Conversations shared during this week reminded me of this astonishing photo. Georges Blind, a member of the French resistance later to be murdered in Auschwitz, was subjected to a mock execution by the SS upon capture in October 1944. The troops intended to force Blind to reveal information, and to produce a propaganda photograph to intimidate fellow anti-Nazi activists. On both counts they were thwarted, the latter by Blind’s wide, mocking smile at the firing squad.
Recent tour with Cedric from Canada via France. ‘I remember the SS were driving a train to my village, and the Resistance was shooting at it. They hit a few inside, I think. The SS brought the train to the village. They took everyone from their homes and noted who was absent, and then they took one person from every home to surround the train while they were repairing it, so that nobody would shoot at it any more. A few days later the Gestapo came to the village. They found all the people who had been absent that day. Some of them were in the Resistance and some of them had only gone to the market, or wherever they were. And the Gestapo took those people away and they never came back.’ Cedric is about to drive with his wife to Bavaria and go hiking in the mountains.