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Cecile Rol-Tanguy

Cécile Rol-Tanguy (2020), World War II French resistance hero

by Kirk Fox

Cécile Rol-Tanguy was a French resistance hero during World War II who helped liberate Paris from the Nazis.  

  • Died: Friday, May 8, 2020 (Who else died on May 8?) 
  • Details of Death: Died at the age of 101 at her home in Monteaux, France.   
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Resistance Fighter 

Cecile Rol-Tanguy and her husband Henri were leaders in the French resistance against the Nazi occupation of France. She would walk the streets of Paris in front of German soldiers carrying her infant daughter while pushing her baby son in a stroller, carrying grenades, pistols, ammunition, and anti-Nazi propaganda hidden in the baby carriage. In August, 1944, Henri led the resistance troops to victory over the Nazis  in a bloody six-day battle, liberating Paris, allowing exiled leader Charles de Gaulle to march victorious through the city. Being communists, Henri and Cecile did not receive proper credit for their bravery until years later. She was decorated as Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, the country’s highest award, by French president  François Hollande in 2014. 

On her role in liberating Paris 

“My strength was always in remaining cool.” On August 19, 1944, using her children as cover, she plastered posters of her husband’s message around as much of Paris as she could. The posters called for immediate insurrection: “Patriots able to carry arms. . . . France is calling you! To arms, citizens! To arms!” – 2012 interview with the Times of London 

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What they said about her

Full Obituary: Washington Post

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