1922 - 1944 | Birth: | Arrest: | Residence: , , ,

Biography of Félix SIMON

As no photograph of Félix is available, we are showing his birth certificate. Source: record AC 21P 160922, Victims of Contemporary Conflicts records office of the Defense Historical Service

The investigation that enabled us to produce Félix Simon’s biography was carried out between October 2019 and March 2020. We just managed to complete our research in class before the COVID 19 lockdown began in France. We are Charifa, Aminata, Imène, Selma, Furkan, Océane, Yanis, Cérine, Aymen, Shérine, Sanna, Salim, Manâl, Iron, Sofia, Shaima, Mohamed Amine, Aymen and Amélia, 9th grade students from the Elsa Triolet high school in the 15th district of Marseille.

Reflection exercises related to the project were given as homework assignments during lockdown, as were the online video sessions. We tailored our approach to the virtual classroom environment, in particular during the debating exercise.

Our work includes the biography of Félix Simon, a discussion with an investigative journalist on the subject of oral sources, a character study of the deportee as well as a graphic representation of his thoughts, and finally a debate around the question: “Is resistance the only way to resist?”

Félix Albert Simon was born on January 2, 1922 in Marseille 1. His family was of Greek origin 2 3. His father was called Joseph Simon and his mother was Esther Sion. They lived on rue Victor Hugo in Marseille, the name of which might have changed since 4.  They then moved to, and lived at 33, rue Garibaldi in Tangiers in Morocco 5. Félix had several sisters. One of his sisters was called Suzanne Cori and she lived on rue Sambre in the 10th district of Paris 6. Félix had another sister Regina Benssoa, born in Salonika in Greece on October 4, 1912. She was of Greek nationality and was married to Sempetaï, known as Saby, Benssoa, born on May 15, 1900 in Salonika. Sempetaï was the owner of an automobile garage at 2, rue Sainte Marie in Asnières-sur-Seine in the Hauts-de-Seine department to the west of Paris. HIs business was listed in the commercial register under the number 680.420. The Benssoa family lived at 15, square Delaunay in Asnières-sur-Seine. Sempetaï and Régina had 3 children, who were aged 7, 8 and 12 in 1945 according to records of an interview with Sempetaï 7. He explained at the Prefecture of Police that Régina had been deported in 1942 and that he had not heard from his brother-in-law, Félix, for several years. He also explained that he was no longer in contact with his in-laws because he did not want them to know that their daughter had been deported.

 

 

 

Source: Interrogation of Sempetaï Benssoa, dated August 28, 1945, record 77 W 1064,
dossier 339618, year 1945; record 19 W, period 1939-1940;
Declaration of creation of association, administrative documents, Prefecture of Police archives.

Many sources, including the Shoah Memorial in Paris 8 and the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem 9 attest to Régina’s deportation. However, the Shoah Memorial has misspelled her name and in the search database it is written Bensoam, rather than Benssoa. It is, however, spelled correctly in the lists of names of deportees on convoy 44, which left on 9 November 1942 for Auschwitz, the concentration and extermination camp in Poland. The other data on the Shoah Memorial website, such as the address, place, month and year of birth, is correct. The date, on the other hand, is different: it is given as October 1, instead of October 4, as stated in Sempetaï’s statement. The Yad Vashem website also gives the date of birth as the 1st, rather than the 4th October. Régina Benssoa is written correctly on the Wall of Names at the Shoah Memorial in Paris 10.11.

Family tree, drawn by Manâl

  Family tree, drawn by Océane

  Family tree, drawn by Furkan

 

Family tree, drawn by Sofia

 

Félix SIMON was living with his parents in Morocco, at 33 rue Garibaldi in Tangier, when he decided to volunteer to join the resistance during the Second World War (1939-1945) against the Third Reich 12. He was a sub-lieutenant13 14 and mission leader for the Free French Forces (FFL), a part of the Resistance that operated outside of France. He volunteered to join General De Gaulle’s forces in London and worked at the British?!/plutôt French?  Consulate in London in October 1942 15. He was a radio technician, wireless operator or radio engineer, depending on the source 16 17 18. The British Consulate gave him an allowance of £20 a month 19. Up until March 6, 1944, Félix Simon’s father, Joseph, received regular updates from his son in London via the address: IO , Carlyle square, London, S.W. 3/S. 20. From that date onwards, there was no news of his son.

In fact, the War Office had parachuted Félix into France and made him available to the Alliance network. His pseudonym in the network was “Milan”21. The Alliance network was led by Marie Madeleine Meric 22. Marie Madeleine Bridou (whose married name was Meric, and then Fourcade) was born in Marseille in 1909 and died in Paris in 1989. Her network pseudonym was “hérisson” (hedgehog in English). She was also responsible for the validation of agents, archives and testimonials for the Alliance Memorial after the Second World War 23.

 

Source: Personal information sheet from the members of the Alliance network, record No. 2.3.3.4/ 78405806, Arolsen Archives International Center on Nazi persecution.


Source: Verification of Félix SIMON by Marie Madeleine MERIC dated April 2, 1946,
record AC 21P 160922, Victims of Contemporary Conflicts records office of the Defense Historical Service

 

Félix SIMON lived in Meudon in the Paris area, at 17 rue Davergne in the Bellevue district24. He was arrested by the Gestapo during a radio broadcast shortly after his arrival in France in March 1944. He was interned in Fresnes prison in March 194425 . According to our contact Manon ISNARD, from the Departmental Archives office of the Val de Marne department, the Fresnes prison registers for the period 1940-1945 are incomplete, since many of them were stolen or destroyed by the Gestapo before they left26.

On July 14, 1944, Félix was sent to the Drancy internment camp27. His registration number was 25122. In his search book record, numbered 156, it says that his receipt number was 6453 and that he had 7 francs in his possession28. He left Drancy on July 31, 1944 on Convoy 77 and either died during the journey or on arrival at the concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz, in Poland. His name is included in the list of deportees on Convoy 77, which was drawn up during its departure from Drancy29.

According to Lucile CHARTAIN, head of documentary studies at the Executive and Legislative department of the National Archives, Second World War division, whom we contacted, Félix SIMON was deported as a result of persecution of the Jews, rather than the suppression of Resistance fighters. He was probably killed on arrival at the Auschwitz camp. She also told us that the Auschwitz archives are incomplete because the commander burned a large part of the records when the camp was liberated by the Soviet army30.

 

Map of Félix SIMON and his family’s journey and the places where they stayed en route, created in a virtual classroom environment with contributions from Sofia, Shaima, Aymen, Furkan, Manâl, Imène, Océane and Charifa.

According to an investigation carried out by the Centre d’Entraide aux étudiants mobilisés et prisonniers (a support organization for students and prisoners)31 at the request of his father, Joseph Simon, it is thought Félix was deported to the Struthof concentration camp and died there in 1944. However, some other deportees reportedly saw him in Neuengamme in Germany in April 1945. He was said to have been seen there or to have gone to a string factory in April 1945, along with 10 other deportees, including Jean Treilhard and Bertrand de Vogue. The investigation revealed that Jean Treilhard knew Roger Marchal, a deportee who had some information about Félix Simon. He thought that Félix together with about ten other prisoners could have been in Meseritz, a labor camp in Poland.


Source: Replies dated July to November 1945 from the support center for students and prisoners to Joseph Simon, record AC 21P 160922, Victims of Contemporary Conflicts records office of the Defense Historical Service

In 1946, the person responsible for winding up the Alliance network contacted Felix’s father, Joseph Simon, since they had found a photo matching the description he had given them. He called in Felix’s sister, without mentioning Félix’s name, in the hope that she would identify him, but she did not recognize him32 33. The person in the photo was in fact “Jaba”, an alias used by Vincent Edmond, who was born on July 4, 1917 in Paris. When he was arrested, he had hidden his real identity by pretending to be Félix Simon.

In 1947, Joseph Simon, Félix’s father, sent a letter to the General Secretary of Prisoners in which he gave this new information in order to help in the search for his son Félix and his daughter Régina, but it was never was followed up34.

We contacted Marie Colin from the Bas Rhin Departmental Archives department35. She told us that the Natzweiler-Struthof camps had been evacuated in September 1944. Félix had been deported in July 1944 but she found no trace of him in their archives. According to Marie Colin: « The central camp, which operated until September 1944, had a cluster of subsidiary camps, some large, some small, on both sides of the river Rhine. Of the approximately 52,000 deportees from KL-Natzweiler, about 35,000 never passed through the main camp. Most of these subcamps were located in Baden-Württemberg and southern Hesse (around Frankfurt). Felix Simon may have been sent to one of these subcamps, where the deportees were forced to work in defense and armament factories.». Marie Colin also gave us another lead. According to her, Felix might have died at the Stutthof camp, not far from Danzig. She told us that “phonic similarity can be a source of confusion”.

Another contact, René Chevrolet36, head of documental and historical research at the European Center for deported Resistance fighters at the site of the former Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp, told us that he could find no trace of Félix.

We also contacted Monique Foy37 who is in responsible for dealing with the families of the deported at the Neuengamme friendly society. She told us that there is no trace of Felix in the archives of the Neuengamme camp, which was evacuated in May 1945.

We can conclude that, with the opening of new archive centers since the end of the 1940s, the leads generated by the investigation carried out at the request of Felix’s father must have been erroneous. We therefore contacted the World Holocaust Remembrance Center and, according to the research carried out by Yuval Naor38, a form, which confirms that Félix Simon was on the list of deportees on Convoy 77, specifies the place of departure in June 1944 as Drancy camp and the place of arrival in July 1944  as the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. The cause of his death, however, is not mentioned.

Source: Document sent by Yuval Naor, head of research at the International Tracing Service (ITS)
for The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem, No. 36517041#1 (0.1/Image vorhanden/_S/S1155/00189),
on April 16, 2020, in response to an email sent by the students in January 2020.

In his mail, Yuval Naor sent us a copy of the cover page of the file that lists the Convoy 77 deportees39, on which it states in German “transporte zum KL-AUSCHWITZ”, which means transported to Auschwitz.

 


Source: Document sent by Yuval Naor, head of research at the International Tracing Service (ITS)
for the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem, No. 11191049#1 (1.1.9.9/0022/0003),
on April 16, 2020, in response to an email sent by the students in January 2020.

 

Source: List of names of Convoy 77 deportees, Shoah Memorial online archives

 

However, according to Félix Simon’s death certificate 40 and on his record page in the civilian victim’s register 41, his date of death is still noted as September 1944, at Natzweiler-Struthof, along with the words “Mort pour la France”, which means “Died for France”. Additionally, according to the French authorities in 2012 42 and the Légifrance official website 43, Félix Simon is recognized as having died during deportation, at Natzweiler-Struthof.

In recognition of his commitment to the Resistance, Félix Simon was posthumously awarded a medal of the Order of Liberation on March 31, 1947 44.

Source: Félix Simon’s death certificate, dated December 11, 1945,
record AC 21P 160922, Victims of Contemporary Conflicts records office of the Defense Historical Service.

         When we handed in our study, Mr. Serge Jacubert of the Convoy 77 association provided us with a new lead. Two witnesses, Régine Jacubert, née Skorka and her brother, Jérôme Skorka, both mention a specific point in their testimonies. In her account of her deportation on Convoy 77 on the French National Audiovisual Institute website, available here, Régine recalls an escape attempt, planned by a group of men in Drancy. Along the way, the train stopped only once, and she volunteered to fetch water. She hoped in doing this to see her brother, who was in another wagon. She heard shots, as some people had tried to escape. She saw him in the distance. He had the same idea as his sister. She also saw a whole wagon full of men who had got off the train. They were all naked and were taken into the forest. Her brother, Jérôme Skorka, mentions the same sight in his book: more than sixty men, completely naked, chained to each other and headed toward the last wagon. He states that they were almost all from North Africa, that they were the reason for the previous night’s checks and that he never saw them again. Jérôme Skorka repeated this story in an interview with JF Genet in which he mentions that there was a wagon full of “Jews from North Africa” and that he did not see them again when he arrived at Auschwitz..
Some other Convoy 77 deportees also testify to this event, including Maurice Minkowsky and Alex Mayer.

Félix Simon could have been one of these men: he was of Greek origin and lived in Tangier, Morocco. He may have been massacred in the forest or taken in the last wagon to a different camp, such as the one at Stutthof, as previously discussed, about which we have no information.

The students then began to raise questions about memory. They debated whether witnesses’ testimonies should be taken as truth. They then formulated questions to put to an investigative journalist, Max Clanet, about how to use such sources in an investigation.

Imène: Does it require at least two corroborating verbal testimonies to be considered as valid evidence? Can an autobiography be used as proof? How can the truth be untangled from a possibly distorted memory given in verbal testimony?

“A journalist never discusses evidence. He or she is neither a prosecutor nor a lawyer; his or her job is to gather information. In a court of law, evidence is an oral or written piece of information that is used to determine a person’s guilt or innocence. This is not the case for you, so we should only refer to “sources”. In a serious investigation, spoken testimony is often insufficient. A journalist has to “cross-check his or her sources”, which means having at least a second piece of evidence, such as another statement or document, to give more credibility to the information. In the context of your work, two testimonies are more than enough.

An autobiography is a useful source as long as the information it contains can be verified, thus making it a reliable source.

An interviewee may lie. The journalist has no way to compel a person to tell the truth. It is therefore up to the journalist to verify his or her source with another testimony or an irrefutable document. That said, the facts do get distorted over time. An event experienced the day before will remain fresh in the memory, but after several years it will be much less so. This is what we call “the weakness of testimony”. On the other hand, events experienced by deportees have remained anchored in their memory, just as we ourselves still remember an unhappy event (such as an accident) or a happy one (such as a marriage or a party) many years later. In this case, time may erode deportees’ memories, but they are never erased.”

Océane: Is it fair to associate Felix Simon with a physical characteristic mentioned by Jerome?

“It is neither wrong nor unjust; it’s called “anthropometry”. Physical characteristics (skin color, hair, facial defects etc.) are factors that often need to be exploited to refine one’s sources. There is nothing derogatory about this. The fact of associating Felix with a physical characteristic is important, as it serves to reinforce the veracity of the testimonies. It plays an essential part in your research.”

Charifa: Can the testimonials of a brother and sister, who are related to each other, be accepted as valid, given that their memories could become distorted by talking to each other?

“All witness testimonies should be used as sources. Using those of a brother and sister is not incompatible with the truthfulness of the facts and may prove to be of extreme importance. It should never be forgotten that we are trying, above all else, to find the truth.”

Sofia: Can two witnesses be believed to be telling the truth without any further documentary or other evidence?

“The answer is the same as for the earlier questions: two witnesses could be telling the truth just as they could be lying. With no other sources available, we must accept that. But obviously, archived information (documentary or otherwise) would be an additional and often indisputable source that would support both testimonies.

Nonetheless, in the context of deportation, two specific testimonies would seem to be sufficient.”

Manâl: Can feelings and pain influence testimonies and alter the truth?

“Emotions and feelings can influence testimonies and distort the truth. In journalism, therefore, we must be careful and, once again, verify any information we gather. But it is obvious that any testimony concerning deportation will be full of pain and fear.

Nevertheless, it must be considered reliable. The people who lived through this period were not lying; one does not lie when one talks about the millions of people who were murdered in camps.”

Furkan: Can these testimonies be considered as evidence of the Nazis having organized the deportation?

“First of all, we have to differentiate between deportation, which involved locking people in camps, and extermination, which entailed killing them. At the Nuremberg Trials in 1946 these testimonies could have been used to characterize the responsibility of the Nazis in the deportation and extermination. They include reports of degrading practices, like putting naked men in chains in a forest.

In addition, these testimonies relate events that took place in the Drancy camp which, between 1941 and 1945, was the starting point for the convoys of deportees to the camps.”.

We were unable find an iconographic image of Felix Simon. We therefore decided to put together a virtual profile of this deportee, who may have been influenced by men and women, songs and art forms when he made the decision to resist. With the help of the following links containing sources and resources, students were able to create an ethical portrait and represent graphically what they believe to have been his thoughts:

http://museedelaresistanceenligne.org/musee/doc/pdf/222.pdf

https://eduscol.education.fr/chansonsquifontlhistoire/Seconde-guerre-mondiale

and these videos from the Nota Bene YouTube channel, the first of which has subtitles in English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8eBO0WLvk8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gXXbYrg6HU

 

=> Manâl:

Félix Simon had various qualities, including courage, given that he lost his life for his ideas. For me, Félix was a hero, for France and for its liberation, as were all the other resistance fighters.

Felix must have joined the resistance having been inspired by Berty Albrecht. She was one of the first women to join the movement. She went from being a nurse to a resistance fighter. She was arrested twice and decided to go on hunger strike for her release. I think Berty must have awakened in him the desire to resist and fight for his country. She never gave up despite the danger. Felix wanted to possess Berty’s qualities such as determination, courage and a sense of pride in the struggle.

Some examples of music that may have inspired Félix are Douce France, because it says “dear country of my childhood”, and Le Chant des Partisans, which is sung to motivate the troops.

Marianne Cohn‘s poem Je trahirai demain must also have influenced him, because Marianne showed courage and solidarity by not denouncing her “friends”. She endured torture: “the file is not for the bars; the file is for my wrist”. She was courageous and had the determination to fight.

Profile of Félix Simon, as seen and drawn by Manâl

=> Imène:

I would say that Felix Simon was a determined man because he joined the resistance. We can say that he had a very good family relationship. He may have joined the resistance because his sister was sent to a camp.

Charles de Gaulle could have inspired Félix Simon because he was the one who invited the French to resist on June 18, 1940. Berty Albrecht could also have inspired Félix because, in addition to being one of the first women to resist, she, like Félix, was born in Marseille.

La Marseillaise is one of the songs that would have influenced Félix, because the Resistance used it to call upon people to fight against oppression. The song “This land is your land” may also have prompted Félix to join the Resistance.

Napoleon I’s words: “To live in defeat is to die every day” and Georges Clémenceau’s quote: “In war and in peace, the last word goes to those who never surrender” may have influenced Félix not to give up and therefore to join the resistance movement.

Profile of Félix Simon, as seen and drawn by Imène

=> Charifa:

Félix Simon’s strengths were: courage, because he was committed to the resistance; devotion to the resistance; unity, because I think he was committed to finding his sister Regina; humanity, because he was fighting against the Third Reich.

The men and women who influenced him were: Jean Moulin, because he was courageous and opposed to the Nazis, and Laure Diebold, because she used the resistance network to send messages. Both characters were dedicated to the resistance, as was Félix.

The songs that inspired him were: La Marseillaise and Hitler, Yop la Boum!. These songs denounce acts of destruction and explain that resistance is the symbol of the struggle against oppression.

The art forms that inspired him were the poem Avis by Paul Eluard written in May 1944, in which he speaks of his opposition, and the drawings in the newspaper Le jeune Combattant, published in 1943, which portrayed German terror and destruction.

Profile of Félix Simon, as seen and compiled by Charifa

=> Furkan:

Félix Simon joined the resistance to fight the Vichy regime and the Third Reich, which took incredible determination and strength. We also know that his sister was deported so he wanted to find her. This proves that he was able to keep a cool head in difficult circumstances because when he knew that his sister had been deported, he remained calm and tried to find a way to save her and the other deportees.

The two people who could have influenced Félix Simon are General de Gaulle, because he was a military man and a renowned resistance fighter, and Berty Albrecht, a female resistance fighter. We also know that there were other women who took an active part in the resistance. Berty was one of the six women who were Compagnons de la Libération, (Companions of the Liberation).

La Marseillaise could have influenced Félix, because it is the French national anthem, as could have Le Chant des Partisans, because it is a war song.

The two media that may have had an influence on him were drawing, since he was a radio and telegraph operator, and journals, in which he could write down what he was doing and thinking.

Profile of Félix Simon, as seen and drawn by Furkan

=> Océane:

Félix Simon was determined, because in order to be part of the resistance, you had to be. Félix also experienced many significant events in his life, such as being sent to Drancy, which proves that he was mentally strong.

For me, Félix was courageous, because he may have been part of the resistance to avenge his sister.

Berty Albrecht and Laure Dieblod were part of the resistance movement and they too could have inspired him.

Resistance poems may also have influenced Félix Simon. Le Chant des Partisans is a song that may have inspired him because it is about two people exiled in London and Félix also went to London.

Profile of Félix Simon, as seen and drawn by Océane

=> Shaima:

The man who could have inspired Félix Simon was Charles de Gaulle because he was a resistance fighter like Félix and the woman who could have inspired him was Berty Albrecht because she was born in his native city, Marseille and she too was a resistance fighter like him.

The playlist of songs that he would have been inspired by are: Douce France, because this song was sung by Charles Trenet. It might have reminded him of his childhood, especially since they were born around the same time. And the song Marche de la 2ème DB, which could have given him hope and encouraged him to resist and therefore to join the Forces Françaises Libres (Free French forces).

The art form that inspired him would have been: Je trahairai demain (I will betray tomorrow) by Marianne Cohn. This poem says that she will not betray her allies such as Félix Simon, who was a member of the resistance and thus should never reveal her true identity.

Profile of Félix Simon, as seen and drawn by Shaïma

=> Sofia:

Felix was a good, benevolent man who fought every day to defend his principles. He was a man who didn’t get trodden down. We can cite as an example to justify all these qualities his participation in the resistance during the Second World War (1939-1945) against the Third Reich.

The woman who may have inspired him is Berty Albrecht because she was a resistance fighter and was also responsible for communication between the networks.

The playlist of two songs that may have influenced him is Fleur de Paris and Ca fait d’excellent Français because these songs both talk about the resistance and were written in 1940.

The two art forms that may have influenced him are resistance songs like Le chant des maquisards or Hitler, Yop la Boum! and resistance poems like Je trahirai demain, a poem by Marianne Cohn. I have cited these two art forms because they clearly addressed the theme of resistance and the role of the resistance fighters during the Second World War.

Profile of Félix Simon, as seen and drawn by Sofia

 

We concluded this project with an debating contest about the meaning of resistance: “Is resistance solely opposition?”. The students were able to define the terms of the subject and prepare their arguments during the April holidays with the help of Félix Simon’s biography as well as the internet links mentioned above. The debate took place on Thursday April 30, 2020 from 10am to 12 midday, during the lockdown. It was thus held in a virtual classroom using group working methods.

The debating group for YES was made up of Imène, Aymen, Shaima.

The debating group for NO was made up of Manâl, Charifa, Roumane.

The panel of 3 judges, Furkan, Sofia, Océane, were all able to express themselves on the chat system, after each speech in the debate, by using emoticons and letters that replaced the gestures that we usually use to judge an argument. The lead judge, Océane, then took the floor to give a summary. She was also able to allow counter-arguments when the debaters asked for them by means of a particular letter in the chat.

“Is resistance solely opposition?”

Extracts of the arguments for YES

Extracts of the arguments for NO

Resistance is only opposition, since the sabotage of train lines initiated by the Resistance was a clear objection to Nazi ideology and its leader Adolf Hitler.

Resistance is not simply opposing but disobedience, for example by using the slogan: “Disobeying Hitler is will cut short the war.” which was on a French Resistance leaflet.

To oppose means to face up to someone over something. You have to disagree in order to oppose, as Charles de Gaulle did, for example, in his speech of June 18, 1940, which contradicted Pétain’s speech and opposed abandoning arms.

One may not physically confront someone, but act or make them react, for example by passing on a message, as with the demonization of the enemy in propaganda posters during the First and Second World Wars.

There is no difference between physical and psychological opposition. For example, in the struggle against the Jewish genocide, the resistance fighters strongly opposed the ideology in their minds, but they opposed the Nazis by engaging in combat.

One can combat and resist an ideology, such as the Vichy regime, even if one opposes it. For example, within the Resistance, there were several political groups, both on the right and on the left, before the regime was established, which then united against the Vichy regime in their acts of resistance.

To resist is necessarily to oppose, because it is to disregard and to be against something. Even if one does not fight physically, one combats the ideology, thus one opposes it, as for example when people chose to help hide the Jews. They expressed their opposition to the Third Reich and the Vichy regime.

Resistance is not just opposing by fighting but refusing to give information about persecuted people such as Jews, or not revealing where they were hidden. It means not giving in.

To resist is only to oppose, because in order to recruit people into the Resistance, posters were produced, such as the one in Algiers, which was aimed at women who wanted to be telegraph operators. They would inevitably have opposed the Third Reich, as did Félix Simon and Marie Madeleine Meric.

Resistance may also be in one’s mind. An example of this are the drawings created by Walter Spitzer in the Buchenwald camp. He was also deported to Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen. He drew to survive. He produced art.

To resist must mean to oppose, because tensions can arise even before we confront each other directly. As, for example, during the phoney war at the beginning of the Second World War, when neither French nor German soldiers directly confronted each other for eight months, but nevertheless opposed each other during the inter-war period.

Instead of opposing directly by force, and exhausting oneself in fighting, resistance may be an attempt at dialogue, discussion or even being silent, as Gandhi and his non-violent movement were in the struggle for the independence of his country, India. It means refusal to submit.

Resistance is only opposing; it means not yielding to something, even by doing nothing. August Landmesser, at a Nazi rally in 1936, refused to perform the Nazi salute and opposed the authorities in his own country.

Resistance is also about caring for victims of Nazi persecution in the way that Berty Albrecht did. She took care of Jews and Spanish republicans; she welcomed them.

To resist only meant to oppose the Nazis and the Vichy regime by joining the Resistance, as did Marie Madeleine Meric with the French Free Forces in occupied France.

Resistance also included writing songs as a means of escapism, such as the Hymn to Deportation [also known as the Chant des Marais], which was composed in 1933 in a concentration camp in Borgermoor, Saxony. It was then disseminated by deportees when they were transferred. It brings together the suffering and hope experienced by the deportees.

Resistance is only opposition because it is synonymous with support. Félix Simon was supported by his relatives when he joined the Resistance, as shown by the letters he received from his father from Tangier, Morocco, when he was in London and by his replies, sending news about himself until 1944.

Resistance also means survival, in the camps for example, by creating objects such as a small box in Ravensbruck in 1943.

To resist is to oppose by self-destruction. In 1940 when the Armistice was signed on June 22nd, an admiral who was in charge of part of the French fleet in Toulon sabotaged it because he did not want it to be used by the Axis forces or even the Allies.

To resist is also to forfeit one’s life for one’s convictions, as Jean Moulin did when, tortured by the Nazis, he did not denounce the French resistance networks. He died during deportation.

To resist is also to create, by writing books and selling them clandestinely, as Jean Cassou did. This demonstrates a spiritual, mental resistance.

=> Well done to the 9th grade class for their enthusiasm, perseverance and hard work!!

Sources: 

1 Acte naissance de Felix SIMON du 2 janvier 1942, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

2 Fichiers familiaux et individuels de la préfecture de police de “SIMON”, cote F/9/5730, Recensement de la préfecture de la Seine et fichiers d’internement des camps de Drancy établis entre 1940-1945, Archives nationales.

3  Document des archives des victimes des conflits contemporains, envoyé par Mr SALMON Charles le 2 mars 2020 en réponse à un appel téléphonique des élèves puis d’un courriel envoyé par les élèves en février 2020. Il précise que l’origine de cette archive ne peut être prouvée et ne précise pas la cote.

4 Acte naissance de Felix SIMON du 2 janvier 1942, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

5 Lettre du ministère des Anciens combattants et des victimes de guerre, datant du 15 juin 1948, dossier 55913-SIMON-Felix, 21 P 160 92255913 DAVCC, Archives de l’association convoi 77.

6 Lettre du ministère des Anciens combattants et des victimes de guerre, datant du 8 avril 1946, dossier 55913-SIMON-Felix, 21 P 160 92255913 DAVCC, Archives de l’association convoi 77.

7 Interrogatoire Sempetaï BENSSOA du 28 août 1945, cote 77 W 1064, dossier 339618, période 1945 et cote 19 W ; période : 1939-1940 ; Déclaration de constitution d’association, pièces administratives, Archives de la préfecture de police.

8 http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice.php?q=fulltext%3A%28regine%20benssoa%29%20AND%20id_pers%3A%28%2A%29&spec_expand=1&start=0

9 https://www.ushmm.org/online/hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=5278336

10 http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice.php?q=fulltext%3A%28regine%20benssoa%29%20AND%20id_pers%3A%28%2A%29&spec_expand=1&start=0

11Nous avons contacté le consistoire de Paris par téléphone et par mail en mars 2020 qui semble avoir des éléments sur la famille BENSSOA et nous sommes dans l’attente de leurs informations pour compléter notre arbre généalogique.

12 Demande de renseignement auprès du ministère des Anciens combattants et victimes de guerre, datant du 29 juillet 1946, dossier 55913-SIMON-Felix, 21 P 160 92255913 DAVCC, Archives de l’association convoi 77.

13 Homologation de Felix SIMON par Marie Madeleine MERIC datant du 2 avril 1946, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

14 Fiche individuelle des membres du réseau Alliance, Cote 2.3.3.4/ 78405806, Centre international de la persécution nazie, Archives d’Arolsen.

15 Lettre du ministère des Anciens combattants et des victimes de guerre, datant du 8 avril 1946, dossier 55913-SIMON-Felix, 21 P 160 92255913 DAVCC, Archives de l’association convoi 77.

16 Homologation de Felix SIMON par Marie Madeleine MERIC du 2 avril 1946, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

17 Fiche individuelle des membres du réseau l’Alliance, Cote 2.3.3.4/ 78405806, Centre international de la persécution nazie, Archives d’Arolsen.

18  Lettre de l’officier liquidateur du réseau alliance datant du 25 octobre 1946, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

19 Lettre du ministère des Anciens combattants et des victimes de guerre, datant du 8 avril 1946, dossier 55913-SIMON-Felix, 21 P 160 92255913 DAVCC, Archives de l’association convoi 77.

20 Lettre du ministère des Anciens combattants et des victimes de guerre, datant du 8 avril 1946, dossier 55913-SIMON-Felix, 21 P 160 92255913 DAVCC, Archives de l’association convoi 77.

21 Fiche individuelle des membres du réseau l’Alliance, Cote 2.3.3.4/ 78405806, Centre international de la persécution nazie, Archives d’Arolsen.

22 Homologation de Felix SIMON par Marie Madeleine MERIC datant du 2 avril 1946, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

23 https://francearchives.fr/commemo/recueil-2009/38696

24 D’après Mme CHARTAIN Lucile, chargée d’études documentaires au département de l’exécutif et du législatif, pôle Seconde Guerre mondiale, des Archives nationales, le 3 mars 2020, en réponse à un appel téléphonique des élèves puis d’un courriel envoyé par les élèves en janvier 2020.

25 Fichiers familiaux et individuels de la préfecture de police de “SIMON”, cote F/9/5730, Recensement de la préfecture de la Seine et fichiers d’internement des camps de Drancy établis entre 1940-1945, Archives nationales.

26 D’après Mme ISNARD Manon, direction des archives départementales du Val de Marne, le 11 mars 2020, en réponse à un appel téléphonique des élèves puis d’un courriel envoyé par les élèves en mars 2020.

27 Fichiers familiaux et individuels de la préfecture de police de “SIMON”, cote F/9/5730, Recensement de la préfecture de la Seine et fichiers d’internement des camps de Drancy établis entre 1940-1945, Archives nationales.

28 Carnet de fouille de Felix SIMON, Archives en ligne du mémorial de la Shoah, http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice.php?q=fulltext%3A%28FElix%20simon%29%20AND%20id_pers%3A%28%2A%29&spec_expand=1&start=0

29 Liste des noms du convoi 77, Archives en ligne du mémorial de la Shoah, http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice.php?q=fulltext%3A%28FElix%20simon%29%20AND%20id_pers%3A%28%2A%29&spec_expand=1&start=0

30 D’après Mme CHARTAIN Lucile, chargée d’études documentaires au département de l’exécutif et du législatif, pôle Seconde Guerre mondiale, des Archives nationales, le 3 mars 2020, en réponse à un appel téléphonique, puis à un courriel envoyé par les élèves en janvier 2020.

31 Réponses de juillet à novembre 1945 du centre d’entr’aide aux étudiants mobilisés et prisonniers à Joseph SIMON, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

32 Lettre de l’officier liquidateur du réseau alliance datant du 25 octobre 1946, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

33 Lettre de Joseph SIMON adressée au ministre des Anciens combattants et Victimes de guerre le 15 octobre 1947, dossier 55913-SIMON-Felix, 21 P 160 92255913 DAVCC, Archives de l’association convoi 77.

34 Lettre de Joseph SIMON envoyée au secrétariat générale des prisonniers en mars 1947, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

35 D’après Mme COLLIN Marie, chargée de l’action culturelle et éducative, pour la directrice des Archives, du Patrimoine et de la Mémoire, le 14 février 2020, en réponse à un appel téléphonique des élèves, puis à un courriel envoyé par les élèves en janvier 2020.

36 D’après Mr CHEVROLET René, Responsable documentaire et recherche historique, Centre européen du résistant déporté, site de l’ancien camp de concentration de Natzweiler-Struthof, le 6 février 2020 en réponse à un appel téléphonique des élèves, puis à un courriel envoyé par les élèves en février 2020.

37 D’après Mme FOY Dominique, direction de l’Amicale de Neuengamme, le 4 février 2020, en réponse à un appel téléphonique des élèves, puis à un courriel envoyé par les élèves en janvier 2020.

38 D’après Mr NAOR Yuval, responsable des recherches du International Tracing Service (ITS) pour l’institut international pour la mémoire de la Shoah Yad Vashem, No. 36517041#1 (0.1/Image vorhanden/_S/S1155/00189), le 16 avril 2020, en réponse à un courriel envoyé par les élèves en janvier 2020.

39 D’après Mr NAOR Yuval, responsable des recherches du International Tracing Service (ITS) pour l’institut international pour la mémoire de la Shoah Yad Vashem, No. 11191049#1 (1.1.9.9/0022/0003), le 16 avril 2020, en réponse à un courriel envoyé par les élèves en janvier 2020.

40 Acte de décès de Félix SIMON datant du 11 décembre 1945, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

41 Dossier de décès de Félix SIMON avec mention « mort pour la France » datant du 22 février 1947 et la mention « mort en déportation » datant du 11 janvier 2012, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

42 Dossier de décès de Félix SIMON avec mention « mort pour la France » datant du 22 février 1947 et la mention « mort en déportation » datant du 11 janvier 2012, cote AC 21P 160922, Service historique de la Défense, Archives des victimes des conflits contemporains.

43 https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.docidTexte=JORFTEXT000025598109&categorieLien=id

 

Contributor(s)

Charifa, Aminata, Imène, Selma, Furkan, Océane, Yanis, Cérine, Aymen, Shérine, Sanna, Salim, Manâl, Iron, Sofia, Shaima, Mohamed Amine, Aymen and Amélia, 9th grade students at the Elsa Triolet high school in the 15th district of Marseille, with guidance from Morgane Boutant, their history teacher.
12 Comments
  1. Bestagne Nadia, professeur documentaliste 2 years ago

    Bravo pour ce travail de qualité, passionnant et réalisé dans le respect des règles de vérification des informations. C’est impressionnant, continuez à exercer votre esprit critique à ce niveau d’exigence dans tous les domaines !

  2. le quellec cyrille 2 years ago

    Bonjour,

    félicitations à vous tous pour votre travail, j’aimerais publier sur notre site le lien vers cette présentation de votre projet. Etes vous d’accord ?

    Bien à vous

    cyrille le quellec, documentaliste

  3. Serge Jacubert 2 years ago

    Cher documentaliste et archiviste de la Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Déportation, nous vous donnons notre accord pour cette demande particulière et pour toute autre biographie qui retiendrait votre attention.
    Bien cordialement
    Serge Jacubert pour Convoi 77

  4. Lucile Chartain, Archives nationales 2 years ago

    Bonjour,

    Un grand bravo à tous les élèves impliqués dans ce travail d’enquête pour la qualité de cette restitution, très bien documentée et riche en réflexions critiques autour de l’usage des témoignages et des sources historiques.
    Il est très agréable pour nous de voir que nos documents d’archives sont aussi bien mis en valeur!

  5. Serge Jacubert 2 years ago

    Chère Madame,
    nous nous réjouissons de votre message et le transmettons à l’enseignante et à sa classe derechef. Les partenariats signés avec les départements d’archives nationales, mais aussi avec ceux du SHD et de la PPP sont un apport inestimable pour notre mission d’éducation et de mémoire.
    Bien à vous.
    Serge Jacubert, responsable des relations avec les enseignants

  6. Stéphanie Guy 2 years ago

    Bravo à vous tous ! C est un superbe travail.

  7. Bernard Boutant 2 years ago

    Bravo pour toutes ces recherches,
    Félicitation aux élèves et a leur professeur

  8. liliane deputier 2 years ago

    bonsoir,
    félicitations à tous les élèves et à leur professeur pour la qualité et le sérieux dont ils ont fait preuve lors de cette biographie-enquête.

  9. Dominique 2 years ago

    Yolande Félix. Félicitation pour ce travail de qualité , avec toutes ces recherches qui ont dû prendre beaucoup de temps à vous Madame Boutant leur professeur et à vos élèves . Bravo!!!!! Continuez

  10. […] «Конвой 77» исследование о герое Сопротивления «Биография Феликса Симона», которое они провели с октября 2019 по март 2020 […]

  11. Serge Jacubert 2 years ago

    Traduction automatique en français du post ci-dessus écrit en langue russe :
    Des écoliers français ont publié un suivi sur le héros du «Convoi 77» du mouvement de la Résistance – Timofey Balyko
    Il y a 58 minutes
    […] Recherche “Convoi 77” sur le héros de la Résistance “Biographie de Félix Simon”, qu’ils ont menée d’octobre 2019 à mars 2020 […]

  12. Jean-Christophe Temdaoui 9 months ago

    Bravo pour ce beau travail ! Un itinéraire et une expérience restituée finement ! Exemplaire et inspirant !

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

hébergement Umazuma - OVH

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?