‘We’ve been there’: French Resistance fighters speak out against rule by the far right

In the run-up to the second round of legislative elections in France, former members of the resistance to Nazi rule are voicing their concerns over the possibility of a far-right government taking power. They urge the French people not to forget the legacy, spirit and values of the French Resistance during the Second World War.

Eleven days ago, Franco-Austrian Mélanie Berger-Volle was filled with immense joy when she was selected by the Loire département, or district, in central France to carry the Olympic flame due to her participation in the Resistance during the Second World War.

The 102-year-old carried the flame in a retirement home in the city of Saint-Étienne, with a broad smile on her face. "I was very happy to show that an elderly person could carry the flame. It made me so happy", she said.

But now, three days after the far-right National Rally party (RN) came out on top in the first round of legislative elections, the former résistante spoke with a heavy heart.

"I'm appalled that France, which has achieved so much, is turning to the far right," she said, adding that “I’ve no choice but to speak my mind”.

‘I'll vote for anyone, but not for them’

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