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Foreign Patriots of France (2006)|
Germans within the Resistance
Authors: Frank Gutermuth and Wolfgang Schoen
Around three thousand Germans fought within the Resistance – a fact which is largely unknown in Germany and even France. Also known as “Foreign Patriots of France”, they not only were fighters against a common enemy, the National Socialism. Above all, they were pioneers of the German-French friendship.
As Jews, Communists and dissidents they did not match the Nazi’s “racial-ideological” picture, had to flee from their country. Others came as soldiers of the armed forces. Their rejection of the inhuman occupying German politics lead to a fraternisation with the Resistance. Not little of the victims of persecution have settled in the neighbouring country after the enforced emigration. Stayed in France after war. Though most have returned to their persecutor’s country with the aim to establish a new, just Germany.
After the war, their partisanship with the French was hardly appreciated. On the opposite. Many Germans saw the German Resistance fighters as “traitor to their fatherland” and remained until today. Also in the GDR, the former members of the resistance were suspicious during the Cold War from time to time. Because the Resistence also worked with western intelligence services.
For the first time
For the first time in a documentary, the people from the French Resistance who fought against the Nazi-occupants from their home country get a chance to speak: Peter Gingold, Kurt Hälker, Hans Heisel, Gerhard Leo and Henriette Dreifuss. The biographies of the last living German participants of the French struggle for liberation are exciting but also harrowing evidences of an inhuman era. In our film, they describe their motivations to have fought inside the French Resistance against their own fellow countrymen. A conflicting endeavour for all five of them. They report about the flight from Germany, tell vividly about their shame, about atrocities committed by the Germans and about their fight for humanity and freedom.