Testimony - Austrian Resistant 93 years old *
> What does the CNRD represent for you?
In 1938, the Nazis entered Austria and led harsh repression against German and Austrian opponents. From there, I started to fight clandestinely. After the war I was very active in many associations such as the Friends of the Resistance, but the CNRD is very close to my heart.
For over 50 years, that is to say almost since its inception, I have worked with the youth taking part in this competition, to defend our remembrance obligation. My husband, Lucien Volle was a journalist and a great figure in the resistance (LAFAYETTE group) in Puy-en-Velay. He died 3 years ago, but in his lifetime, we were both committed to keeping the memory of the Resistance alive, to learning and explaining it to young people, to awaken their conscience. Since, I continue without him, and while I do not like talking about myself, I must perpetuate this testimony, as a tribute to friends who fell defending our cause.
> What purpose do you think it has today?
To me, this is a very important competition. It is on a volunteer basis and requires a lot of extra work from students and their teachers who help them with their thoughts and understanding of the war and the commitment to the resistance.
Even though it was a bit tiring for me, I was happy to accompany the Masset-Fourneyron students to the Elysee to receive their prize. I get a lot from young people, you know. I remain profoundly optimistic and I tell them that life is beautiful and that we always learn from one another. I am fortunate to be able to talk to both French and German young people! I always tell them "your future is you! "
> What will the CNRD be like in 20 years time in your opinion?
My dearest wish would of course be that the competition continues to exist after the witnesses of my generation have passed on. However, my fear is that it will suffer from the lack of resources and volunteers. This makes it all the more important to convey this memory to the youth, so that in turn they may continue to remember and carry messages for future generations. It is also a good thing that the Ministry of Defence is at their side for this.
*Mrs. Mélanie Volle received the Legion of Honour and the Merit Badge of the Republic of Austria from the Austrian president.
Ministry of Defence - SGA/DMPA/SDMAE/BAPI - Report by Marie-Christine Caubet. Iconographic sources:
participatory contribution by students and their teachers. - © Presidency of the French Republic – Élysée.fr