Daniel Cordier, who as secretary of the famous French resistance leader Jean Moulin helped orchestrate his country’s fight against its German occupiers during World War II, died at the age of 100, a government source said on Friday.
His death means only one fighter among the 1038 who were decorated by Charles de Gaulle when the heroes of the resistance remain alive.
Born in the southwestern city of Bordeaux on August 10, 1920, Cordier had been about to join the army when he left France in June 1940 to reunite de Gaulle in London, following the general’s famous call not to accept defeat by Nazi forces.
“I am a child from the war of 1914. My youth was a monument to the dead, to the wounded,” he once recalls.
“So in 1940, when France lost the war it won 20 years earlier, I found this completely unacceptable,” Cordier said.
He became part of de Gaulle’s intelligence and operations department and parachute height in France in 1942, where he was taken as Moulin’s secretary in Lyon.
For our EU friend. A really big and fantastic French WW2 hero has just died. The last in the liberation from Ordre de la. with Hubert Germain). Fantastic life. A real opponent with Jean Moulin. A dedicated European. L’ancien opponent Daniel Cordier https://t.co/hoiFxNbylq
– Jacques DELPLA (@JacquesDELPLA) November 20, 2020
Between the planning of sabotage operations against the German forces, Moulin introduced Cordier to the art world, and the two worked together until Moulin’s arrest of the Gestapo in June 1943.
Cordier, now also directed, returned to England where he continued to work in the resistance’s intelligence service and after the war he became a prominent art dealer.
President Emmanuel Macron called him on August 20, the day of his 100th birthday, to thank him for “the example he set” both during and after the war.
In 2013, he was the subject of a famous documentary during his wartime, “Alias Resistance” – a reference to his memoirs, entitled “Alias Caracalla.”
“I cried for three whole hours,” Cordier told AFP at the film’s premiere at a high school in Paris, along with President Francois Hollande, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first meeting of Moulin’s National Council of the Resistance in Paris.
With his death, only one resistance hero remains, Hubert Germain.