Icon by Omar RamirezFrench Resistance

During World War Two many peoples were astonished at the mass genocide committed by the Nazis. Due to the horrors taking place many formed resistance groups. These groups were composed of Jews and non-Jews alike. Members came from all classes of society and walks of life with one goal in common, to at any cost hurt the Nazi effort. The men and women of this lattice organization realized that they could not stop the Nazis, however their goal was to slow them down in order to help many escape. These resistance groups were located in all parts of Europe. Activities included the bombing of bridges and roads in order to slow down the cattle cars carrying many to their death. They were buying time. One can compare this secret organization to the underground railroad in the United States during World War Two. Members of this secret organization risked their lives and the lives of their families to save others. Safe houses were set up en route where Jews were given warm clothing and shelter for the night on their way out of Nazi territory. The resistance groups obtained false papers in order to get many Jews into safety.

The execution of Polish hostages in retaliation for an attack on a German police station
by members of the underground organization "White Eagle".
Photo from the USHMM Archives.

The men and women of these resistance groups risked everything for their beliefs. In order to become a member of the French resistance groups they went under many tests of character. One being to see if they would kill a fellow member thought to be a traitor. The gun would be empty but the test was to see if they would pull the trigger. These tests of character were incredibly important to the cause. Members had to be strong willed and not driven by pure emotion, meaning that their emotions could not get in the way of reaching their goal. Many were put on the hit lists of the Gestapo, but that did not stop them their need for the killing to end just grew stronger.

The members of the resistance groups are heroes. Not only do survivors owe them their lives but their children and generations to come shall remember their heroic deeds.