He was a prominent member of the resistance during World War II and a minister with Georges Pompidou
Prominent member of the French resistance against the Nazis, war hero, mayor, deputy and minister of Georges Pompidou, Humbert Germain (1920-2021), the last “Companion of Liberation” of France, died on Tuesday in Paris at 101 years.
Germain was one of the 1,038 men and women of the Order of Liberation, created in 1940 by General Charles de Gaulle to reward those people or communities who did the most for the liberation of France from the Nazi yoke. The Cross of the Liberation is considered the most prestigious French distinction of the Second World War.
French President Emmanuel Macron will pay tribute to him on November 11 at a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe. Humbert Germain, Macron recalled on Twitter, was “one of the first resisters, hero of (the battle of) Bir Hakeim and the landing of Provence, who regained our freedom and rebuilt our homeland.” Macron calls him “a leading figure in free France” who “embodied a century of freedom.”
Son of a general officer of the colonial troops, Germain resigned in June 1940 to take the entrance exam at the Naval Academy, since he opposed the armistice announced days before by Marshal Philippe Pétain and the surrender of France to Nazi Germany. . “I’m going to make war,” he told his examiner. At age 19, he sailed for England. He was one of the first to join the Free French Forces. He fought in Syria, Libya and Italy, where he was wounded.
Germain participated in the landing of Provence, of great symbolic value for France and General Charles De Gaulle, since, unlike the landing of Normandy, where most were allied soldiers, in the landing of Provence it was Gallic soldiers who liberated France .
After the Second World War, Germain hung up his uniform and entered politics. He was mayor of Saint-Chéron for 12 years (1953-1965), deputy (1962-1973), minister of Posts and Telecommunications (1972-1974) and minister in charge of relations with Parliament during the presidency of Georges Pompidou.
Germain will be buried in the crypt of Mont Valérien, a prominent place in French historical memory. There you will find the Memorial de la France combatant, a monument in homage to the heroes and martyrs of the Resistance. During the Second World War, more than 1,000 members of the French Resistance were executed there.