26 April 1924 — 22 October 1941
Guy Môquet was born to a Communist leader in France after World War I. His father, Prosper, was arrested in 1939 and sent to jail in early 1940. A year later he was sent to a prison in Algeria.
Guy took to politics early, following in his father’s footsteps. While his family fled to the northern coast after Prosper’s arrest, Guy stayed in Paris and became an active participant in the young Communist movement. He distributed flyers and placed stickers on German posters. At the end of 1940 he was arrested at Gare de l’Est Metro station and interrogated. He was asked to give up senior members of the Communist Party. He refused and was imprisoned.
A year later, members of the Communist Party assassinated a German commanding officer and 50 Communist prisoners were arranged to be executed in retaliation. Môquet was one of them. Upon learning of his fate, he wrote a final letter home. The letter began with “My darling Mummy, my adored brother, my much loved Daddy, I am going to die!” It ended with “I embrace you with all my child’s heart. Be brave!” Along with the other prisoners, he was executed after choosing not to wear a blindfold and yelled, “Vive la France”.
He has become an idol of the French Resistance and of French national pride. In Paris, there is a Metro station and street named after him. Each year on the anniversary of his death, most schools in France recite his letter.