Last Letters of The Manouchian Group February 21, 1944

Marcel Rayman

Sources: David Diamant. Combattants, Héros & Martyrs de la Resistance, editions Renouveau, Paris. 1984. Stephane Courtois, Denis Peschansky and Adam Rayski. Le Sang de L'Etranger, Fayard, Paris. 1989;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor.

Marcel Rayman , 21- year old member of the Equipe Speciale — the Special Team, and one of the most daring of all Resistance fighters, wrote two letters.

Both his brother Simon and his mother had been deported, so his first letter was to his other family members.

Dear Aunt, Uncle and Cousins:

At the moment you read this letter, I'll be no more. I'm going before the firing squad today at 3:00. I regret nothing that I've done. I am completely peaceful and calm. I love you and hope you will live happily. Please give the following note to Mama and Simon if they return some day, as I hope they will.

My dear aunt, I would so much have liked to see you again, as well as my little cousin, who I've almost never seen. I'm together right now with three of my comrades who will meet the same fate as me. We've just received a package from the Red Cross and we're eating like kids all the sweets I so love. I kiss you all one last time; you, my aunt, my uncle, my little Fernande, my little Madeleine, and also my little Elise. Here we are all in ...

I'm sure this will cause you more pain than me.


(He also wrote to his mother)

Little mother,

When you read this letter, I'm sure it will cause you extreme pain, but I will have been dead for a while, and you'll be consoled by my brother who will live happily with you and give you all the joy I would have liked to give you.

Forgive me for not writing at greater length, but we are all so joyful that that it’s impossible to think of the pain you will feel. I can only say one thing, and that’s that I love you more than anything in the world, and I would have liked to live for your sake alone. I love you, I kiss you, but words can’t describe what I feel.

Your Marcel who adores you and who'll think of you up to the last minute. I adore you, and long live life.

My dear Simon. I'm counting on you to do all I can’t do myself. I kiss you, I adore you, I'm content, live happily and make Mama happy the way I would have had I lived. Live the beautiful and joyful life that you will all have. Tell all my friends and comrades that I love them all. Don’t pay any attention if my letter is crazy, but I can’t remain serious. I love everyone and long live life. Let everyone live happily.


Maman and Simon I love you and would love to see you again.