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(Victoria Times Colonist)   17 year-old French girl hides downed Allied airman from the Germans in 1944, hands him over to the Resistance, who take him to a safe zone. 68 years later, man's son tracks down the French girl to say "thank you"   (timescolonist.com) divider line 19
    More: Sappy, safe zone, Germans, resistance, occupied france, resistance fighters, German Army, Stuttgart  
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19637 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Nov 2012 at 5:29 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-10 02:20:18 PM
6 votes:
A French family did the same thing for my grandfather. We are still in touch with them, as well. They would have been executed or sent to the concentration camps if they had been caught helping an Allied airman. I think of that whenever some redneck know-nothing makes a joke about the French being cowards.

Oh, and I made a movie about it.
2012-11-10 07:12:44 PM
2 votes:
A friend of my dad's has a similar story. He was a pilot, got shot down over France. He broke his ankle when he landed. He dragged himself under a bush where he was found by a young boy. The boy left and came back with his dad and uncle, members of the French Resistance. They hid him, got him medical care and after a few weeks got him back to the allies (think he was actually left with the British).

About 20 years ago, he went back to the village. He arrived in town and went into a market to ask about the family. The owner of the market was the young boy who found him under the bush.

/suddenly dusty in here.
2012-11-10 07:03:53 PM
2 votes:
Damn, that's just cool. l never got to hear my Army Ranger grandfather's stories. Likewise my paternal grandmother was a nurse, and one of the first Allies into the concentration camps.

My father says that when she passed she still said she would tell him what she saw 'when he was old enough'. He was in his 50s and she still wouldn't talk about it.
2012-11-10 05:49:20 PM
2 votes:

Novart: I heard that they actually call freedom fries "French fries". What a wierd country.


Nah, they just call 'em fries and wonder why us Yanks can't tell the difference between France and Belgium.
2012-11-10 05:41:23 PM
2 votes:

SlothB77: was she hot?


17 year old french lass named Gisele and is not hot? How can that be?
2012-11-10 08:13:57 PM
1 votes:
How weird and awesome to be shown a picture of yourself as a baby by a woman a world away. Makes you believe that there are people hoping you do wonderful things with your life even if you have never met them.

Also 'Allo All is great and I have at least 3 seasons of it (which gets damned expensive after a while).

And Flanders Fields never fails to make me choke up. It's practically the second Canadian national anthem.
2012-11-10 07:10:59 PM
1 votes:
Audrey Tatou, yum
mjg
2012-11-10 06:41:41 PM
1 votes:

Jacobin: She was probably hot


actresspictures.co.uk

What I imagined.
2012-11-10 06:38:57 PM
1 votes:

shower_in_my_socks: A French family did the same thing for my grandfather. We are still in touch with them, as well. They would have been executed or sent to the concentration camps if they had been caught helping an Allied airman. I think of that whenever some redneck know-nothing makes a joke about the French being cowards.

Oh, and I made a movie about it.


I make plenty of jokes about them. But, I also know my history. From Wiki:

According to British historian Niall Ferguson: "Of the 125 major European wars fought since 1495, the French have participated in 50 - more than Austria (47) and England (43). Out of 168 major battles fought since 387 BC, they have won 109, lost 49 and drawn 10, giving France the most successful military power in European history."[1]
2012-11-10 06:24:07 PM
1 votes:
I used to work for a former B-17 pilot who was shot down over Belgium. They and the French hid him. At one point, while hidden behind a false wall in a barn, the Gestapo showed up and hauled the whole family out in the year. When no one would reveal anything, they shot the father in the head and left.

He made it home in 4-5 months, started his own business, and had over 26,000 hours of flight time when he quit logging it.

It's not just the military guys who made the sacrifices.
2012-11-10 06:07:21 PM
1 votes:
Similar story (PDF)

And a description of the same rescue from another crewman (without the followup). (Also PDF)

Check out the Stories from the 91st during the Veteran's day TV movie marathons, if you get a chance. I bet you stop paying attention to the TV.
2012-11-10 05:58:18 PM
1 votes:

Badgers: They should make a television series about this... oh, wait:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 425x342]

/Good Moaning


Thank-you for letting me know I'm not the only person on the planet who remembers this.

/Ishallbeatmyselfwithspaghetti
2012-11-10 05:57:14 PM
1 votes:
Honour to those such as Gisele & family who helped our parents & grandparents get away from the Bad Guys during that late conflict. Know far better than to call it Gt Patriotic War, too. Not really surprised to see who's handling the movie referred to in comment #1
2012-11-10 05:43:26 PM
1 votes:
Badgers: They should make a television series about this... oh, wait:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 425x342]

/Good Moaning


I love that show. Its like Hogan's Heroes meets Cheers.
2012-11-10 05:43:25 PM
1 votes:
I heard that they actually call freedom fries "French fries". What a wierd country.
2012-11-10 05:40:34 PM
1 votes:
They should make a television series about this... oh, wait:

upload.wikimedia.org

/Good Moaning
2012-11-10 05:37:25 PM
1 votes:
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
2012-11-10 05:33:08 PM
1 votes:

Arthur Jumbles: Did Gisele also introduce Doug to her son who is also his half-brother, Philip?


Yeah, that's what I was thinking: "I think your dad thanked her plenty"
2012-11-10 03:35:31 PM
1 votes:
After four days, a Resistance fighter known by the code name Maxime appeared and, with the help of two bicycles provided by Gisele's father, guided Sam to the Fréteval Forest where 152 downed Allied air crew hid in a camp codenamed "Sherwood."

I've read more than a few histories of the war and the existence of such large camps within occupied France was news to me.

This RAF Escaping Society site has pictures of the Sherwood Forest camp.
 
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