Past Exhibition - Port-louis Tragic Walls

"Tragic Walls: Dying as a Patriot at Port Louis Citadel, 1944-1945" 23 May 2015 - 03 January 2016

In 1944, sixty-nine resisters were shot at the citadel of Port Louis. Most are aged from 18 to 25 years. Their bodies will only be discovered in May 1945, there are 70 years.

From 1940 resistance to the Occupier manifests itself in Port Louis in more or less organized forms. Starting from 1943, the worsening of living conditions and the intensification of the STO (compulsory labor service) encourage thousands of young opponents to go into hiding. In anticipation of the Allied landing, the acts of sabotage are intended to disrupt
the action of the enemy. In 1944, the German general Düvert ordered the installation of a prison inside the citadel. It is here that sixty-nine resistants will be imprisoned and shot before the 44 summer, near three pits outside the citadel. They were natives of Morbihan, Finistere and Côtes d'Armor. Port Louis was in the Pocket of Lorient, where the Nazi troops resisted the allied advance, and the city was only liberated in May 1945. The discovery of the pits containing the remains takes place on 18 May 1945. The victims of the citadel are exhumed on 23 May 1945 by German prisoners employed to search the rubble. This date remains engraved in the local memory and, each year, a commemoration takes place in the Memorial erected in 1959.

The exhibition traces this dark episode of history and pays homage to these young resisters through thirty photographs of time, videos and letters.

Exhibition realized in collaboration with the historical service of the Defense of Lorient and homologated "Committee of 70e anniversary of the liberation of France and the victory over Nazism"

Anne Belaud-de-Saulce, administrator of the Port Louis Museum