The Ambassador of France paid tribute to Nancy Wake, heroin of the Resistance [fr]
"70 years ago, France went through its longest night.
A night of suffering; a night of silence, night of death. A night that lasted for four long years.
In this night of despair, a few voices spoke out.
These voices came from those who formed the "Army of the Shadows’. They were the honor of France when others chose collaboration with Germany.
These voices denounced the barbarity of the Nazis; they claimed the lost dignity, and they were fighting for our freedom.
Nancy Wake was one of those voices, one of the most powerful. One of the earliest as well. From 1940 until her forced departure from Paris in 1943, the "white mouse" acted in secret, saving hundreds of lives by her heroic actions. Nancy Wake’s voice continues to echo in our ears.
Not only was Nancy a voice, she also was a face, that of a beautiful woman who stubbornly refused defeat. She escaped narrowly the clutches of the Gestapo in 1943, she left France only to return in 1944. Parachuted by the British to help the Resistance, she played a key role, a decisive one, in the liberation of my country.
With her comrades, they faced practically barehanded Hitler’s armored divisions. Courage was their sword, honor was their shield.
Nancy Wake is a figure of our Pantheon.
She is a daughter of the French Republic. She was honored by our highest distinctions. Knight of the Legion of Honor, Medal of the Resistance, she takes her place next to Jean Moulin, near the General de Gaulle, in the prestigious cohort of our heroes.
Before passing away, she asked her ashes to be scattered at the exact spot where she was parachuted in 1944. Her soul and her memory came back to the soil of France where she now lives forever.
Children of France and Australia just sang a war song that once was heard from the deep forests where stood the Resistance. It is the Chant des Partisans that Nancy Wake and her comrades from the shadows intoned before going to face the armies of the Reich.
Children of France, Children of Australia, hear our prayer today: always remember the name of Nancy Wake!"
Last updated 21/03/2012