© 2017 by Robert Pike


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May 24, 2019

In April 1943 two young French men, both of Eastern European-Jewish heritage, struck up a friendship with Maryse Nicolas and Monette Leclerq at a cinema in Périgueux, the principal city of the Dordogne. 

The smell of perfume, unusual during the trying times of the dark...

February 12, 2019

Alexandre Villaplane and the 'Phalange nord-africaine' in the Dordogne.

Alexandre Villaplane described the day he led the French national football team against Mexico in the inaugural FIFA World Cup as “the best day of my life.” The ‘Platini of the late 1920s’ was a pla...

October 4, 2018

In 1971 Marcel Ophuls released a film that sparked a change in how France viewed the occupation. Four hours long, it upset the establishment in France to such an extent that it could only be viewed in left bank cinemas and within West Germany until it was finally  show...

August 30, 2018

Cinema is important to the French. As the birthplace of the motion picture, the country shares a special relationship with the medium. Over the decades it has produced wonderful filmmakers and wonderful motion pictures; stories have been told on celluloid that expertly...

August 21, 2018

Jacques Poirier was a Frenchman who joined Maurice Buckmaster's F section of the Special Operations Executive (S.O.E) in London. He was given the codename Nestor and parachuted into the R5 region that included the Dordogne in order to encourage and arm embryonic Resist...

September 1, 2017

The development of the Resistance accelerated greatly due to military developments well outside the sphere of influence of the combattants themselves. These events contributed to a growing determination to act, as well as to a confidence and optimism that Nazi Germany...

August 26, 2017

I recently spent an extremely profitable not to mention enjoyable day at the Brighton home of Rod Kedward, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Sussex,  and his wife Carol, herself an Emeritus Senior Lecturer at the University.

Rod is without que...

August 24, 2017

I was lucky enough to meet Jacques de la Bardonnie at his Château Laroque, overlooking the picturesque village of Saint-Antoine-de-Breuilh. It was here that his father, Louis de la Bardonnie listened to De Gaulle’s 18 June 1940 ‘appel’ and founded a group that would be...

August 22, 2017

I first met Ralph Finkler in 1996 and was delighted to catch up with him again on two occasions recently. His story led to my deep interest in the events in the Dordogne during "les années noires", and I cannot thank him enough for the hours that he has spent illuminat...

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The Resistance: Maryse and Monette – agents and life-savers

May 24, 2019

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