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MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

She marked her time as the resistance fighter who pardoned the collaborator, the deportee who extended her hand to her executioner. Courageous freedom fighter and figure of absolute mercy, Noëlla Rouget, who died at the age of 100, fought all her life against the spirit of hatred and vengeance.

Noëlla Rouget, née Peaudeau, was born on Christmas Day 1919, into a family of devout Catholics. She received a first name from her parents that expressed the faith they passed on to her. To this belief in God, the young girl married an ineradicable belief in humanity, in love, in her country, which proved to be stronger than oppression, death camps and anger.

She was 20 when she saw France bend under the Nazi rule, German boots pounding the pavement of Angers, and she decided to resist them. The panniers of her bicycle first carried clandestine leaflets which she printed and distributed, then, very quickly, messages, parcels, even weapons, which she sent in transit for the Gaullist movement Honneur et patrie and for a network. British spy services. The man she fell in love with, Adrien Tigeot, was also a teacher and resistance fighter, driven by the same ideals. But this France of courage and freedom lurked in the shadow of a enslaved France. In June 1943, the banns of their marriage were hardly published when the fiancés were denounced and arrested. Adrien Tigeot was tortured and shot in the days that followed. Noëlla Peaudeau, she was deported to hell, in Ravensbrück.

The terrible machine for crushing beings could not annihilate the young woman. She returned from the skeletal death camp, tuberculous and hairless, but alive. While she was verfügbar, employed in the toughest tasks, she had known how to cling to her faith, to friendship and to the example of her deportation sisters, the resistance fighters Geneviève de Gaulle, Germaine Tillion or Denise Vernay , as in the poems of Du Bellay which they recited together to find, in the depths of horror, a little of the beauty of the world.

For a long time, Noëlla Peaudeau sought to forget those years of fear, to mourn her missing fiancé. She loved again, became Noëlla Rouget, repopulated her life by founding a family. Her viaticum was the letter Adrien had written to her before he was shot: “Be happy, very happy, do it for me”.

But after 17 years, the past suddenly resurfaced. He had a face, impassive and arrogant. One name, Jacques Vasseur. The man was French, a member of the Gestapo, responsible for 310 deportations and 230 deaths. It was to him that the young resistance fighter owed her arrest, deportation, torture and the death of her fiancé. But because she was against capital punishment, against the spirit of vengeance, alone among 200 witnesses, she called for the death penalty to be commuted to prison. She did not hesitate to address a petition to General de Gaulle for this. When the presidential pardon was obtained, she wrote regularly to Vasseur in prison, without ever obtaining from her executioner the slightest sign of repentance. This act of forgiveness, all the more impressive in that it came up against the hostile incomprehension of his contemporaries and the impenitence of the culprit, was the mark of an immense generosity of soul, of an unfailing humanism. .

The President of the Republic salutes a supporter of freedom who gave the values ​​of fraternity and forgiveness their highest incarnation. He sends his heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI