May 8, 1945, as everyone knows, is the date of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany, and the end of World War II in Europe, marked by the surrender of Germany. This day is a public holiday in France. For the record, we can recall that the casualties during this Second World War were in the order of 50 million dead. Something to think about, at a time when some fear fighting the worst war.
77 years later, Sunday May 8 will commemorate the victory of May 8, 1945. In Fijia, the celebration will begin at 9 am with the laying of wreaths at the war memorial at Ceint d’Eau, followed by 9 am at 30 by other wreaths placed on a platform in Venue May 8, 1945. At 10 a.m., the Croix de Guerre of Figeac will be placed in the Town Hall, before the last assembly in front of the War Memorial Place of Reason. In the meantime, mass will be celebrated at 10 am in the Abbey of Saint-Sauveur.
The peculiarity of this celebration will be the pose of the Croix de Guerre de Figeac. Because this decoration, accompanied by a bronze palm tree, bestowed on the city on November 14, 1948 by Paul Ramier, then Minister of Defense, for the « heroic position of its inhabitants during six years of occupation and resistance », contains an anomaly. In fact, it should have been accompanied by a scarlet star instead of a bronze palm.
Two men discovered this anomaly, General Henry Zuid and Pascal Mallet, author of « La grande guerre – les Poilus de Figeac ».
“When I was a City Council member, I was surprised to see a quote from the city with an Army Corps order tied to a bronze palm. So I asked to check the Defense Historical Service which confirmed the error to me. Because if the quote was correct, the Scarlet Star was required and not the Bronze Palm. Upon request Mayor Andre Mellinger, I have taken the official steps to restore all its coherence with the decoration of the city, which at last received the War of Crossing with its scarlet star.”
There are actually four levels of citations. It is awarded the Bronze Star Regiment Ranking, the Silver Star Divisional Ranking, the Army Corps Rank as in Fijia the Scarlet Star, and the Army’s Bronze Palm Rank.
“I have come to realize from my research on the War of 14-18 that the medal hanging in the Council Chamber does not correspond to the quotation, Pascal Mallet on his part explains. The text spoke well of a scarlet star and not a bronze Palm. Speaking with Henry Zuid, he replied that he had informed the authorities It is already local. It is strange that this situation has continued for a long time.”
9-year-old Michelle Renaud is the one who carried the pillow where the cross was placed in 1948. She is Philibert Renaud’s daughter, Filoche by his code name. This hero of the resistance, who was arrested on May 22, 1944 in Dixville, died on March 21, 1945 in Dachau.