Jean Moulin

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Jean Moulin (June 20, 1899 – July 8, 1943) was a high-profile member of the French Resistance during World War II.[1] He is remembered today as an emblem of the Resistance primarily due to his role in unifying the French resistance under de Gaulle and his courage and death at the hands of the Germans.


Before the war

Moulin was born in Béziers, France, and enlisted in the French Army in 1918. After World War I, he resumed his studies and obtained a degree in law in 1924. He then entered the prefectural administration as chef de cabinet to the deputy of Savoie in 1922, then as sous préfet of Albertville, from 1925 to 1930. He was France's youngest sous préfet at the time.

He married Marguerite Cerruti in September 1926, but the couple divorced in 1928.

In 1930, he was the sous préfet of Châteaulin, Brittany. During that time, he also drew political cartoons in the newspaper Le Rire under the pseudonym Romanin. He also became an illustrator for the Breton poet Tristan Corbière's books; among others he made an etching for La Pastorale de Conlie, Corbière's poem about the camp of Conlie where many Breton soldiers died in 1870. He also made friends with the Breton poets Saint-Pol-Roux in Camaret and Max Jacob in Quimper.

He became France's youngest préfet in the Aveyron département, in the commune of Rodez, in January 1937.

During the Spanish Civil War, some believe he supplied arms from the Soviet Union to Spain. A more commonly accepted version of events is that he supplied French planes to the anti-fascist forces from his position within the Aviation Ministry.

The Resistance

In 1939, Moulin was appointed préfet of the Eure-et-Loir département. The Germans arrested him in June 1940 because he refused to sign a German document that falsely blamed Senegalese French Army troops for civilian massacres. In prison, he attempted suicide by cutting his throat with a piece of broken glass. This left him with a scar that he would often hide with a scarf — the image of Jean Moulin remembered today.

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