Pau: the new Resistance museum inaugurated and its rooms named after Béarn heroes

“Everything was ready two years ago but there was the Covid and some important work to finalize”, delivered Gérard Glacial. The president of the museum since 2019 presented this special morning, which consisted in revealing one by one the names of the five rooms of the museum. The day continued…

“Everything was ready two years ago but there was the Covid and some important work to finalize”, delivered Gérard Glacial. The president of the museum since 2019 presented this special morning, which consisted in revealing one by one the names of the five rooms of the museum. The day continued in the afternoon with a play at the André-Labarrère media library.


The logo of the Resistance and Deportation Museum was designed by Claire Bonnasse-Gahot, a young design graduate from the Pau School of Art and Design. It uses the codes of Béarn (beret, Pic d’Ossau) and the Resistance (barbed wire, face in the shadows).

David Le Deodic/SOUTH WEST

The large conference room, this large rectangle where the guests of the day and a dozen young flag bearers have settled, now bears the name “Honoré and Yves Baradat”. “Honoré Baradat had participated with Ambroise Bordelongue and Louis Ducau in the first resistance meeting at the center café, right next to here”, recalled the president. Which underlined how much Honoré Baradat, founding member of the association, had mobilized to create a museum worthy of the name.

“I was not resistant, I only made false papers”

The second room is named after Jean and Andrée Orgeval, Righteous Among the Nation. The third takes the name Michel Olazabal, Pyrenean smuggler whose daughter Annie has wonderfully recalled the story of her parents. “My mother always said: ‘I wasn’t in the Resistance, I was just making false papers.’ When my father was arrested, she was pregnant, the network took her in hand. We transformed her from a petite brunette to a platinum blonde with high heels, outrageously made up. She finished her pregnancy sent to the maquis of Rieumes and to Noé. »

The president of the Resistance and Deportation Museum, Gérard Glacial, accompanied by young flag bearers.


The president of the Resistance and Deportation Museum, Gérard Glacial, accompanied by young flag bearers.

David Le Deodic/SOUTH WEST

Separated from her husband for eighteen months, Jeanne-Marie Pinque, Olazabal’s wife, could make sure that her husband was alive when she heard the message “Michel’s hair is growing” on the radio. The visitor will discover all the malice of this Army of Shadows by noting that the ferryman was bald!

The fourth piece devoted to deportation is called “Jeanne Mesplé-Lassalle”, named after a teacher deported to Ravensbrück. The long corridor upstairs bears the name of René Rouy, former member of the Corps Franc Pommiès and president of the museum from 2009 to 2019. Finally, the last room bears that of Jacques Billoret, a 20-year-old young resistance fighter executed in Pau a few hours before the Liberation, after being boarded following a shooting in the rue de Ségure.

The theatrical arrival of resistance fighters (actors) aboard an FFI Traction, the French Forces of the Interior.


The theatrical arrival of resistance fighters (actors) aboard an FFI Traction, the French Forces of the Interior.

David Le Deodic/SOUTH WEST

“80 years ago, in 1942, it seemed like there was no longer any hope,” said the mayor of Pau, François Bayrou, in a speech where he drew several parallels with the resistance. Ukrainian today. “There were not many who had decided that they had to fight even if there was no prospect of success. […] There is the will of men and women. It takes strength of character and a form of casualness in the face of danger, madness to stand up here against the inevitable. This commitment had to be honored. That’s why we wanted this museum. »

Yvon Baradat discovered the plaque which baptizes the main hall of the museum with the names of his father and grandfather.


Yvon Baradat discovered the plaque which baptizes the main hall of the museum with the names of his father and grandfather.

Romain Bély

Pau: the new Resistance museum inaugurated and its rooms named after Béarn heroes