A Burgundy couple discovered a hidden cache of World War II-era arms that likely belonged to the French Resistance. The cache included pistols and submachine guns as well as grenades and plenty of mags and ammo.
The couple described the cache which included three Sten guns, three pistols, over a dozen grenades and well over a thousand rounds of ammunition. Two of the Sten guns have engravings. One bears the name “Pepette” and the other “Alice.”
The couple donated the cache to a local museum. The museum will put them on display next year in honor of the Maquis who lived there.
The identities of the couple and the original cache’s owner are being kept anonymous. The museum is confirming that these are Maquis weapons.
Aurore Callewaert, the museum curator, substantiated the couple’s claim by tracing the weapons to a known member of the Resistance.
The museum will “demilitarize” or demill the guns before putting them on display next spring. They are being hosted by the Museum of the Resistance in Morvan.
The Resistance museum chronicles the actions of Maquis men and women who fought against the Nazi occupational forces and collaborationist Vichy government. It’s also a memorial to those who fought and died in the Resistance.
Additionally the museum has maps of the region for people to visit the local historical sights including the homes of the Maquis fighters as well as locations of skirmishes, battles, and massacres in the Morvan region.
The underground movement in Morvan started in 1943 with only a handful of volunteers. By the end of the war the local Maquis forces grew to around 600 Resistance fighters.
Nazi occupational forces relied on a network of French informants to root out members of the French Resistance. Toward the end of the war as informants grew scarce the Nazis turned to mass punishments.
In Morvan and across France the Nazis routinely massacred townsfolk unrelated to the Resistance in order to weaken the resolve of its members.