Education and Defence at the service of the CNRD

Full details about the CNRD here


Created in 1961, the Concours National de la Résistance et de la Déportation (CNRD) presents a unique opportunity for young people to ask questions about their country’s history and how it sheds light on the present, as well as the memories that issue from it. The competition is also an essential medium for passing on memory, as much as it is a medium for civic education in the present, since it encourages the younger generation to think about the concept of engagement for freedom and justice.

The project work produced for the CNRD is the result of a joint effort by students, teaching staff and remembrance foundations. In this way, this educational competition, the biggest in the country, contributes to reinforcing the link between two major institutions: Defence and Education.


Between 30 000 and 40 000 students take part in the competition each year. In 2017-18, the theme was “Engaging to liberate France”. It was a chance for students and their teachers to explore the wide-ranging forms of wartime resistance. In what ways did art and literature constitute weapons for some resistance fighters? How to create under the occupation, when faced with censorship and repression? What different forms of artistic resistance were there? What risks were taken by these politically engaged artists? What place is there in the national memory today for this history?


Through their research, visits and spirit of creativity, the competition entrants sought to answer these questions.


The theme of the 2018-19 competition is: “Repression and deportation in France and Europe, 1939-45. Places and history.”


In 2015, it was announced that the competition was to be reformulated to make it more widely accessible and ensure greater recognition of the students’ work, something which the Ministry of Defence’s Directorate for Remembrance, Heritage and Archives (DMPA) is committed to achieving, in particular by publishing articles about the project work carried out in the classroom (70 CNRD projects were funded by the DMPA in 2016) and investing in the organisation of the national award ceremony.


The ceremony, which takes place on 22 January 2019, is also an opportunity to recognise the winning projects, and contributes to the construction of the competition memory. As such, it is a high point in the CNRD process.