Nurse in Paris in 1944.
Geneviève is a 25 year-old nurse working at the Louise de Bettignies school in the 17th arrondissement, who joined the Resistance after the death of her husband in the fighting that started in 1940. She carries secret messages by bicycle. In spite of the risks, she is fully committed and pesters her superiors to give her more missions. The network she is part of joined the Parisian Liberation Committee (CPL), created in September 1943 and is very active in the daily fight against the occupiers. She once briefly met Jean Moulin / Max / Rex while conveying a message, without having been informed of his importance for security reasons (it was not until years later that she would discover his identity and the importance of the message that she had delivered at the time). She is suffering due to rationing and is physically weakened. She sometimes feels discouraged, but each mission that the network gives her rekindles her desire to fight.
Mechanic in Boulogne-Billancourt and master in the art of making do.
François is 18. Born into a large family, he works as a mechanic in the Renault factories in Billancourt. While a number of his colleagues have joined the Resistance or the Communist Party, he has chosen to fight for the survival of his family. He poaches and trades his services for food, clothing and commodities. He sometimes carries out bigger missions to make a bit of profit but does not become rich. He sincerely hopes that the war will soon be over. On 21st August, urged by his friends and encouraged by the euphoria filling Paris with the approach of the Allies, he responds to the “call to the barricades” by Rol-Tanguy.
Proud to be a fireman at the Sévigné fire station in the 4th arrondissement.
Pierre is 24 and is a firefighter in the 11th company (Sévigné). It was his childhood dream to be a firefighter, a dream fulfilled when he signed up at 18 before the war. Since 1939 this has been another way of fighting for this man who has always had a taste for action: spotted by an officer who had been part of the “Paris Security” firefighting Resistance movement from its creation in January 1942, Pierre joined them a few months later. Courageous and obedient, he is a prime recruit for the movement. One of his first key missions was to deliver farewell letters from people locked up in the Winter Velodrome in July 1942. Naturally introverted and quiet, Pierre’s engagement has become his way of showing solidarity towards his fellow citizens. Exempt from Compulsory Work Service (STO) because he is part of the military personnel, Pierre has seen his friends leave for Germany or – for some – go into hiding to avoid it. He is passionate about photography and was given a Leica as a present from his parents for joining the fire service. It is his most treasured possession and he never parts from it. It is small enough to slip into his jacket pocket when he goes to a fire, and he takes snapshots from the truck.