02 March 2009

Lyon- Center of French Resistance

For my exchange, I am attending l'Université Jean-Moulin Lyon III. So who is Jean Moulin?? On Sunday I took the opportunity to learn more about the man after whom my university is named and many other members of the French Resistance in Lyon. Le Musée de la Resistance aka Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation in Lyon is located in the same building occupied by the Gestapo during WWII. In the walls of what is now a museum, people were tortured, killed, and plotted against. It was a moving experience to see WWII and resistance information in French with a French (and very insider) perspective. There were videos of French people in Lyon during the war coping with the German occupation. Seeing the war on the same streets that I walk down every day brought many things to reality for me. 

In conclusion, Jean Moulin is not just the name of my university, he was a dedicated French Resistance fighter. In all the statues of Jean Moulin in Lyon, he is always portrayed with a scarf around his neck. He wore the scarf to cover a large scar from trying to slit his throat after refusing to surrender information about the French Resistance to the Gestapo. Jean Moulin is a hero for his loyalty, civic virtues, and patriotism and is recognized by every French person. The museum taught me a lot about the history of Lyon and now I can appreciate the city with a new perspective of it's past and the desires of it's future.

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