The first two days being free, there should be a lot of people this weekend at the Citadel of Besançon (Doubs), on the occasion of the opening to the public of the Museum of Resistance and Deportation. Created in 1971, on the initiative of Denise Lorach, a former deportee, the museum was completely redesigned after three and a half years of closure and 5.4 million euros of work.
One of the great originalities of this museum, more devoted to political deportation, is to be installed in the heart of the citadel of Vauban. A place that welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year, attracted in particular by the animals in the zoo. “Visitors, who didn’t necessarily come for that, will go through the door and discover this museum. And that is very interesting”, notes Vincent Briand, the director of the museum.
A manuscript by Germaine Tillon
Only a small part of the thousands of objects and documents from the museum’s collections will be exhibited. And for many, it will be an opportunity to discover this astonishing concentration camp art. “It’s one of the great treasures of our collections,” adds Vincent Briand. These creations, sometimes very modest, often fragile, tell of a space of resistance and freedom that some were able to create during deportation. Drawing, writing, it was forbidden and therefore synonymous with danger for the deportees, this did not prevent them from creating in very difficult conditions. »
Among the outstanding pieces, the original manuscript of the “Verfügbar aux Enfers”, an operetta composed by the great resistant Germaine Tillionnow buried in the Pantheon, to distract the other inmates of the Ravensbrück camp where she was deported.
Visitors will also be able to discover the series of drawings, 148 in all, produced by Jeannette L’Herminier, also deported to Ravensbrück. “She hadn’t learned to draw, she didn’t dare to attack faces. We therefore have an exceptional group of women deported in their daily lives but embellished with respect to reality. Among these faceless portraits, that of Charlotte, the older sister of Juliette Gréco, deported with their mother.
These objects, given their great fragility, are intended to be exhibited for limited periods. Next to the entrance to the museum, the posts where 100 detainees from the Citadel of Besançon were shot during the Occupation have also been restored. Four posts planted forever…