A Breaking of Seals. The French Resistance in Slovakia by B. Chnoupek, R. Pynsent, K. Brusak

By B. Chnoupek, R. Pynsent, K. Brusak

A Breaking of Seals is the tale of a quest - the hunt to find the most striking and least remembered occasions of the second one global warfare. This was once the participation within the Slovak rebellion of 1944 of the French infantrymen who escaped from prisoner-of-war camps in Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. less than the management of Captain Georges de Lannurien, they shaped a Detachement francais de opponents de los angeles Tschecoslovaquie which fought beside the Slovak military in the course of the rebellion and which later stood facet by means of part with Slovak partisans as a part of the Stefanik Brigade.

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When they said goodbye, each of them stroked Vlado's head, embraced his father and kissed his mother. And the one who had upset Vlado by laughing when he'd first tried out his French stood to attention and, by way of a farewell, gave the familiar orders: 'Garde-a-vous! Alignement! A droite-droite! . ' Under his breath, unable to raise a smile, Vlado added: Ά gauchegauche! Demi-tour, á droite! ' Goodbye, my friends . . Dark days came. As the Germans drove deeper and deeper into Turiec county, the military court in Sklabiña was evacuated.

A moment or two later he was back, offering 27 28 A Breaking of Seals his closed fist to Vlado as in a guessing game. ' Vlado held out his hand, and received two white sweets. He gave one to his little sister. They did taste good! From then on Vlado was Rene's faithful shadow. He dogged Rene's heels throughout the day, from dawn to dusk. He was fascinated by the safety razor Rene used when he shaved; his own father used a cut­ throat, stropping it on the old army belt he'd brought back from the Great War.

Funny man, I thought. Frenchmen? Well, all right, this was a crazy war. You found all sorts of folk popping up everywhere. But Frenchmen in Slovakia? How the hell had they got here? And whose side were they on—the senile old Marshal who'd said 'We must admit that we are defeated', or the General in London who'd said, 'France has lost a battle, but France has not lost the war'? I didn't have any time to think about it, because another man jumped down from the lorry. ' All this caught me off balance.

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