Bernard’s family originally came from Poland, but Bernard grew up in France not far from the Luxembourg border. When his father became concerned about the state of affairs in Germany, the family moved to southern France, in what would become the Vichy zone. When the family learned that the Gestapo was looking for Bernard’s father, they separated and went into hiding. Taken into a Catholic school, a young Bernard took on the identity Jacques Cardinal and became a messenger for the Resistance, a job he maintained through his early teens and most of the war. When that Resistance cell was discovered, he went back into hiding and re-emerged as Jacques Maurin. At this time Bernard was recruited by the Maquis, the armed branch of the French Resistance. He participated in several missions as the Allies began the D-Day landings to the north. After France was liberated, Bernard was fortunate to be re-united with his family members, all of whom had survived the war and the Jewish deportations out of Vichy. They made their way to the United States in 1949.
I met Bernard Mussmand, through my father George Masters. I was able to interview him at his home in Portland, Maine in December 2008.
Click next video below to keep watching
- 1. On becoming a messenger in the Resistance
- 2. Going in to the Resistance; Military Training and Identities
- 3. The Deportations
- 4. La Sixieme - Documents and Being Sold Out
- 5. On his Family Life in 1930s France
- 6. The decision to go into hiding
- 7. On his impressions of anti-Semitism in prewar France
- 8. On his missions as a messenger
- 9. On his pre-WW2 Family life
- 10. On his role in a Maquis Attack
- 11. On May 10, 1940
- 12. On school and propaganda in Vichy
- 13. On the role of the Communist Party in the Resistance