Jean Mouin Main Page


Impeding Disaster
June 21, 1943
Montluc Prison
The Urn No. 10137

Impending Disaster

A diagram from the Kaltenbrunner Report on the Secret Army in May 1943

Klaus Barbie

René Hardy

Moulin's last letter his mother and sister, dated June 17, 1943.
On May 27, 1943, Dr. ERNST KALTENBRUNNER, who succeeded Richard Heydrich as the chief of the Gestapo wrote a 28-page report to Foreign Miniser Joachim von Ribbentrop. It landed on Hitler's desk two weeks before the Caluire meeting.
It was the summary of their knowledge on the Secret Army, including graphs and diagrams, which were drawn from material acquired by all the Gestapo offices in France. Kaltenbrunner concluded that, with an invasion by the British and Americans a distinct possibility, "the French Secret Army is achieving increasing importance." In consequence, the Secret Army and its political chief, Moulin became the prime target of the Gestapo.
In their search for Max, the Gestapo in France hit a gold mine when they arrested JEAN MULTON (alias Lunel), a member of Combat in Marseilles at the end of April. Faced with torture and death, Multon agreed to help the Gestapo infiltrate the Resistance, which resulted in the arrest of some 100 resistants in the Marseilles region. Yet the worst damage was still to be done. Multon was loaned to the Gestapo in Lyon, known as the capital of French Resistance. [2]

Once in Lyon, Multon was instructed by Klaus Barbie, the head of Lyon Gestapo (Section Four), to watch a mailbox used by Combat unit for railroad sabotage known as Résistance-Fer. The members of the group still at large were alerted that the box was "burned", but Barbie thought that someone careless might use. And amazingly someone did.
Near the end of May, General Charles Delestraint (alias Vidal), commander-in-chief of the Secret Army met his chief of staff, HENRI AUBRY (alias Thomas) to arrange a meeting with RENÉ HARDY (alias Didot), head of Résistance-Fer to develope a master plan for derailment of the French train system for D-Day. Aubry, preoccupied with his ailing wife in Marseilles, told his secretary to draft and dispatch a letter to Hardy. She wrote the letter "in clear", that is, in uncoded French, then deposited it in burned letterbox. When she returned from this errand and told him what she has done, Aubry expressed concern, yet did nothing to warn Delestraint or Hardy. Why did she used a burned letter box and send the message "in clear"? Why did not Aubry warn Delestraint and Hardy? These questions have provoked bitter debate for years. All that can be said with certainty is that the message was sent in clear language to a buned letter box, an act of incredible negligence if not treason. [4]

General Delestraint's Arrest

When Barbie read the letter, he was exhilarated: Didot was to was to meet with Vidal, the head of the Secret Army at a Paris Metro station on the morning of June 9, 1943.
On the evening of June 7, Hardy was going to Paris, but not for the meeting with Delestraint. He never picked up the letter from the burned box, so he did not receive Aubry's message. He had another appointment with a member of his sabotage unit. However, when he boarded a train, he found to his dismay, that he was assigned a bed in the same car as Multon and his German handler, ROBERT MOOG. Moog noticed the "eye exhcange" between Multon and Hardy, who knew Multon turned traitor. Hardy then caught sight of LAZARE RACHLINE, a SOE agent, walking toward the train. The Paris express that night seemed to be the "spy special." Hardy, suspecting he had been fingered," strolled over to Rachline, asked him for a light, and whispered over his cigarette: "Tell de Bénouville that if anything happens to me, it's Lunel[Multon]'s fault." Hardy was arrested in the train, and the two informers continued on toward Paris to meet Delestraint. [4]
On June 9, Delestraint was approached by a Gestapo agent who posed as Didot. In another security lapse, he confided in the double agent that he had another meeting 30 minutes later at a nearby Metro station. Delestraint was shoved into a car, which took him Gestapo's French headquarters on the Avenue Foch. The Gestapo arrested Delestraint's lieutenants, JEAN-LOUIS THÉOBALD and JOSEPH GASTALDO as an added bonus.

Moulin was devasted by the news, but he was fully aware that the Gestapo was closing in. As early as May 7, he had written to de Gaulle requesting deputies who could step in as his successors if he should be killed: "I am now being sought by Vichy and the Gestapo who, as a result of practices adopted by certain elements in the Resistance movements, are fully aware of my identity and my activities. I am resolved to hold on as long as possible, but if I disappear, I shall not have time to notify my successors." [1]
Moulin felt it urgent to find Delestraint's successor at once; otherwise rivalries over the Secret Army would erupt all over again. Moulin wanted an immediate decision and called for a Secret Army summit. It was scheduled to be held at a doctor's house in Caluire, a suburb of Lyon on June 21, 1943.

June 21, 1943

The Caluire meeting remains one of most baffling mysteries in the history of the French Resistance.
Somehow the Gestapo got a wind of the meeting; it was a catastrophe of first order. Not only was the delegate of General de Galle and the president of National Council of Resistance was nabbed, the entire leadership of the Secret Army was decimated in a single scoop. Besides Mouin, the seven arrested Resistance leaders included the likely successor to General Delestraint as the head of Secret Army (Colonel EMILE SCHWARZFELD), inspectors in both zones (RAYMOND AUBRAC for north zone; ANDRÉ LASSAGNE for south zone), the chief of staff (Henri Aubry), head of parachute operations (BRUNO LARAT), and Colonel ALBERT LACAZE, whom Delestraint had asked to head the Section Four (logistics) at his Command Headquarters. [8]
What is even more devastating to the French psyche is that this arrest was no accident. The Gestapo raided the house looking for Max. It was apparent that the meeting has been betrayed. But by whom?

The Caluire affair, as it is called in France, surpasses even JFK assassination in the number and matter of surrounding conspiracy theories and passion that they arouse.
This is mainly due to political machinations of both the right and left to discredit each other with insinuation of the other side's supposed role in the Caluire affair.
It is also due to clandestine nature of the Resistance. Since the clandestine activities do not leave recorded documents, much of the what we know about the Resistance in general and Caluire in particular are based on oral testimonies of those involved. However, such personal stories and recollections are notoriously unreliable. In case of Caluire, where the question of treason looms large, it is even more so.
So what did really happen on that fateful day? With only unconfirmed oral accounts few and far between, it is like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle with only few pieces in hand. But within the aforementioned limitation of personal testimonies, the following account is generally accepted as established facts.

A Meeting on Pont Morand


Click the image to see the maps of Lyon and Caluire.

Dr. Dugoujon's house in Caluire.

It was in a preliminary meeting between Moulin, Aubry, Aubrac, and Lassagne on June 19 that the the Caluire meeting was agreed on. The meeting was to be organzied by Lassagne, who asked his friend Dr. FRÉDÉRIC DUGOUJON to borrow his house on Place Castellane in Caluire. They would pose as patients to avoid being noticed.
Aubry was nervous. With his boss, Frenay in London, he would be expected to look after Combat's interests, but he was not confident that he could handle Moulin by himself.
Next day in a fine Sunday morning, Aubry met GASTON DEFERRE, a socialist resistance leader, and they strolled over to the Pont Morand to meet Hardy. As they got near the bridge, they saw Hardy sitting on a bench next to someone whose face was hidden by a widespread newspaper. When Deferre agreed on next appointment and parted with Aubry, he walked away wondering who had been siting next to Hardy, hiding his face in a newspaper. He turned out to be Klaus Barbie. His Gestapo agents were discreetly in position not far away. [4]

Hardy, who was interrogated by Barbie, never told his comrades about his arrest. Later he claimed that he outfoxed Barbie to get released but feared that if he revealed the arrest, he would be blamed for Delestraint's arrest (which came after his arrest, but for which he was not responsible). In those days, the Resistance justice for a suspected traitor was swift and sometimes unfortunately flawed. So Hardy told Aubry that he jumped out of the train when he spotted Multon, thus barely avoiding the capture.
Oblivious of Hardy's recent arrest and Barbie's presence, Aubry told him about the Caluire meeting. He was going to take him there to bolster Combat's position even though he was not invited, a violation of a basic Resistance security rule. Asked where and when the meeting was to be held, Aubry said, "I don't know, but come to the bistro across from the Caluire ficelle [funicular going from Croix-Rousse to Caluire] at 1:45 p.m."
The next morning, June 21, when Aubry met Moulin, he tried to sound out Moulin on Delestraint's successor, but Moulin would say nothing more than to wait for the afternoon meeting to discuss the question. When they parted, Aubry said not a word about Hardy coming to the meeting.
Moulin, having heard about Delestraint's planned meeting with Hardy, had been telling people to avoid Hardy. If Moulin knew that Hardy was coming to the meeting, the Caluire meeting would certainly have been cancelled.

Colonel Lacaze's Premonition

The meeting was set for 2 p.m. at the house of Dr. Dugoujon. At this point, only a few people knew about the address, and the attendees were to arrive in three groups. Lassagne was to take Aubry to the meeting. Larat would come with Colonel Lacaze. Moulin would escort Aubrac and Schwarzfeld.
When Lassagne met Aubry at the funicular station, he found Hardy with him. Lassagne later said at a hearing on January 21, 1946: "I had no reason to be suspicious of Hardy or Aubry. All I said was that Max didn't know he was coming and he might get annoyed. That it was unwise that too many people should attend the same meeting. But Aubry said we should have a quick first meeting with Hardy before going on to more important subjects." According to Lassagne, Hardy also said, "I just want a quick word with Max. I need to see him...I fixed it up with Max's secretary [de Graaf]."
Lassagne boarded the furnicular first; he asked others to follow him in the next car as a precuation. Lassagne arrived before others. Dr. Dugoujon asked him, "Will there be many of you?" Lassagne answered, "No idea." He then went off again to fetch Aubry and his surprise guest at the end of furnicular. [8]

The second group to arrive at Caluire consisted of Larat, the head of parachute drops and Lacaze, for whom this was the first clandestine meeting. Lacaze was particularly anxious. He said later: "On June 17, the gendarmerie captain of the Suchet barracks informed me, 'Be careful, at Vichy, we know that the German police are on to something in Lyon.'" He warned Larat that the meeting ought to be cancelled. He asked him to call with a message, "No fishing tomorrow." if the meeting was cancelled. No such phone call came.
Lacaze was still nervous. The colonel sent his daughter to reconnoitre the surrounds of the house at Caluire, and around 9:00 a.m. she delivered a letter to the house explaining that if her father did not show up later, it would be because he was ill and could not get out of bed. As time passed, Lacaze felt better and decided to attend the meeting. [8]

At doctor's house, the housekeeper has been told that Lassagne would be arriving with a group of patients. The housekeeper, Marguerie Brossier, took Lassagne's friends and Lacaze straight up to the bedroom on the left as told. When Larat arrived, even the housekeeper thought that they could not be that many and sent Larat into the patients' waiting room. Larat said to Dr. Dugoujon, "I've come for a special consultation..." Dugoujon sent him up to where the other four were already waiting.
But Moulin and his group did not arrive yet. Aubry and others were surpirsed because Moulin had an obsession about being on time. To this day, no one knows exactly why Moulin, Aubrac, and Schwarzfeld arrived very late at 2:45.

"The Gestapo's Here!"

The question of timing is important because they were not the only ones who arrived 45 minutes late. Barbie and his Gestapo were also late 45 minutes. The Gestapo raided the house just minutes after Moulin had entered the house. If the Gestapo arrived in time, he would have seen the police cars outside the house and continued on his way without coming in. No one knows why Barbie arrived so late for the meeting if he had known about it in advance as he claimed.
But what is even more surprising is that the resistance leaders waited for 45 minutes in a violation of basic security rules. Nobody seemed to remember the rule about never waiting more than fifteen minutes, a golden rule in clandestine affairs.
In any case, according to Aubrac, Moulin arrived at 2:15 at the foot of the furnicular, then they waited another fifteen mintues for Schwarzfeld. When they arrived at the doctor's house, the housekeeper ushered them to patients' waiting room thinking that all the special patients had already arrived.

Upstairs, Aubry recalled, "I heard the yard-gate squeak and glanced down from the window, to see a whole lot of people in leather jackets. I just had time to pull back and tell the others: 'We're done for, the Gestapo's here!'" [8]
Hardy pulled out a pistol before the Gestapo burst in. Aubry recalled:
"We all told him to put it back. The bedroom door opened and Barbie ordered in French, 'Hands up, German police!' He rushed over to me and I was hit, my head bashed against the wall, and my hands forced behind my back. [Barbie] said: 'Well now, Thomas, you don't look too good. You were more cheerful yesterday on the Pont Morand, I was reading my paper, but it was such nice weather I thought I'd leave you another day, since I knew we would meet again today."
Aubry was astonished that Barbie not only knew his code name, which was made up quite recently, but also knew about the Pont Morand meeting he had with Hardy.
Downstairs, the Gestapo stormed in the patients' waiting room as well. Moulin, who was still in the patients room, told the doctor, "My name is Jacques Martel." He then handed Aubrac some papers from his jacket lining and swallowed them together.
The prisoners and even the patients and doctor were rounded up. Moulin, always careful, had taken the precaution of having another doctor write out a letter telling Dr. Dugoujon that he was suffering from rheumatism and probably needed a specialist. But the Gestapo took the precaution of arresting everyone as well. [8]

Hardy's escape

They were all handcuffed with their hands behind their backs - all, that is, except Hardy. Aubrac was immediately suspicious when he saw Hardy. His suspicion was confirmed when Hardy was the only man who escaped from the Caluire arrest. Dugoujon, who understood some German, recalled:
I heard them say there were no more handcuffs. So they tied a leather strap to one of [Hardy's] wrists and a soldier held the end of it. Outside the house when we were about to be loaded into their cars this man without handcuffs suddenly pulled the strap out of the Gaurd's hands, punched the soldier in the stomach and ran off. He ran very fast across the square, dodging between the trees. Another soldier shouted at him and then started shooting, but the man got across the square and disappeared round the corner and none of the solders really searched for him.
Hardy threw himself into a ditch after taking out his gun and shooting back at the soldiers. But the Germans had a dozen prisoners to watch, and abandoned the pursuit of Hardy, who got away by running down the hill through the woods down to the Saône River.
However, Hardy was shot in the upper arm. He was soon arrested by the French police, and was taken to a German military hospital to have his wound treated. Yet Hardy, with his arm in a plaster cast, managed to escape from the hospital as well by jumping out the window onto the roof of a garage, and climbing over the hospital gate.

Montluc Prison

L'ecole du service de santé militaire, the Gestapo headquarter in Lyon where Barbie conducted his interrogations.

a page from Montluc Prison registry showing the Caluire arrest. At bottom is Moulin's entry under the name of Jacques Martel.

a notice of the court martial and execution of a resistant named Richard Henault.

a poster released by German authorities depicting the resistants as criminals.

Christian Pineau
The top leaders of the French Resistance were now in the hands of the Gestapo, but Barbie still did not know which of his prisoners was Max.
Those arrested in Caluire were first taken to Gestapo headquarters in the Ecole de Santé Militaire, where they were lined up before Barbie. Dr. Dugoujon recalled, "He walked down the line and asked each one of us if we were 'Max'." The resistant leaders now realized that somehow the Gestapo strongly suspected that he was among them. After a brief interrogation, Moulin, Dugoujon, Aubrac, Schwartzfeld, and Lacaze were transferred to the prison of Fort Montluc. But Aubry, Lassagne, and Larat, who were found upstairs and known to be resistance leaders, remained and were most severely punished. [2]

"Max is among them!"

Aubry's shoulder was dislocated during one session, and he lost consciousness three times. And four times, he was subjected to a mock firing squad in the courtyard of the Montluc Prison. Lacaze later saw Aubry's chest, shoulders and arms "black and swollen, absolutely swollen." [1]
Lassagne also took heavy punishment because Barbie initially thought he was Max. Barbie taunted Lassagne, "Your 'Secret Army' is a secret for nobody, certainly not for us." Meantime, Barbie's colleague entered the room and threw a bundle of resistance mail onto the desk shouting, in French, "Max is among them!" When Larat spoke to Dugoujon after being questioned the first time, he said, "They already know a great deal."
It appears that some time on June 23, Aubry finally yielded under torture. It was when Aubry began to talk that Barbie identified Max. Aubrac recalled: "I saw Aubry in the Montluc yard bare to the waist and black from beating. He told me, 'I've been beaten, I've talked." [8]

Though Barbie always maintained that he never tortured Moulin, those arrested with him could see Moulin's pitiful condition. In those days, the doors on the Montluc cells had small holes through painted iron plates, with no glass or covering discs.
On June 22, Jacques Martel, still seemingly unhurt, was seen in the courtyeard of the Montluc prison. He approached Dugoujon, who was looking down at his feet. He told him to lift up his head and added, "I wish you bon courage." [8]
But by next day, June 23, Moulin must have been identified. Dr. Dugoujon recalled, "I saw two Gestapo men in civilian dress come to get him. They took him away little before noon and brought him back that evening, at nightfall. This was June, so it was late. He had bandage on his head, he was limping and he was in a poor condition."
On June 24, Aubrac saw him half carried, half dragged by two German soldiers. "I saw Max's face covered in blood, going off for more questioning. He was like a collapsed puppet." [8]
That same day at 6:00 p.m., Christian Pineau, the head of Libération-Nord who had flown back to France from London together with Moulin in March, also saw Moulin. He was arrested earlier in May and was allowed to keep his razor, thus becoming the prison barber. He described a peculiar encounter with Moulin in his book, La Simple Vérité.

The Last Shave

That night, a German non-comissioned officer told Pineau to follow him and bring his razor. He led Pineau to the north court, between the front gate of the prison and the entry to the main building. On a bench a man was stretched out, immobile.
"Monsieur, you shave," said the officer to Pineau, gesturing at the man lying on the bench.
Pieanu took a closer look and realized with horror that this wreck of a man was Moulin. "Max was unconsicous and his eyes were sunken, as if they had been punched back into his head. He had a ghastly bluish wound on the temple. Through his swollen lips came a faint rattling breath. There was no doubt about it, he had been tortured by the Gestapo."
As the Germans urged him to begin, Pineau was struck by the absurdity of the siatuation. "There I was, my little razor in my hand, in front of a man who was barely alive and whose face I had to shave." He asked for some soap and water, which the officer went to obtain. "I was able to get really close to Max, touch his clothing, his freezing-cold hand, but he showed no reaction. When the soap and water came, I started, avoiding the most damaged parts of his face. The blade was blunt from use, but I managed to shave about his lips and cheeks.
The task perplexed Pineau. "Why this macabre attention to someone who had been condemned to death? Why take such ridiculous pains after the horror of torture. This was something inexplicable, having something to do with the Nazi mentality."
"Suddenly Max openned his eyes and looked at me. I'm sure he recognized me, but how was he to understand what I was doing there? He murmured, 'Drink'. I turned to the solder, 'Ein wenig Wasser.' He hesitated for a moment but then took up the mug full of soapy water and rinsed it out and brought it back full of water. During that time, I bent over Max and murmured few banal, stupid words of comfort. He uttered five or six words in English, which I did not understand because his voice was hoarse and distorted. He took few gulps of water, then lapsed back into unconsciousness.
Pineau stayed by until 10:00 p.m., apparently forgotten by the officer who had brought him there. Finally, the German NCO came back and took Pineau to his cell. "As the NCO climbed the stairs behind me, shaking his keys, Max lay stretched out on his bench where, undoubtedly, they would leave him all night. I never saw him again." [11]

He was not left on the bench all night. Dr. Dugoujon noticed the word 'allein' (solitary) on Moulin's cell door. "That Thursday evening, at twilight, they brought him back in a dreadful condition. He could no longer walk and he was almost carried by two gaurds, his legs dragging, his face all disfigured. They lay him on the straw mattress, leaving the door open, then watched over him all night in case he committed suicide. Friday morning they cmae to get him again. I never saw him again." Dr. Dugoujon overheard two Germans talking. "It's really a shame," said one. "But he's a dangerous man," said the other. [8]

Pineau was mystifed by the shaving of Moulin, but perhaps there is a simple explanation. Moulin was was to be transfered to Barbie's superiors in Paris, so he had to be made as presentable as possible.

Torture or Suicide?

Among the French, there is a somewhat macabre speculation about the last days of their modern-day hero. Namely, why was Moulin more dead than alive in a matter of a day or two? (This becomes something of an issue later as we will see.) It is widely accepted that Moulin was beaten into a coma by Barbie and his men. But Aubry and Lassagne, who were severely tortured by Barbie, came out alive from their ordeals. Could Barbie be so unprofessional as to allow a head injury to the chief of the French Resistance on the first day of his interrogation?
Later Barbie claimed: "Jean Moulin, alias Max, displayed magnificent bravery, attempting suicide several times by throwing himself down the cellar stairs and banging his head on the wall between interrogations."
Barbie's deputy, Harry Stengritt said likewise: "Moulin's attitude was far braver. He admitted nothing, on the contrary, he tried every way he could to kill himself, and we had to protect him against himself."
This time he may be telling the truth. It is plausible that Moulin, who slashed his own throat to avoid signing a false affidavit, would not hesitate to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the Resistance. As he wrote in his last letter to de Gaulle on June 15, "it's the Secret Army that has to be saved."
However, if Moulin's serious injuries were unintended, why wasn't he taken to a military hospital? The fact that Moulin was medically neglected and suffered additional injuries the following days seems to suggest otherwise.

There is another possibility. With his silence or maybe with a caricature of his torturer, Moulin might have enraged Barbie to such an extent that the latter completely lost self-restraint.
Gottlieb Fuch, the Swiss translator at the Gestapo headquarter in Lyon who claimed that Barbie was enraged by Moulin's caricature of him, gave the following account in his memoir:
It was 4:00 p.m. and I was on my own in the reception hall. There was a guard on the main steps next to the porch. I heard a clatter upstairs and someone was running down the stairs pulling a heavy object that bounced on the steps. I was facing the stairs directly and saw Barbie in shirt-sleeves, dragging a man by his feet. when he reached the hall, he took a breather but kept on one foot on the man. Red-faced and with his hair flopping over his forehead, he lunged towards the cellar, dragging the man by a strap tied to his feet. The prisoner's face was badly bruised and his jacket was in shreds.
When he came up again from the cellar, Barbie strode past with his head down, his fists clenched, talking wildly. I distinctly heard him bark: "If he doesn't peg out tonight, I'll finish him off tomorrow in Paris." Then he climbed the stairs, stamping his feet.
I was on very good terms with the new guard, and I could rely on that soldier if I wanted to take a look in the cellar . . . I found the prisoner lying on his belly on the ground, half naked. His jacket had been taken off and thrown in a corner. His back was lacerated, his chest seemed caved in. I rolled him over on his side and folded up what was left of his jacket and put it under his head as a pillow. His eyes were shut, but he was still breathing. I wiped the blood off his eyebrows, and he seemed to be coming round. I was caught up in his silence, which was probably worth more than his life.
The soldier stood next to me, shocked. I knew he supported my gesture; he kept shaking his head, saying: "All this is going to finish badly." I am certain he meant for the Germans.
I found out that the man who had been dragged down like some filthy carcass was a prefect. Next day when I went on duty I discovered that this same man had been removed from the jail. [8]
Whatever happened, one fact that is undisputed even by Barbie and his men is that Moulin never revealed any of his encyclopedic knowledge of the Resistance.

The Urn No. 10137

Gestapo headquarter on 84 Ave. Foch, Paris

Fresnes prison in 1942, where many of resistance men captured in Paris were held.
On June 25, Aubry, Lassagne, Lacaze, Schwarzfeld, and Dugoujon were put on a train for Paris and joined General Delestraint in Fresnes prison. Moulin was in such bad shape that Barbie personally drove him to Paris maybe on June 28.
Aubry saw Mouin in the Gestapo offices. "Jean Moulin was lying on a reclining chair, and did not move. He showed no sign of life, seemed to be in a coma . . . Barbie came in and clicked his heels very loudly in front of Bömelburg, who stood chain-smoking. Bömelburg told Barbie in German: 'I hope he comes through this; you'll be lucky if he does.' They took away Jean Moulin on his sofa-cum-stretcher. Delestraint and the rest of us tried to comfort him."
Some other time, Lassagne and Delestraint saw Moulin. Lassagne described the scne, which he though took place between July 10 and 13. (Moulin's death certificate states July 8, 1943 as the time of death.) "Max was lying on a divan with his head in bandages; his face was yellow and he looked dreadful. He could hardly breathe and the only feature showing any sign of life was his eyes."
Asked by the Germans to identify the man, Lassagne and General Delestraint detected a warning in Max's eyes, and the general said either "Monsieur, military honor forbids me to recognize Max in this pitiful shell of a man" or more likely "How do you expect me to recognize a man in such a state?" [8]

The Gestapo superiors in Paris were furious at Barbie. Not only he failed to get any information, Moulin was no longer in any condition to talk. Apparently, Barbie told them that Moulin took a cyanide capsule for Aubry said, "They knew that he was Jean Moulin, and he had swallowed a cyanide capsule. The SS man Misselwitz said so, and he said, 'We'll save him!'"
Yet like with everythin else about Moulin, accounts are somewhat contradictory on the exact state of Moulin's health. Perhaps he was further tortured into comatose state after some time in Fresnes. Jean-Louis Théobald, who was arrested with Delestraint, was quite near Moulin's cell at Fresnes Prison. He recalled: "I could communicate with Moulin, who was on the first floor. He urged me to stick it out and not succumb, saying we had been betrayed."
He also said, "Delestraint spoke about his talks with Moulin . . . I don't remember exactly what Moulin said to him, but I remember that Delestraint and Moulin had the same suspicions." [8]
Also a resistant called Suzette Olivier, who was tortured by having her fingernails pulled out, said that she may have been confronted with Moulin at the avenue Foch in the second half of July. His face was unrecognizable, but she recognized his clothes. This time he was standing, silent, with a fixed stare, his head bandaged, and looked as though he had been drugged and incapable of reacting. He kept his hands in his pockets and he never moved from his position, propped against a door. After that, Moulin vanished. [2]

Night and Fog

Then on October 19, 1943, the Gestapo sent an envoy to Montpellier to inform Moulin's family of his death. It was a rare gesture for a "terrorist" at a time when Nacht und Nebel (night and fog) was the law of the land, a decree by Adolf Hitler under which "persons endangering German security" in the German-occupied territories of western Europe were to be executed or deported without due process or notification to families. The night and fog decree was issued in response to the increased activities of the Resistance in France.
Moulin's sister, LAURA MOULIN visited the Gestapo headquarter in the avenue Foch and met an officer named HEINRICH MEINERS, who told her: "I have the dossier in my office. I know everything. I conducted the investigation, but I can tell you nothing." Laure insisted, and Meiners told her that Moulin had died of a heart attack and his ashes would be made available later. Meiners added, "Your brother believed he was doing his duty, but he was working against us. You have my condolences."
On May 2, 1944, another Gestapo officer called at her apartment in Montpellier to deliver the death certificate. On May 25, a third Gestapo officer came to say that it would not be possible return the urn and his personal belongings before the end of hostilities.
Laure Moulin kept her hope that however unlikely, her brother might be alive after all; somewhere in the "night and fog"; it was only after the war that she found out what happened to him. [11]

One of the last men to see Moulin alive was Heinrich Meiners. He told French investigators at a hearing in Germany on December 14, 1946:
In one cell I saw a prisoner who made a bizarre impression on me. He was lying down, then he sat up and I saw hi walking once in the room supporting himself on the furnitue and the walls. He was suffering and he was holding his stomach. He seemed like a very sick man who did not have long to live. He had a blank, haggard expression in his eyes. I asked a guard who the prsioner was. He told me he was an important Frenchman, a former prefect, Jean Moulin.
Berlin, unaware of Moulin's condition, notified the Gestapo in Paris to send him to Germany. In early July, Moulin was taken to Gare de l'Est by ambulance and placed in a compartment on the Paris-Berlin train to be transported to a police hospital in Berlin. But he died shortly before the train reached Frankfurt. The body was taken out of the train to the police post inside the Frankfurt station. The police officer on duty there was by amazing coincidence Johann Meiners, father of Heinrich. In his report Johann Meiners said, "The corpse was that of someone who has suffered greatly. It was in a state of complete physical deterioration." Heinrich Meiners also testified, "The male nurse told me confidentially that the body was covered with cuts and bruises, and the chief organs showed internal bruising due to earlier blows, either from coshing or kicking." [11]
Even here, there is a curious inconsistency. A German document (a note made by a German officer investigating the Caluire prisoners) likewise indicates that Moulin died in Frankfurt. But Moulin's death certificate stated that he died in Metz. The notice filed by the chief of Metz police stated that Moulin died of heart attack on July 8, 1943 toward 2 o'clock. The date, too, is uncertain as some resistants claimed to have seen Moulin later than July 8.

An order was given to cremate the body, as to leave no trace. So his body was sent back to Paris, where it was cremated on July 9, 1943, at the Père-Lachaise Cemetery. Information later provided by Ernst Misselwitz, the German officer in charge of the Caluire dossier in Paris, indicated that in all probability urn no. 10137 at the Pè're-Lachaise cemetery in Paris contained Moulin's ashes. It was registered as "X . . . coming from Germany, July 12, 1943." It was this urn that was transferred to the Panthéon in 1964. [11]


As for other characters of Caluire tragedy, General Delestraint was deported to Dachau and was shot by the SS on Aprill 19, 1945, just hours before the Americans liberated the death camp.
Lassagne was deported to Buchenwald. He survived and returned after the war, only to die in 1953 as a result of his maltreatment.
Bruno Larat remained in Lyon to be further tortured for information on parachute drops before being sent to Paris. He died of prolonged mistreatment in April 1944 in the Dora slave-labor camp.
Emile Schwarzfeld was was deported to Struthof concentration camp, where he died in June 1944. [2]
They were just some of 56,000 French men and women, who were deported for resistance or for political reasons. Only half of them returned.

Colonel Lacaze claimed to know nothing about the Resistance (which was true), and Lassagne swore to that effect. He was released without charge the following January.
Dugoujon was released likewise after the Gestapo correctly judged that he was not in the Resistance. After the war, he eventually became the mayor of Caluire and still owns the historical house.
Aubry talked to the Gestapo in Paris and wrote a 52-page report which he claimed to contain only information he knew the Germans already had or which he had invented and knew to be unverifiable. At the end of 1943, Aubry was released having agreed to work for the Gestapo. Instead, he went underground and rejoined the Resistance in Marseille.
Jean Multon, who started the motion of arrests that led to Caluire, was shot by the Resistance when France was liberated.
CLAUDE BOUCHINET-SERREULLES, Moulin's much-requested deputy who arrived only five days before Caluire, found himself to his dismay in charge of CNR and de Gaulle's delegation. But no one could have replaced Moulin. He was succeeded by series of interim leaders who were not as effective in holding the Resistance together. In the aftermath of Caluire, CNR evolved away from de Gaulle's control and did not realize its potential, leaving many historians wondering what postwar France would have been like if Moulin were alive.

As for René Hardy, Raymond Aubrac, and Klaus Barbie, their subsequent careers were a little more complicated.

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