OCTOBER 21: “My darling Mummy … I am going to die!”

guymoquet-1024x674ON THIS DATE in 1941, seventeen-year-old French communist Guy Môquet wrote a moving letter to his family that began, “My darling Mummy, my adored brother, my much loved Daddy, I am going to die!”

Môquet had been arrested in October 1940 for illegally handing out communist leaflets in Paris. A year later, following the German occupation of France, he and 26 others were sentenced to die for the ambush and death of a Nazi officer.

Môquet is often described as a resistance fighter, although some object to that description. French history professor Dominique Chathuant told The Telegraph in 2007 that “Guy Môquet was shot as a hostage and for his communist ideas, but not as a resistant who took up arms against the occupier: he never had the time.”

In his last letter, Môquet wrote, “To you, my Daddy to whom I have given many worries, as well as to my Mummy, I say goodbye for the last time … Know that I did my best to follow the path that you laid out for me.”

Môquet was executed by firing squad in Châteaubriant, France, on October 21, 1941.

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