The penultimate Companion of the Liberation Danie Cordier died at the age of 100, this Friday. This Bordelais had joined Free France at the end of June 1940 in London. Only one companion remains alive: Hubert Germain.
There remains only one Companion of the Liberation still alive after the death this Friday of the centenary Daniel Cordier, the former secretary of Jean Moulin, to whom will be paid a national tribute.
Like many political leaders of all stripes, Emmanuel Macron praised the memory of Daniel Cordier, who died at the age of 100 and “whose whole life will have combined the love of France and the passion for freedom “. “With him, it is the living memory of the Resistance that is extinguished. He had gone through what our history has most burning, most painful, but also more heroic,” added the president in a statement. He announced that a national tribute would be paid to him in the courtyard of the Invalides, probably next weekend.
Daniel Cordier, the resistance fighter, Jean Moulin’s secretary, is gone. When France was in peril, he and his companions took all the risks so that France remained France. We owe them our freedom and our honor. We will pay him a national tribute. pic.twitter.com/CoSzoo9Ngt
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 20, 2020
“The Nation loses one of its most illustrious children, one of those who, on the edge of the abyss, knew how to seize the torch of honor and courage”, reacted the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly and the Minister Delegate Geneviève Darrieussecq in a press release.
Daniel Cordier was a fighter, an essential figure in the history of France. His meeting with Jean Moulin, his commitment as a resistance fighter had made him an indefatigable transmission activist. His voice has died down, but we will continue to carry his memory.
– Florence Parly (@florence_parly) November 20, 2020
After his death, Hubert Germain, 100, remains the last Companion out of the 1,038 who had been distinguished by General de Gaulle for their commitment to Free France during the German Occupation.
Art dealer after the Liberation
Born August 10, 1920, Daniel Cordier was one of the very first French, at 19, to join the Free French Forces in London. “I am the son of the war of 1914, he confided a few years ago. My childhood was monuments to the dead, the disabled, etc. So, in 1940, when France lost the war it had won twenty years earlier, that was unbearable for me. ”
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 Free French Forces (FFL). Parachuted into France in 1942, he was hired as secretary by Jean Moulin in Lyon and remained in the service of this figure of the Resistance until the latter’s arrest in June 1943. Chased by the Gestapo, he returned to England and continued to work for the BCRA.
Dealer of contemporary art paintings and renowned gallery owner after the war, Daniel Cordier donated hundreds of works to the Georges-Pompidou Museum. In 1983, he published a colossal biography of Jean Moulin. The day of his 100th birthday, Emmanuel Macron called him, thanking him “for the example given” during the war and after. “A nation feeds on exemplary lives”, he stressed.
His death closely follows those of two other Companions: Pierre Simonet, who died on November 6 at the age of 99, and Edgard Tupët-Thomet, who died on September 9 at the age of 100.
A call for responsibility in the face of Covid-19
On March 17, Daniel Cordier, along with Hubert Germain and Pierre Simonet, called on the French to “cohesion” and “responsibility” in the face of a “war of another kind”, the one engaged against the Covid-19. “Let us show reason, solidarity, national cohesion and individual responsibility”, had asked the three Companions. Father of the FFL, Charles De Gaulle had created the Order of the Liberation in November 1940 to “reward the persons or the military and civil communities who will have distinguished themselves in the work of liberation of France and its empire”. The Order was foreclosed in 1946.
Some 1,038 people, including six women, will be awarded the title of Companion of the Liberation, as well as 18 military units and five French municipalities: Nantes, Grenoble, Paris, the martyr village of Vassieux-en-Vercors (Drôme) and the island of Sein (Finistère).
Among the first politicians to pay tribute to Daniel Cordier, Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Armed Forces, stressed that the entire nation paid “tribute to this goldsmith of Memory who will have made his life a perpetual fight for truth and freedom “.
Daniel Cordier, companion of the Liberation, hero of the resistance from its early days, is leaving us today at the age of 100. The whole nation pays homage to this silversmith of Memory who made his life a perpetual fight for truth and freedom. pic.twitter.com/fN8rn2kAuq
– Geneviève Darrieussecq (@gdarrieussecq) November 20, 2020
Former President François Hollande greeted “a man who had had several lives, all attached to freedom and democracy”.
With Daniel Cordier passes away one of the last companions of the Liberation and disappears a man with an exceptional destiny. Secretary of Jean Moulin, he was keen to defend the honor of the Resistance and its leader. pic.twitter.com/5tcDRdNQLl
– François Hollande (@fhollande) November 20, 2020
Xavier Bertrand, president of Hauts-de-France, quoted one of Daniel Cordier’s sentences: “Today, I am in a free France and it is something inalienable”.
“Today, I am in a free France and it is something inalienable. “#DanielCordier, alias Caracalla, companion of the Liberation, has passed away. Resistant, he decides to join Jean Moulin and Free France in June 1940. Thoughts of his relatives. pic.twitter.com/cKx1DBxxNl
– Xavier Bertrand (@xavierbertrand) November 20, 2020