November 28, 2021

Emmanuel Macron’s tribute to the last companion of the Liberation

“At dawn and dusk, Hubert Germain was the last to surrender. ” Emmanuel Macron, the President of the Republic, greeted, Friday, October 15, Hubert Germain “The ultimate hero” of the 1,038 companions of the Liberation, during a national tribute in the courtyard of the Invalides, in Paris.

Military honors were paid to him by soldiers from his former unit, the 13e demi-brigade of the Foreign Legion (13e DBLE), who, wearing the white legionaries’ kepi, carried his medals and his coffin draped in blue, white and red in the courtyard of the Hôtel des Invalides.

“The life of Hubert Germain is an anthology of commitment and courage”, summed up the Head of State in front of the coffin of the last companion of the Liberation, who died Tuesday at the age of 101, also praising the “Fiery” and the “Determination” why “Resistant from the first hour”, which over time has become “The very embodiment of all [ses] companions “.

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Continue the memory work

The Head of State once again greeted the companions of the Liberation, “This circle which raised France from the abyss”, of which Hubert Germain had been a part since 1944, in a speech full of gratitude and tenderness.

Emmanuel Macron, who commemorated alongside Hubert Germain the 81e anniversary of the appeal of June 18, 1940, also made the “Oath” to continue the memorial work, so dear to this companion of the Liberation, who loved to testify in particular in schools.

The President greeted the “Tireless quest for a life of resistance and hope” of the veteran of Free France, who left to join General de Gaulle in London in June 1940 while he was preparing for the competition for the Naval School. “With his brothers in arms, he had defended freedom. With his soul brothers, all those who recognize themselves as such, he was going to rebuild fraternity ”, said the Head of State, who had appointed Hubert Germain Chancellor of Honor of the Order of Liberation in November 2020.

“Last Chancellor of Honor of the Order of the Liberation, he stoked the burning embers until his last breath, they will not be extinguished with him”, promised Emmanuel Macron, in front of several relatives of the families of the companions of the Liberation and members of the government including the Prime Minister, Jean Castex.

After this national tribute, Emmanuel Macron will also preside over the burial ceremony of Hubert Germain on November 11 at the Arc de Triomphe and Mont-Valérien, the main place of execution of resistance fighters during the Second World War, where his body will rest. in the crypt of the combatant France memorial.

A life of combat

After the death of Daniel Cordier last year, Hubert Germain was the last companion of the Liberation of the 1,038 – including six women – included in this order created by General de Gaulle in November 1940 for the first French to respond to the appeal of June 18.

Son of a general of the colonial troops who had joined Marshal Pétain and the Vichy regime, Hubert Germain distinguished himself with the 13e DBLE during the battle of Bir-Hakeim, in Libya, in 1942. Seriously wounded in May 1944 in Italy where he had landed, he was decorated with the Cross of Liberation by General De Gaulle, before disembarking in Provence in August, to liberate France from Nazi occupation.

Demobilized at the end of the war, Hubert Germain had launched into politics, becoming mayor of Saint-Chéron (Essonne), then in the 1960s deputy and vice-president of the UDR group, the Gaullist movement, and finally government minister. by Pierre Messmer.

He had put “The same zeal to rebuild post-war France and to reshape the Republic that he had set out to liberate his country”, had greeted the Elysee in a press release released Tuesday on the announcement of his death.

Hubert Germain in a few dates

August 6, 1920 Born in Paris

1942 Take part in the battle of Bir-Hakeim

1944 Designated as a companion of the Liberation

1962-1972 Deputy of Paris

1972 Minister of President Pompidou

2021 Died in Paris at the age of 101

The World with Reuters