Last letters of The Manouchian Group February 21, 1944

Willy Szapiro

Source: David Diamant. Combattants, Héros & Martyrs de la Resistance, editions Renouveau, Paris. 1984;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor.

Willy Szapiro, Polish Jew, former member of the Palestine Communist Party, who was a Communist militant in Austria after the anschluss, and headed a labor organization in France before joining the Resistance, wrote twice to his pregnant wife.

My beloved child,

After four months, I can at last write a beautiful but, alas, sad letter, for I'm going before the firing squad.

I had four tough months, but I never weakened, for I know to what cause I had dedicated my life. Naturally, it’s painful to abandon beautiful life. I hope that by now our child has entered the world, and he can’t know his father.

I send you many dreams, my dear, as well as to our little darling.

Bring our children up in the same spirit.

I am not alone in giving my life in this struggle.


Dear little Henriette,

It’s my last letter. This afternoon we'll be executed. Not very agreeable, but it’s the struggle. Naturally I would have preferred the battlefield, unfortunately I didn’t have the luck. Too bad, no need to cry. I confide to you my two little ones. I die tranquilly for I know we have many friends especially personally in you (sic).

I regret that I can’t see you and kiss you before dying. The last three days after my condemnation I was with two young Frenchman and I learned to love France even more. What good spirits!

Farewell my little one, farewell all my friends, farewell beautiful France.


I can’t write because I'm too cold and a thousand kisses to all of you.