On July 11th of 2017, FIU Honors students of France: Art, War, and Human Rights were led on an educational tour of le Centre d’histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation (CHRD). Following their experience at le Centre d’histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation (CHRD), students shared their voices and opinions through photographs and personal reflections.
Imbedded in the lenses are horrors only heard through stories or seen through pictures. These glasses saw all the fear and hopelessness of innocent lives that were imprisoned, tortured, killed. These glasses saw the malice that exuded from people who believed that an individual should be stripped of their humanity because they didn’t fit their criteria of perfect. These glasses though, also saw those fighting. Fighting for human rights, fighting for liberty, fighting for the future. In these glasses are the memories of resistance. Imbedded in the lenses, now held in Centre d’histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation, is the memory of a time that should have never happened. While we can’t re-see what these lenses saw, they should remind us to fight for a future that won’t see anything like it again.
The city of Lyon served as the seat of the French Resistance in WWII. With the Vichy government espousing many of the tenets of Nazism, the division between occupied France and “free” France was minimal. This flag in the Centre d’histoire de la Résistance et de la déportation is an original Nazi flag flown over the city. It is an international symbol for racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, homophobia, ableism, and intolerance, among others – one that persists in the form of Neo-Nazism and Holocaust denial. As an intellectual, as a member of a marginalized community, and as a proponent of universal human rights, it is vital for me to reject these ideologies wherever they surface and encourage others to do the same. The salut it is getting is the only one it merits.
“We became unknown persons.” – France Péjot
During the Second World War, the Vichy government ordered to round up any members of the French resistance, Jewish people, or any others deemed as undesirables by the Nazis. As a result, in Lyon, more people were being arrested by the French police than Nazis. Those arrested would be sent to the gestapo headquarters where they would be tortured. Your identity as a person become erased when your very own country betrays you and considers you sub-human. The Resistance and Deportation History Centre is a symbol of remembrance and their pictures hanging from the walls above is proof that their stories will never be forgotten.
FIU Honors France 2017 Student Gallery from Centre d’histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation (CHRD)
Isabella Marie Garcia