Read the Signs: Rue Guy-Môquet in Paris

Read the Signs: Rue Guy-Môquet in Paris

The name of Guy Môquet is given to a street in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, and also to a métro station in the same district. The street was first known as the rather mundane Chemin des Boeufs (‘Cow Alley’, more or less), and was later changed to Rue Balagny (in honour of Auguste Balagny, the first mayor of the arrondissement).

A stamp in honor of Guy Môquet

In 1945, however, it was renamed again, taking the name of a young Résistance militant who resided nearby, until he was executed by occupying forces. On his final day, he wrote such a poignant letter to his parents that it was once proposed that it should be read in all high schools on the first day of term.

“Dear mother, father and brother,” the young man wrote. “I am about to die, so I ask you to be brave. For sure, I would have preferred to live, but what I desire with all my heart is that my death serves some purpose.” After expressing his love for his family, he added, “My last thoughts: you, all of you who remain, be deserving of the 27 of us who are about to die”.

From France Today magazine

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Sylvia Edwards Davis is a writer and correspondent based in France with a focus on business and culture. A member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia scans the cultural landscape to bring you the most relevant highlights on current events, art exhibitions, museums and festivals.

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  • Stephanie
    2021-02-17 20:50:12
    It's worth a visit to the platform of the metro station "Guy Moquet" where you can read his letter and learn more about the activities of Moquet and his resistance allies.