88. Jrme Blachon Collects and Transmits Precious Memories at the Museum of Resistance and Deportation in Haute-Garonne, France
Welcome to museum archipelago. I'm ian elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started to lose. France has many memorials covering hundreds of years of history. there's a statue of joan of arc. There's monuments to the soldiers of the franco prussian. War memorials to the dead of world war. One but look closer and you'll also find sites covering a very specific slice of history the years between nineteen forty and nineteen forty four. The period of nazi germany's military administration of france. There's the building where the gestapo secret police made their local headquarters. There's a monument to the glory of the resistance. And there's the shoah memorial the hebrew word for the holocaust that honors the jews. Who were deported and killed during this period to lose on a gallon. Gal i in black to lose during world war two was originally stone. Herb in the south of france a lot of resistance fighters came to to lose to former. Is you need and many then left for the rest of france or pain. A number of escape networks. Beginning to lose and took english airmen for example or is he stops fighters across the beauty. Nate london or the united states is it has unique. This is your home blah sean. Speaking french blah. Sean is the head of the museum of resistance and deportation in home france which is right down the street from many of these memorials into loose. The museum brings together these sites as well as artifacts stories and witnesses from across the region and oliver france both war drama pendulum. My name is jalen bless sean. I am in charge of the museum of lizzie. Stockton deportation in a gallon. Foss the museum actually in nineteen seventy seven. It was first a community museum. The museum was initially a community museum. Set up by former members of the french resistance and in nineteen ninety four. It became departmental which is to say it is now funded by the regional government into three themes of the museum. Engage collect transmit. We collect to store and transmit this memory of our ancestors from our elders to future generations. Memorials that defend. The memory of the resistance gives us access to people who have objects in their homes and documents and some of them and trust them to us. The museums focus onto loose and the surrounding region is not just because it's under the authority of the regional government. It also reflects the uneven an ever changing military administration of france under nazi germany until november. Nineteen forty two. The nazis only had direct occupation of part of the country. Mostly the north of france including paris and the western coast. The south of france was under the jurisdiction of the vichy regime. An independent ally of nazi germany which promoted anti and practice collaboration with the nazis. Most specifically by deporting jews to concentration and extermination camps so when it comes to the fighting this regime the resistance. It's tempting to present history. Like story with clear cut intentions and the simple narrative but the history of the french resistance was anything but simple. It's not like there was a single unified resistance with one single outcome in mind in episode fifty one of this show. We examined another collaborationist regime bulgaria in the early nineteen forties by visiting the sylvia. Jewish museum of history. Today one the galleries there is named the holocaust and the rescue of the jews in bulgaria. Which even the museum staff say as an overly simplistic title khuda visitor in your at many visitors are in fact unaware of this fragmented structure of the rizzi stats. We the gaullist on one side and communists on the order so in the museum we do. Indeed present. The different forms of lizzie stars to present the complexity. The museum of resistance and deportation focuses on presenting objects gathered from witnesses. These include resistance newspapers of various subgroups and photos and testimonies of those who are fighting whether with acts of sabotage by providing shelter to those who needed it or even through building the logistics of feeding fighters in other parts of france. There's also catalogs names and photographs of people deported and accounts of reprisal attacks against resistance fighters and collaborators alike as control of the territory ebbed and flowed la la brea delayed gambled do period of world. War two is quite complex to explain to the younger generations who often have a rather manichean view that is to say in black and white. You are either busy. Saas fater or a collaborator povey. She nazi that's it. You are either a good guy or bad guy who she says. Only on air mission. The museum was closed for an eighteen month renovation from two thousand eighteen until twenty twenty the renovation modernized the museum and also reflects. Our moment in time was fatigued. Amisi today these type of museum has a new dimension we the disappearance of the last witnesses since they can no longer testify in front of students scholars and the general public. So it is our mission to transmit this memory to do so we have collected and we continue to collect objects and especially testimonies. Actually timonium the renovated museum features. Two floors of permanent galleries and space for temporary exhibitions. Special programs are available to school. Kids who are encouraged to question the sustainability of the spirit of resistance the current struggles for the preservation and extension of rights and freedoms and the fight against inequalities today. It's no longer a museum. Run by former members of the resistance but instead it's focused on being the transmission to new generations. lead oldwick at the weaknesses are now ninety or ninety five years old and we continue to collect the testimonies and to project broadcast and recalled these testimonies in order to get her their precious memories and transmit them to new generations new belgian jassem. This has been museum archipelago. Full transcript of this episode as well as shown notes and links visit museum archipelago dot com museum archipelago is supported by listeners. Like you joined club. Archipelago club archipelago members. Get access to a bonus. Podcast where we've been doing. Indepth reviews of how museums are portrayed in movies tv shows and even video games if you can't get enough of how museums shape our lives. Join club archipelago. Today by visiting joined the museum dot club. And if you don't feel like it that's totally cool to thanks for listening and next time bring a friend.