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Floréal Barrier

in the Buchenwald Memorial, 2009. Photo: Peter Hansen. SGBuMD

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Floréal Barrier mit dem ehemaligen Buchenwald-Häftling José Fosty

in 2009 during Fosty's exhibition opening at the Buchenwald Memorial. Photo: Peter Hansen. SGBuMD

Biographie of Floréal Barrier

Born in Trélazé (France) in 1922.

Learned the printing trade and became a member of the French Communist Party in 1940.

Following the German occupation of France, he participated in the resistance against the Nazis. The German occupying forces already had their sights on Floréal Barrier as early as March 1941. On 27 February 1943 he was arrested in Saint Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees, near the border to Spain. After being held in custody in prisons and camps in Bayonne, Bordeaux and Compiègne, he was deported to Buchenwald Concentration Camp on 18 September 1943. There he received inmate number 21802, was assigned to Barrack 40 and compelled to perform forced labour in the quarry, Construction I and Gustloff Works labour detachments.

Floréal Barrier was a member of the inmates’ resistance organization in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. In the “brigade française d’action libératrice”, he was actively involved in the operation by which the inmates gained control of the camp on 11 April 1945. The SS guard units had fled the camp in view of the advancing 3rd U.S. Army.

After liberation and a period of several years in which he gradually regained his health after the damages caused it by concentration camp imprisonment, Floréal Barrier worked as a typesetter in Tours. From 1961 until his retirement in January 1982, he was a “correcteur d’imprimerie” in the “Imprimerie Nationale”, Paris.

Floréal Barrier is a member of the national executive committee of the Association Française Buchenwald-Dora et Kommandos as well as its treasurer. Since 1986 he has also served as treasurer to the International Committee of Buchenwald-Dora and Subcamps, and since 1994 as chairman of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation inmates’ advisory board on Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

Floréal Barrier is an officer in the French legion of honour.