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When the fascists came to Gorde.
I’ve taken a break from my regular posts while we are traveling through France.
Last week we were in Paris.
This week, with the town of Isle Sur La Sorgue as our base, we have been making day trips to the beautiful hill towns of Provence.
Yesterday we were in Gorde, which claims to be the most beautiful of Provençal villages.
In recent years it has been home to movie stars and artists. The former French socialist president, Francois Mitterand, kept a home in Gorde along with his mistress.
The views of the surrounding valley is spectacular and even in late September the streets of filled will tourists like us.
In the center of town is the usual monument to the fallen of World War I and World War II.
But I was curious about the plaque on the third side of the monument since all the names were followed by the same date of their deaths: 1944.
I soon discovered the story.
Gorde was known during the War as a center of anti-fascist resistance to German occupation.
On 21 August 1944, a German patrol was attacked by those who supported Free France.
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The day after, 22 August, the village was subject to violent reprisals.
Twenty Gorde homes were destroyed by German planes dropping bombs.
On the ground German fascist troops forced the inhabitants to enter their own homes, shooting those who were late or not cooperating.
This all took place just 8 months before the German surrender.
In retaliation for the killing of a German soldier, those whose names are on the plaque in the Gorde town square were murdered in a vengeance killing by the fascists.
All this destruction brought the municipality the sad privilege to appear amongst three "stricken cities" of the Vaucluse.
After the war, Gorde received the Croix de Guerre with Silver Star by the French government.