Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Robert Lynen A Brave Young Man

This is one of those times when a small slip of paper among a pile catches your eye and leads you to a story, almost like it wants to be found. The young chap in the photo above is pictured in a still from a film. It took a little tracking down because the card is Dutch and has the Dutch title of what is actually a French film from 1932 that translates into English as The Red Head. The guy in the photo is just 12 years old, he was the son of artistic parents, living in Paris he was 'discovered' by filmmaker Julien Duvivier. This was his first film but he made a number and had a career on the stage as well.

He was, it turns out, an exceptionally brave young man who, at the start of WW2 joined the French resistance and used his acting career as a cover for his activities. But he was discovered, arrested, tortured and interned by the Gestapo. After two escape attempts he was executed by firing squad. This brave young man was only 23 years old. Next week he would perhaps have celebrated his 94th birthday.

UPDATE: See also,


Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

That's such a moving story, and the image on the postcard, becomes the more heartbreaking in the light of it. Thank you, Callum, for posting this.

Kevin Dean said...

I've seen the film and the equally good, silent 1925 version but had no idea about Lynen. Thank you for posting.

Paul Craft said...

I've Tweeted this post, because I love your interest in unveiling lost and, otherwise forgotten, people

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