WW2: Last Letters of Resistance Fighters


It’s 1943, you’re part of the French resistance, and you’ve been sentenced to death. You’re allowed to write one last letter before you’re shot by the Nazis. Who do you write to? Friends? Family? Fellow comrades? How do you know if they’ll even get it?

Of the 10,000 or so executions during the Second World War, only around 700 letters remain, and today’s guest, Daniel Brunstetter, Professor of Political Science at the University of California Davis, has spent the last three years trying to track them down, and working with the families to piece together their life, death, and acts of heroism.

Together, Daniel and host James Patton Rogers set the scene of occupied France, Charles de Gaulle’s rallying cry to resist, and the multiple lives the letters, years after their authors were executed.

The Senior Producer was Elena Guthrie. It was edited and mixed by Aidan Lonergan.

Intro music: Ludwig van Beethoven, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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