TESTIMONY. Landing: “We couldn’t be happy at the Liberation”

TESTIMONY. Landing: “We couldn’t be happy at the Liberation”
TESTIMONY. Landing: “We couldn’t be happy at the Liberation”

By Editorial La Presse de la Manche
Published on

May 4, 24 at 7:16 p.m.

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It’s a rare testimony. Therese Sehier93 years old, recounts how she experienced the Landing, in 1944. This resident of the Saint-François nursing home, in Barneville-Carteret (Manche), recounted her memories of this historical moment with director Patrick James (There is apple) in the presence of France Costa-Torro, president of the cultural association Le Kiosque des Dunes.

“I still have noise in my ears”

“I was 13 and a half years old at the time of the Landings. Mom, always up very early, had a lot of work at home. She was surprised to see in the sky paratroopers, rockets that were launched. She woke up my father, Eugene, at 6 a.m. When I got up, I saw soldiers through the window with ivy on their helmets. They arrived in the courtyard. With my grandmother, my sisters, we hid in the place of a barrel, but the Americans told us to leave because it was too much dangerous», remembers Thérèse.

“My father had dug a trench . The whole family and neighbors were there for three days and three nights, without eating or drinking. There were 18 of them! My father had put a white cloth on the end of a stick and said “family, family” all the time. The soldiers were fightingmelee in the fields. »

This nonagenarian also tells how everything almost changed, how their lives could have ended.

“We were almost killed”

“We arrived at Sainte-Mère-Église where we were almost killed. We slept on straw. It was nice, we opened the door. An American arrived with his rifle. He put us all in a circle, he kept counting us. »

She adds: “He took my father and my cousin out of the circle, took them to the road, ordering them to stand with their arms in the air. At one point my father signaled my cousin to run away. My father was able to jump over a fence. He fell into a trough. He came home soaking wet, we were happy to see him again,” she explains with a smile.

The director then revives this witness to one of the most crucial events in French history by asking if the Landings had been a joyful moment for those who had experienced it. “We couldn’t be happy at the Liberation, there was too many deaths around us. The houses continued to burn. We only thought about saving ourselves,” she replies.

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“He asked me to carry his rifle, I was afraid”

Thérèse tells the back to life , following the Landing: “My pious mother made people say prayers. After 17 days, we found our Housein Amfreville completely destroyed. The curtains were flying in the wind. We still heard the gunshots. The Americans were everywhere and it could be dangerous. Once, I remember, we went to milk the cows in the fields with my sister. We ran with our cans to get help because the Americans were there. A cousin watched while we milked. We were scarred, but we never complained. I remember this sentence from my mother: “We’re going to start again, we’re all here, that’s the main thing. » Life was returning little by little. It took two years before everything returned to normal. We slept in the stable. It cannot be forgotten. »

From our correspondent Chantal LECLERC

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