Musmond Untitled 4 Musmond A.Ferrieres lttr p1 Musmond A.Ferrieres lttr p2 Musmond cig card side a Musmond cig card side b Musmond IMG 1739 Musmond school ID Musmond clean resized x3 Musmond france map withinfo

Bernard Musmand


Bernard Musmand was born in 1930 in Metz, France. The Nazi takeover in 1940 forced his family to move to the south of France, which was outside of German control. They sent Bernard to a boarding school where he posed as a Catholic. There he became a courier for the Sixieme, a resistance group, and transported falsified papers for those escaping Nazi persecution.

Bernard often came face to face with Germans or with French sympathizers, but he knew how to act confident and had a trick to ask for the time or a match in perfect German. This eased any suspicions others might have of his true identity. His youth and his chutzpah saved him countless times.

When the Gestapo came to the boarding school looking for Bernard, the dean arranged his escape before the Germans could capture him. Bernard went to Millaut and again joined the Sixieme, all of whom joined the Maquis armed resistance. Aged fourteen and very afraid, Bernard went into an ambush against Nazi troops, gaining bravery once in battle.

When the French Army reformed he was made Second Lieutenant, but given a desk job. Refused permission to fight on the German front, he revealed in exasperation his age and Jewish identity. Within two weeks he was relieved of duty and sent back to his family and his schoolmates.

“It was an exciting time, in certain ways,” Bernard remembers. “I wish and hope it will never come back, but everything counted and you felt life was precious.” As a young man he swore, though, never to speak German again. “I knew it was hateful; I know what the Germans did for Israel — but I can’t forget.” Bernard has not since uttered a word of the invader’s language.

Bernard passed away in January, 2010.

Community Stories

Poland Partisans

Rochelle Sutin (Schleif)


Rochelle Schleif was born on July 15, 1924 and grew up in Stolpce, Poland. Her father was a very successful businessman. As a child, Rochelle experienced anti-Semitism in her...

Read More

Other Partisans

Pesach (Paul) Friedberg


Pesach (Paul) Friedberg Pesach Friedberg, the youngest of three brothers, was born in Novogrudek, Poland, on September 15, 1918. He never knew his father, Eli, who was murdered during...

Read More

Recently Added

Pesach (Paul) Friedberg


Pesach (Paul) Friedberg Pesach Friedberg, the youngest of three brothers, was born in Novogrudek, Poland, on September 15, 1918. He never knew his father, Eli, who was murdered during...

Read More