They are being displayed to the public for the first time in Mont Valérien, a 19th century fort outside Paris where the Nazis executed more than 1,000 resistance fighters and hostages during the Second World War – the largest number in one site in France.
The Nazis arrested Resistance members and “hostages” – mainly Communists or Jews arrested in reprisal for the death of German soldiers – and sentenced them to death in military tribunals. The convicted were then driven by military lorries to the isolated fort, west of Paris. They were kept in a chapel, and some of their scrawled final messages on the walls with their name, date of death and “Vive la France” have just been restored.
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