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“We finally recognize the place of foreigners in the Resistance”: at the Pantheon, the vibrant tribute to the Manouchian couple

2024-02-21T22:41:22.760Z

Highlights: Missak and Mélinée Manouchian, two foreign communist resistance fighters, have been buried in the Pantheon of Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke at the ceremony. A video fresco, projected on the facade, develops the four main facets of Missak's life: Armenian childhood, stateless worker poet, resistance activists, arrest and death. “I leave behind me my dark condition of an orphan woven of misery and deprivation. I am still a teenager drunk on a dream of books and paper,” Missak wrote.


REPORT - Despite the cold, the rain and the wind, many French people wanted to travel to show their love and esteem for Missak and Mélinée.


Today, it's no longer the winter sun: it's raining in Paris.

France, grateful, welcomes you, Missak and Mélinée.

» A few words spoken by Emmanuel Macron, during the entry into the Pantheon of the Manouchian couple, two foreign communist resistance fighters.

A few words so full of meaning, in particular, for the approximately 600,000 French people of Armenian origin.

Some were present on rue Soufflot, in the 5th arrondissement of the capital, to witness this historic event despite the cold, rain and wind.

Jean-Christophe, 27, proudly displays his khachkar, the Armenian cross.

The young man was initially

“afraid that the ceremony would be too oriented towards

Missak’s communist trajectory”

.

“But no, there was an interesting balance, his Armenian roots were well told and heard thanks to the duduk

,” he rejoices.

The duduk.

This traditional Armenian instrument, with such a melancholy sound, could not better accompany, from the start, the famous and vibrant letter to Mélinée read by Patrick Bruel.

She set the tone.

That of absolute silence, imbued with modesty, respect and emotion.

“Happiness to those who will survive us and taste the sweetness of freedom and peace of tomorrow [...] At the moment of dying, I proclaim that I have no hatred against the German people or against anyone , everyone will have what they deserve as punishment and as reward.”

As the two coffins of Missak and Mélinée rise towards the Pantheon, extracts of texts from Missak's notebooks are read by the actors Laurent Natrella, Céline Samie, Serge Bogdassarian, François Feroleto, and Lisa Toromanian.

Also read “They allowed us to be here today”: the entry of the Manouchian couple into the Pantheon greeted by the Armenian community

“I leave behind me my dark condition of an orphan woven of misery and deprivation.

I am still a teenager drunk on a dream of books and paper.

I will mature through the labor of conscience and life.”

The scenography then makes words appear, in full light.

Synonymous with stops conducive to reflection.

Get involved, resist... Today, the meaning given to them is sometimes overused

,” underlines Mariam, 40 years old.

Subscribing to these terms implies a true philosophy of life.

As the Manouchians and their comrades did in their time

.”

A video fresco, projected on the facade of the Pantheon, develops the four main facets of Missak's life: Armenian childhood, stateless worker poet, resistance activists, arrest and death.

The coffins of Missak and Mélinée Manouchian go back to the Pantheon on February 21.

SARAH MEYSSONNIER / AFP

“It shouldn’t be about politics, I don’t care”

In the distance, at the bottom, the Red Poster appears.

Imposing.

Full-scale.

To remind everyone that, yes, today,

“we finally recognize the place of foreigners, of FTP-ME in the Resistance

,” welcome Lucie and Elsa, aged 17 and 18.

Even though we may not share their opinions, communists matter.

» Emmanuel Macron does not say the opposite.

The France of 2024 had to honor those who were France 24 times over.

In the minds of the young French people who came here to think of this other youth who went before her, foreign, Jewish, communist, resistant, youth of France, guardian of a part of the nobility of the world.

The right moment to sing the Internationale, some passers-by say to themselves: they will succeed, without being taken up by the public.

This odyssey, that of Manouche and all his comrades in arms, is also ours.

Odyssey of freedom and its indelible part in the heart of our nation

Emmanuel Macron

It shouldn’t be a matter of politics, I don’t care,”

says Florence, 70, flanked by a pin to the glory of the Manouchians.

Rather, she is proud of having been able to bow her flag of the National Federation of Resistant and Patriotic Deportees and Internees (FNDIRP) as the coffins pass.

The only one to have had this privilege, after many negotiations with the police.

A patriotic act

,” she said.

It’s not hard to believe it, as these Pantheonization days are so special.

Capable of awakening the blue-white-red spirit that lies dormant within you.

“This odyssey, that of Manouchian and all his comrades in arms, is also ours.

Odyssey of freedom and its indelible part in the heart of our nation

, evokes Emmanuel Macron.

A resistance fighter

decides to die for our nation which, however, had refused to fully adopt it.”

The coffins and portraits of Missak and Mélinée Manouchian at the Panthéon, February 21.

LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

Twice, even.

But nothing will stop him.

Not even the Nazi bullets at Mont-Valérien, February 21, 1944, where Missak Manouchian and his companions were shot.

Its legend in popular culture is well established, thanks among other things to the song

L'Affiche rouge

by Léo Ferré.

So when Arthur Teboul, singer of the group Feu!

Chatterton, reinterprets it (masterfully) in his own way, in the audience, we can't help but shed a tear.

The rain helps with camouflage.

Silence, again.

A round of applause follows.

The coffins of Missak and Mélinée arrive at the Pantheon.

They will be installed in vault 13 of the crypt, where the singer Joséphine Baker and the writer Maurice Genevoix are already located.

And will rest there, from now on, for eternity.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2024-02-21

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