bouchinet-Serreulles, interim successor to Jean Moulin, before joining London in May 1944 and continued to work for the BCRA.
Daniel Cordier, who abandoned his far-right ideas to become a humanist socialist, will remain silent for a long time during this period.
Initiated to painting by Jean Moulin, confirmed designer, he began a career as an artist and collector (Braque, Soutine, Rouault, de Staël and many others). From 1956 to 1964, he ran a gallery in Paris which would launch numerous artists.
He donated hundreds of works to the Georges-Pompidou Museum.
A relentless historian
At the end of the 1970s, furious at the accusations that Jean Moulin had been a crypto-communist agent, this Liberation companion undertook research to defend his work and his memory.
In 1983, he published “Jean Moulin, the unknown from the Panthéon”, a colossal biography in three volumes of the illustrious resistance member.
“To be in front of you is to find oneself immediately, irresistibly, vis-à-vis History,” President Emmanuel Macron told him on June 18, 2017, decorating him with the Grand Cross, the highest rank of the Legion of Honor.
Only a companion of the Liberation, Hubert Germain, survived him out of the 1,038 distinguished by Charles de Gaulle for their engagement in Free France during the German Occupation.
On his death, Hubert Germain will be buried in the crypt of Mont Valérien in the last empty vault, between George Brière, a sailor in the 1st Marine Rifle Regiment, killed in the Vosges in November 1944, and Alfred Touny (“Colonel Guérin” ) shot in April 1944, also Companion of the Liberation.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr