An English translation of Daniel Cordier’s epic portrait and memoir of the French Resistance during WWII.
Daniel Cordier’s fascinating, intimate memoir is a major contribution to our understanding of the fraught and historic relations between General Charles de Gaulle’s Free French and the fractious resistance movements under the Occupation during World War II. As the first young secretary to legendary Jean Moulin, one of the leaders of Conseil National de la Résistance, Cordier recounts Moulin’s tense negotiations to bring together the resistance movements and persuade them to join forces under de Gaulle’s banner between 1942 and ’43. Cordier was a lookout on the fateful day the National Resistance Council was created, confirming de Gaulle’s legitimacy in the eyes of the French people and, crucially, in the eyes of Roosevelt and the Allied leadership. Later in life, Cordier penned his first-hand account of his role in the creation of Jean Moulin’s secretariat in Lyon and then Paris. Alias Caracalla is a brave and passionate story of action and self-discovery in times of war, with Forward and a sensitive and nuanced translation by Rupert Swyer.