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Fallen heroes

Literature of the Liberation

The commemoration of heroes was an important step in rebuilding morale after the Occupation, and their recognition continues to this day. One of the ‘Fallen Heroes’, the Resistance leader Pierre Brossolette who died in 1944, is being reburied in the Panthéon in 2014, following a long campaign by his family, while the clandestine newspaper Défense de la France, published by Hélène and Philippe Viannay, was commemorated by a plaque unveiled in Paris in 2013. Many books and pamphlets were published in the first months after the Liberation to commemorate the men and women who had lost their lives fighting, by execution, or in prison and concentration camps. These include a paper band round a play by Robert Desnos who had died of typhoid in Terezin, which states, ‘assassiné par les nazis’, and the programme for the celebration of the life of Gabriel Péri, one of the most admired Communist writers and resistance leaders, who had been executed by firing squad in 1941.