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Musée de la Résistance en Morvan

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The British TV series 'Allo, Allo' may have popularised the work of the Resistance Movement in the Second World War, but a visit to the Resistance Museum in the Morvan Forest paints the true picture.

This was an area traumatized by the Nazis, where arrests, deportation, execution, burnt farms and villages were the reality. St. Brisson and Dun-les-Places were two villages which suffered terribly.

In 1940, everything north of Chalon-sur-Sâone was in Nazi occupied France, including the heavy industrial areas of Le Creusot and Monceau-les-Mines, invaluable to the German war machine. Mâcon and Tournus fell in Vichy France until 1942 when there was full Nazi occupation.

The Morvan Forest, a heavily wooded, sparsely populated area in the very centre of Burgundy proved an ideal place for the 'maquis', the underground movement to take hold. Rebels could hide in isolated farms. Barley was brewed to make 'coffee',
everyone lived off the land, and times could not have been harder. Using bread panniers to disguise the cache, they obtained their arms and radios via British parachute drops.

The museum shows the occupation, the resistance and the liberation . There is an excellent, although lengthy, audio commentary in English with a video of the Battle of Crux-le-Ville which led finally to the liberation of the region from the Nazis.

Many heroes emerged such as Jean Longhi 'Grandjean' and le Colonel Roche, 'Moreau'. You leave wanting to know more of their 'lutte', their struggle.

21 Second World War memorial sites, 'Chemins de Mémoire', dealing with various topics such as the martyred villages of Montsauche-les-Settons and Duns-les-Places can be visited - guide available from the museum. Free access all year.

Musée de la Résistance is open from April until 11 November at the Maison du Parc, St.-Brisson in the Morvan Forest from 10.00 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 18.00 (17.00 in April, October, November). Closed every Tuesday and Saturday mornings.


Maquis : The French Resistance at War - Cassell Military Paperbacks
available from

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