Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation

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The Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation (“Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation”is a memorial to the 200,000 people who were deported from Vichy France to the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. It is located in Paris, France on the site of a former morgue, underground behind Notre Dame on Île de la Cité. It was designed by French modernist architect Georges-Henri Pingusson and was inaugurated by Charles de Gaulle in 1962.

The memorial features excerpts of works by Louis Aragon, French poet and French Resistance member Robert Desnos, Paul Éluard, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Jean-Paul Sartre.  Fragments of two poems by Desnos, himself a deportee, are inscribed on the walls. The first consists of the last stanza of a poem written pseudonymously by Desnos and published “underground” in Paris, on Bastille Day 1942, “The Heart that Hated War”:

I have dreamt so very much of you,
I have walked so much,
Loved your shadow so much,
That nothing more is left to me of you.
All that remains to me is to be the shadow among shadows
To be a hundred times more of a shadow than the shadow
To be the shadow that will come and come again into
your sunny life.

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