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Jean Moulin, the son of a professor of history, was born in Belziers, France, on 20th June 1899. He was conscripted into the French Army in 1918 but the First World War came to an end before he had the opportunity to see action.
After the war Moulin joined the civil service and rose rapidly to become the country's youngest prefect. Influenced by his friend, Pierre Cot, a radical pacifist, Moulin developed left-wing views. During the Spanish Civil War Moulin helped to smuggle a French aircraft to the Republican Army fighting against the Royalists.
Moulin refused to cooperate with the German Army when they occupied France in June 1940. He was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo and while in his cell he attempted to commit suicide by cutting his throat with a piece of broken glass. After recovering he was released from prison.
In November 1940, the Vichy government ordered all prefects to dismiss left-wing mayors of towns and villages that had been elected to office. When Moulin refused to do this he was himself removed from office.
Over the next few months Moulin began to make contact with other French people who wanted to overthrow the Vichy government and to drive the German Army out of France. This included Henry Frenay, who had established Combat, the most important of all the early French Resistance groups. He also had discussions with Pierre Villon who was attempting to organize the communist resistance group in France. Later, Moulin was accused of being a communist but there is no evidence that he ever joined the party.
Moulin visited London in September, 1941 where he met Charles De Gaulle, Andre Dewavrin and other French leaders in exile. In October 1941, Moulin produced a report entitled The Activities, Plans and Requirements of the Groups formed in France. De Gaulle was impressed with Moulin knowledge of the situation and decided he should become the leader of the resistance in France.
Moulin was parachuted back into France on 1st January, 1942. Moulin brought with him a large sum of money to help set up the underground press. This included working with figures such as Georges Bidault and Albert Camus who had both been involved in establishing the Combat newspaper.
Moulin's main task was to try and unite all the different resistance groups working in France. Over the following weeks he arranged meetings with people such as Henry Frenay (Combat), Emmanuel d'Astier (Liberation), Jean-Pierre Lévy (Francs-Tireur), Pierre Villon (Front National), Pierre Brossolette (Comité d'Action Socialiste) and Charles Delestraint (Armée Secrete). After much discussion Moulin persuaded the eight major resistance groups to form the Conseil National de la Resistance (CNR) and the first joint meeting under Moulin's chairmanship took place in Paris on 27th May 1943.
On 7th June 1943, René Hardy, an important member of the resistance in France, was arrested and tortured by Klaus Barbie and the Gestapo. They eventually obtained enough information to arrest Moulin at Caluire on 21st June. Jean Moulin died while being tortured on 8th July 1943.
These three movements were born spontaneously and independently of the initiative of a few French patriots who had a place in the old political groups and parties. They started to assert themselves at different dates, soon after the conclusion of the armistice, however, and as a reaction against this instrument of submission to the enemy. In the beginning, their activities consisted in spreading by underground channels and in a rather restricted sphere typewritten propaganda pamphlets on every important occasion (speech of Mr. Churchill, of President Roosevelt, speeches of General de Gaulle, outstanding military operations, etc.), or else on every occasion which called for a rebellious attitude on the part of French patriots (annexation by Hitler of Alsace and Lorraine, violation of the clauses of the Armistice, the agreements concluded at Montoire, requisitioning by the Germans, etc.).
Next, with the development of material means and the increased adherence of willing partisans, they were able to publish real roneoed papers at tolerably regular intervals. Now, for several months, each group has been publishing at a fixed date one or several printed papers in addition to pamphlets and leaflets.
Jean Moulin was dropped by parachute in France during the night of January 1st. He carried credentials from me appointing him as my delegate for the non-occupied zone of Metropolitan France and instructing him to endure unity of action among the elements of the resistance there. This would mean that his authority would not, in principle, be disputed. It was therefore agreed that it was he who would be the centre of our communications in France, first with the South Zone, then, as soon as possible, with the North Zone.
I am now hunted at the same time by Vichy and the Gestapo who are not unaware of my identity, nor my activities. My task is becoming more and more delicate, while the difficulties increase constantly. I am determined to hold on as long as possible, but if I should disappear, I should not have had the time to familiarize my successors with the necessary information.
It was Jean Moulin who united resistance; who concentrated the scattered energies of the French into the sole channel of anti-German activity; who saved France from the civil wars that ravaged Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece; who gave the battered nation back its self-respect. He never blew up a train, or knocked down a bridge, or even carried a pistol; he made sense of the work of those who did. As André Malraux said at the ceremony of the laying of the ashes, in a splendid invocation to the dead and to the young, "He made none of the regiments; but he made the army."
MOULIN, JEAN (1899–1943)
In 1943, acting on the authority of General Charles de Gaulle, Jean Moulin organized and coordinated the various resistance groups inside France. After being arrested on 21 June 1943 he did not survive tortures inflicted on him on orders of Klaus Barbie, the head of the Gestapo in Lyon, France. As the head of the Resistance, the "chief of the people of the night," Moulin was honored by the French novelist André Malraux (1901–1976) upon the ceremonial transfer of his ashes to the Pantheon on 19 December 1964. He has become the key figure emblematic of the French Resistance during World War II.
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Jean Moulin wearing his trademark scarf, which covered scars incurred when he attempted suicide rather than sign a German propaganda document. Photo courtesy of Mémorial Leclerc/Musée Jean Moulin
When Jean Moulin offered his services to Gen. Charles de Gaulle in October 1941, the leader of the Free French based in London accepted with alacrity. Moulin, a former prefect (regional administrator), was the highest-ranking member of the pre-Vichy Third Republic to join de Gaulle’s organization. In addition, Moulin, who had been living in the Vichy zone, possessed knowledge about nacent French Resistance groups and their leaders. In return for money and arms, Moulin proposed to unite the different groups under the Free French banner, stating, “It would be insane and criminal, in the event of Allied action on the continent, not to make use of troops prepared for the greatest sacrifices, scattered and unorganized today, but tomorrow capable of making up a united army of parachute troops already in place, familiar with the terrain and having already selected their enemy and determined their objective.” He also warned that unless the Free French took action the Resistance would fall under communist influence.
Members of the French Resistance captured by the Germans await transport. The work Jean Moulin did in France for the Resistance was dangerous, but helped to make the Resistance a force in future Allied operations. Bundesarchiv photo
Impressed, de Gaulle appointed him Delegate of the French National Committee to the Unoccupied Zone. On Jan. 1, 1942, Moulin was parachuted back to France. Tucked in a matchbox was a microfilmed document signed by Gen. de Gaulle that said, “Mr. Moulin’s task is to bring about, within the zone of metropolitan France not directly occupied, unity of action by all elements resisting the enemy and his collaborators.”
Moulin was the right man in the right place at the right time for both the Free French and the Resistance. A prefect when the German army swept through France in the summer of 1940, when Moulin refused a German demand to sign a document confirming atrocities by Senegalese soldiers in the French army he was beaten and thrown into a barn containing a number of mutilated bodies. Believing that once the Germans renewed their torture he would sign the document, Moulin attempted suicide by slashing his throat with a shard of glass. A guard heard him and Moulin was taken to a hospital where he recovered, the document unsigned. Moulin was never again seen in public without a scarf that concealed the scar on his neck.
“. . . his was the face of France.”
—French Minister of Culture André Malraux
Because of his far-left convictions the far-right Vichy government dismissed him. That experience with the Germans and the Vichy government coupled with the authority and money from the Free French gave Moulin the credibility he needed to build an organized Resistance.
SS Obersturmführer Klaus Barbie, who became known as the “Butcher of Lyon,” interrogated Jean Moulin. Bundesarchiv photo
Based in Lyon, operating under the code name “Max,” traveling throughout France and keeping one step ahead of the Gestapo and the despised Vichy milice police force, Moulin organized the Press and Information Bureau, a Resistance press service the General Study Committee, a rudimentary brain trust charged with studying post-liberation reforms a service that oversaw radio communications with London another service that organized vital parachute drops and clandestine air transport between England and France and a secret army, a pool of the paramilitary forces of the three major Resistance organizations whose actions were coordinated by London. His greatest triumph was the creation of the National Council of Resistance on May 27, 1943, a sixteen-member organization that precariously brought together representatives from eight Resistance groups, five political parties, and two trade unions. In a secret meeting held in Paris, its first action was a vote to recognize de Gaulle as the head of a French provisional government.
“Jeered at, savagely beaten, his head bleeding, his internal organs ruptured, he attained the limits of human suffering without betraying a single secret, he who knew everything.”
It was Moulin’s last success. Less than a month later Moulin was betrayed to the Gestapo, and on June 21, 1943, captured in Caluire, a suburb of Lyon. His jailer was SS Lt. Nikolaus “Klaus” Barbie, later infamous as the “Butcher of Lyon.” For the next three weeks Moulin was tortured. Occasionally Barbie displayed Moulin’s unconscious body in his office for other captured Resistance leaders to see. In Jean Moulin, the biography of her brother, Laure Moulin wrote, “Jeered at, savagely beaten, his head bleeding, his internal organs ruptured, he attained the limits of human suffering without betraying a single secret, he who knew everything.”
Moulin died in a train en route to Germany and was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. On Dec. 19, 1964, Moulin’s ashes were transferred to the Panthéon in a ceremony attended by President Charles de Gaulle and many surviving members of the Resistance. Cultural minister André Malraux, former member of the Resistance, French army officer, and author, delivered the eulogy that is considered one of the greatest speeches in French history.
Klaus Barbie survived the war and worked for a time for the British and the CIA. When evidence of his atrocities became known, in 1950 he fled to Bolivia. Extradited to France in 1983, his trial riveted the nation. Sentenced to life in prison, he died of cancer on Sept. 25, 1991.
DWIGHT JON ZIMMERMAN is a bestselling and award-winning author, radio host, and president of the.
Jean Moulin is a hero of generosity, kindness and represents a symbol of French history. Firstly, he had got a republican childhood. Born in 1899 in Beziers, he was quickly influenced by his father Antonin Moulin and his political ideas. For example, Jean supported Spain republic in 1936. He was student in Beziers and passed his exams in 1917. Then, he moved to Montpellier and studied in a law school. It was the First World War. That's why he was mobilised for war, but he obtained a bachelor's degree in 1921.
Secondly, Jean Moulin had got a noteworthy political career. In 1922, he became chief of staff and worked with the Prefect in Savoie. Later, he became the subprefect of French in 1925 and continued to practice his hobbies : tennis, ski. He worked very hard and tried to change French mentalities. In 1932, he worked in foreign office when he met Jean Cot and he founded the airline :"Air France". Besides, in 1939, Jean Moulin became the prefect of Chartres and started his Second World War struggle. Jean Moulin became well-known as he was a Resistance worker during the Second World War and dedicated his life to his country and his homeland. That's why, this period is the most important of his life.
Jean Moulin is a symbol of French history during the Second World War (1939-1945) and realized a memorable mission. In 1940, Jean Moulin worked in Chartres with Marechal Petain, but quickly he opposed to Germany and Marechal Petain as Petain was a pro-Hitler. He refused to be commanded by Hitler. That's why he undertook to win the war. He chose to found a Resistance workers community and moved to London in October 1941. He distributed newspapers, propaganda brochures to explain his ideas. To protect himself, he amended his name and became Joseph Jean Mercier. Then, in French, he used a lot of nicknames as REX, MAX. and created some organizations as the CNR. Therefore, as for me, I am lost in admiration before his bravery and his willpower. Indeed, Jean Moulin was a kind of saint because he wanted to save his country and to defeat his foes. He managed to overcome difficulties and his personal problems. He was the saviour of modern times. Besides, I am very proud of this man as he was determined and refused to give up, he didn't lose hope so I'm sure that he was a staggering character. He was a French leader and had a lot of qualities as kindness, generosity.
On an other side, Jean Moulin is also an artist, he is able to adapt himself to each situation. When he was a child, Jean Moulin loved drawing and painting. He used a nickname : Romanin and became famous. For instance, he owned a art gallery in Nice. Besides, a lot of films have been created commemorate Jean Moulin's life. You don't have the right to forget him so it's necessary to show your gratitude for his feats. He realized a memorable mission and it would be a mistake to deny the past, so every film or book about Moulin are here to prevent us from forgetting our roots and I think it's an important thing nowadays.
Finally, it's important to underline the end of Moulin's life. He was arrested in June 1943 by Gestapo, a kind of army charged to track down Resistance workers. Thus, he was tortured by Klauss Barbie and refused to denounce his partners. He was silent and protected his friends and French Nation. He could be considered as a martyr because he had suffered for his homeland and was so brave. Quite obviously, he was and he is so famous that his ashes were laid down in the Pantheon (in Paris) in 1964. He helped the others and he wasn't selfish. He thought hard and I believe that is important to know this "man" and his personal experience and ambitions. For me, it's a hero as he has got a lot of human qualities and everybody respects him. To conclude, Jean MOULIN is a hero of generosity, kindness. and it's undeniable that I am not able to tell all the best actions he did.
Jean Moulin was one of those who would have made history even if he lived an ordinary life. The youngest prefect in France at the age of 37, the leftist firebrand was thrown in the chaotic annals of history by the German invasion of France in 1940. As prefect of Eure-et-Loir, he attempted to guarantee the safety of his citizens by meeting with German officers. The officers asked him to sign a document confirming alleged atrocities committed by Senegalese French soldiers in the area, which he refused to do without evidence.
Arrested and tortured as a suspected communist, Moulin tried to commit suicide by cutting his own throat but a guard found him and he was taken to hospital, where he recovered. He was released and later joined the Resistance movement. Arrested again, this time he was tortured by notorious Klaus Barbie. A man of acidic wit and iron will until the very last moments of his life, Moulin drew a caricature of Barbie instead of writing down the names of his fellow Resistance men. Klaus ordered Moulin to be scalded, Moulin died outside Frankfurt, and buried in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Charles de Gaulle called him the Resistance’s primary leader and as President, transferred his remains to The Panthéon. The speech given by André Malraux, writer and minister of the Republic, upon the transfer of his ashes is one of the most famous speeches in French history. A homage of Moulin is held annually at the Panthéon.
Moulin was well-known to the French from the above emblematic photo of “The Man Who Didn’t Talk”. The epithet was a nod to his refusal to betray his friends at the risk of his own death. The photo was taken by a childhood friend, Marcel Bernard, near the Peyrou promenade in the arches at Montpellier and according to Laure Moulin, his sister, it dates from December 1940 — after he slit his throat. (Some said it was taken in late 1939.) After he slit his throat, Moulin would almost always wore a scarf to hide the scar he had given himself. (I saw the yellowed original print in the Musée Jean Moulin. The photo was reversed so that Moulin would look towards the left. Printed during the Resistance for propaganda purposes, it was lengthened to enhance his stature and darkened to accentuate the sombre dangers of the underground.)
Jean Moulin - History
Fabulist wife, mysterious husband
The Spectator London Jul 19, 1997 by Douglas Johnson
Douglas Johnson on a famous Resistance couple who perhaps didn't resist all the time
Historians can be killers. Not so much when they exploit hindsight so as to emphasise someone's mistakes -- because Napoleon did not know what his presentday biographers know, he can be shown to have behaved most foolishly at Waterloo - rather the historian as a killer is more ambitious and vicious. A hero can be destroyed. Everything that made him appear heroic is shown to be false. The victim is at the historian's disposal.
There are some who believe that a number of French historians are doing this today to a heroine and a hero of the wartime Resistance movement. The 85-yearold Lucie Aubrac and her husband Raymond have made themselves the essential emblems of French resource and courage during the dark days of German occupation. Lucie, a former history teacher, has visited countless schools to tell her story and has written two books. Her husband has been a constant attender at conferences, and published his autobiography last year. In February Claude Berri's film, entitled simply Lucie Aubrac, presented a highly romanticised version of the couple in the Resistance, to which they responded with many television interviews and public appearances. Lucie liked to tell how, when the film was shown in Germany, several hundred schoolchildren gave her a standing ovation of some five minutes.
It was therefore understandable that a book, which raised the possibility that the Aubracs, far from being ideal figures of devotion to their country were in fact traitors, caused a scandal. The book was Aubrac, Lyon 1943 by Gerard Chauvy and it appeared shortly after Berri's film. The treason, if it occurred, concerned the most famous event of the Resistance. On 21 June 1943, Jean Moulin, the man designated by General de Gaulle to unite the different Resistance organisations, was captured by the Germans, along with eight leaders of the Resistance. They were holding a secret meeting at Caluire, in the suburbs of Lyons. A special unit of the Gestapo, under the command of the notorious Klaus Barbie, broke into the house. How had the Germans known about the Caluire rendezvous?
Barbie fled to Bolivia after the war and had concealed himself. He was eventually identified, brought back to France and put on trial for crimes against humanity in 1983. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, but during his trial he claimed that Aubrac had been his agent. It was this accusation which was rewritten by his lawyer after his death and which was called his 'testament'. This testament was revived by Chauvy in his book, although he presented it as a question. What was the truth? At most one could see this as an insinuation.
There were many protests. One bookshop, the famous Tchann in Montparnasse, refused to stock any books by Chauvy's publisher, the highly respectable Albin Michel. The protests were all the more numerous because Chauvy's book seemed to fit into a concerted attempt to denigrate the Resistance. Jean Moulin himself had been depicted as a Soviet agent, and several writers are trying to find publishers who will help them to destroy the de Gaulle myth (one story is that the celebrated broadcast of 18 June 1940 did not announce the creation of Free France but dealt with very ordinary, technical matters). Therefore the Aubracs decided that it was not enough to reject the suggestions in television programmes and newspaper interviews, and that the best procedure would be to organise a roundtable discussion with historians who were experts on the period in question and to publish the discussion in extenso.
The Aubracs' idea was put into action. There was agreement about the choice of seven historians, led by Francois Bedarida, who as a young man had been in the Resistance. To them was added Daniel Cordier, who had been Jean Moulin's assistant and, as the possessor of a considerable archive, is writing a life of Moulin (three large volumes have been published). He was therefore both a witness and a historian.
The discussion took place on 17 May, and after many delays caused by the Aubracs themselves it was published on 9 July as a 24-page supplement to the newspaper Liberation, with further articles appearing on the next three days. (It was thought that this was the appropriate newspaper, since the Aubracs had been members of the Liberation Resistance movement and its newspaper Liberation was first published in July 1941.)
Immediately it was made clear that none of the historians believed that it was the Aubracs who had led the Gestapo to Caluire. This was the issue this was what the Aubracs had hoped for. But, to the Aubracs' evident irritation, the historians did not stop there. They raised two major lines of enquiry. There were questions to which the Aubracs could not reply, there were contradictions and oddities in many of their movements.
Raymond Aubrac was first arrested on 15 March 1943, along with several other Resistance organisers. Also seized that day was a suitcase filled with documents relating to the formation of a secret army. This was important news. Within nine days a Vichy official was sending an urgent message to all police commanders, instructing them to look out for this army. The Germans took the news very seriously. Yet Aubrac (using the name of Vallet) was scarcely interrogated by the Germans. He was released after less than two months in prison. Why?
Lucie claimed that she had frightened the French prosecutor. She had told him that Vallet had been sent by de Gaulle: to prove it she got the BBC to send out a coded message that the judge could hear. But Daniel Cordier told her that no such message had been sent.
At Caluire eight men had been arrested. They were all sent to Paris (Moulin to his death). Only Vallet remained in Lyons. He was not tortured. Why was he so favoured? Did Barbie know that he was Aubrac, an important figure in the secret army? Sometimes Aubrac said he did and sometimes he said that he did not. In the 17 May discussion he said that he did not know.
Lucie, preparing for the organised escape of her husband, went to Gestapo headquarters in Lyons several times. She claims that she went in and out without anyone stopping her. Is this credible?
Other examples could be given, but it is clear that Lucie is a fabulatist and that her husband is mysterious. If one were to follow his career one has to ask why de Gaulle dismissed him as Commissaire de la Republique in Marseilles after five months why in 1946 Ho Chi Minh was staying in his house at Soisy-sous-Montmorency why the Czech police archives mention him as having dealt with Communist party funds why President Vincent Auriol and French intelligence were concerned about his activities.
The historians at the round table were not killers, they were searching for the truth. To do this they had to challenge those who had made themselves the stars of a great drama.
Moulin was born in Caen, Calvados.  In his youth he was educated at the Collège des Jésuites at Caen, eventually taking employment as an engineer.  He briefly joined an infantry regiment in Brittany, and then found employment as a geographer until 1788.   When the Revolution began in 1789, he volunteered for the Paris National Guard.  His pro-revolutionary sentiment developed into a solid political affiliation, and he became widely considered a steady and reliable member of the Jacobins. 
Moulin served the French First Republic as a general during the French Revolutionary Wars. Promoted to adjutant major in 1791, he rapidly advanced to the position of divisional general by 1793.  He commanded Republican forces during the war in the Vendée, and served with distinction at the Battle of Saumur. 
Although he was not a figure of national stature, Moulin was nonetheless elevated to the French executive branch of government by fortuitous circumstances. He happened to be in the capital with his army at a critical moment of political upheaval, the Coup of 30 Prairial Year VII.  Presented as an acceptable alternative to the Directors who were purged in the coup, Moulin was supported by his friend the vicomte de Barras,  and he was appointed to the Directory in June 1799. 
Moulin did not remain in office for very long. With his appointment – and the simultaneous elevation of Roger Ducos, a Council deputy supported by the Abbé Sieyès – the Directory assumed its final incarnation. Moulin, Ducos, Barras, Sieyès, and Louis-Jérôme Gohier led the Directory until its dissolution after the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire. 
When the coup d'état occurred, the senior member Barras submitted  and the Directory officially resigned.  Moulin strongly protested the abrogation of the Directory's powers by the ascendant supporters of Napoleon Bonaparte, but his efforts were ignored.  Moulin and Gohier were held prisoners by troops led by General Jean Victor Marie Moreau until the two signed papers of resignation (10 November 1799). 
Moulin eventually became reconciled to Napoleon and returned to military life as a commander in the Grande Armée. He served for several years in the Napoleonic Wars until his health began to decline and he returned to France. He died in Pierrefitte, Seine, on 12 March 1810. 
The Iconic Windmill
Postcard from 1936 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)
Why is there a windmill on the Moulin Rouge? While the exact reason is not crystal clear, historians believe that Oller and Zidler crowned the cabaret with a windmill as an homage to Montmartre. In the 18th century, several windmills inhabited the village. In 1809, two of these structures&mdashthe Blute-fin (also known as the Moulin de la Galette) and the Radet, which were used to mill flour and press local grapes, respectively&mdashwere purchased by the Debray family. Years later, they were converted into guinguettes, or drinking establishments. With this in mind, it is likely that Oller and Zidler aimed to keep Montmartre's moulin-based guinguette tradition alive.
Unfortunately, the windmill that we see atop the Moulin Rouge today isn't the one that was erected in 1889. On February 27, 1915, a fire ravaged the original Moulin Rouge, dramatically sparing little in its path. “Montmartre&rsquos famous music-hall, the Moulin Rouge, is little more than a heap of ashes now,” reported the International Herald Tribune the following day. “Early yesterday morning a fire broke out in a property room&mdashprobably owing to a short circuit&mdashand in a few moments it had spread to the entire building and by eight o&rsquoclock, when the firemen at last got the conflagration under control, only the façade and a portion of the stage remained standing.”
The Hardy controversy
René Hardy , alias Didot , an influential member of the Résistance de Fer group (resistance in the area of the French state railways) and a specialist in railroad sabotage, was arrested by the Gestapo on June 7, 1943 and after being interrogated by Barbie in the notorious torture room of the Hotel Terminus released. On June 21, the Gestapo followed him to the above-mentioned meeting at the doctor's house in Caluire, to which Hardy was actually not invited, and was thus led to Jean Moulin, who had not heard of Hardy's presence beforehand. Everyone present was arrested, only Hardy escaped. The Germans opened fire on him, but he was only slightly injured. He received medical attention in the hospital and escaped the Gestapo guards a second time.
It was then suspected that he was released after betraying the others, not least because he was the only one who had not attended the last-minute meeting in Paris on June 9th. There is the thesis that Hardy was arrested since June 7th and released in a cat and mouse game by Klaus Barbie. According to others, René Hardy was just too carefree. Two trials in 1947 and 1950 sought to convict René Hardy as a traitor, and both concluded that he was innocent.