The patriotic demonstrations of the summer of 1940 in Metz, as seen by Moselle refugees

Josette Grandidier-Léonard: « We shun their parades and organisations. We celebrate with more fervour the feast of the Assumption, which is religious but also patriotic because it commemorates the consecration of France to the Virgin Mary by Louis VIII. Bouquets of cornflowers, daisies and poppies are placed at the feet of the Virgin. The Germans understand.

Georges Guérin: « On 15 August in Metz, on the Place Saint-Jacques – there is a large column surmounted by a Virgin made after the return of the Moselle to France in 1918 – I was present with my parents. There were religious and patriotic songs.

The arrival of the Vigy* expellees in Mussidan (26th November 1940)

Extract from the report of the special commissioner of territorial surveillance in residence at Mussidan: « The station provided assistance to the evacuee service at the time of the train’s arrival, to ensure order and help the infirm and the elderly to get off the compartments, with the help of the Gendarmerie. About ten sick Lorraineans were accommodated by the hospital in Mussidan. It is worth noting, among the latter, the presence of a 94 year old woman, almost entirely paralysed, who was, in spite of everything, evicted.

*Moselle village annexed by the Reich.

Living conditions of the Moselle expellees in Mussidanais

Josette Grandidier-Léonard: « The municipality of Mussidan […] provided us with mattresses, blankets, stoves and kitchen utensils. Then, with the help of volunteers, each of us looked for accommodation, either with private individuals or in barracks […] We were called « refugias ». We consider ourselves to be exiles; we go through phases of depression when we reflect on our fate, but we also have moments of optimism when we get together in each other’s homes and talk about our Vigy […] We also have our badge, which is tricoloured of course, and is embossed with the Lorraine cross and the swallow, the symbol of our return home.

Jean-Marie Genevaux: « We were immediately welcomed by the people of Mussidan, unlike what had happened with the Alsatians: they spoke a dialect that people assimilated to the German language […]. The Moselle people spoke French, and as they knew they were in the Dordogne for a while, they looked for work. So they mingled with the population and integration was very quick.