Terrorists in Retirement

1985 Documentary

Not just another documentary on the French resistance movement, this film focuses on one particular group of underground fighters in France: those from Eastern Europe. Many were Jews and all had fled their native countries before the war broke out. They were among the most staunch and fearless enemies of fascism, as shown here in personal interviews and memoirs of war-time experiences. But the most famous of these immigrants were 23 who were rounded up among several hundred Parisians in 1943, tried for their activities, and executed -- all were immigrants under the leadership of the Armenian poet Manouchian. After their execution, Paris was papered with posters decrying these 23 martyrs as "foreign communists."