Odeon Theater, Paris 75006
This memorial plaque marks the spot where Jacques Guierre was shot. It reads “on August 25th, 1944 here fell Jacques Guierre, 20 years old and a student. FFI* who died for France.” In charge of keeping watch over the area of the nearby Luxembourg Gardens, Jacques was shot by a rooftop sniper at 13h40 as he was leaving a nearby café where he had just ate lunch.
In the book “Ici est Tombé” we meet Anne Marie Beau, who met Jacques through her best friend Odette, his sister. She describes how she never had a romantic relationship with him, but its very obvious she loved him. Anne Marie was 18 in the spring of 1944 and looking back at her letters to her parents from that time, they all revolved around Jacques and the time they spent together discussing literature, art, and going to the theater.
She remarks how she doesn’t believe they ever spoke of the German occupation or fear of bombing. Jacques lived with his uncle in a tiny apartment on the rue Lhomond in the 5th and he wasn’t elegant or interested in typical beauty. She says he often wore his Uncle or brother’s drabby hand me downs. He was an artist, and she fondly recalls him showing her his watercolors. They lost contact after Easter and she later discovered he was in love with another young lady so she didn’t reach out to him. She learned of his death from his sister Odette and she remembers crying a lot after. She finds it fitting that he loved the theater, and he died in front of one.
Taken from “Ici est Tombé : Paroles sur la Liberation de Paris“ Philippe Castetbon, 2004 https://www.amazon.fr/Ici-est-tomb%C3%A9-Paroles-Lib%C3%A9ration/dp/2915293112
*FFI stood for Forces françaises de l’intérieur and was the official name given to French Resistance fighters.