Floréal Barrier

1922 (Trélazé, France) - 2015 (Cagnes-sur-Mer, France)


"Explain to the younger generation the value of the words ‘peace’ and ‘freedom’. Speak out for LIFE that leads to a future of peace, beauty, goodness and solidarity ‒ in other words, leads simply to LIFE!"

Floréal Barrier was born in Trélazé, France on 3 January 1922. He grew up to learn the printing trade, and joined the French Communist Party (PCF) in 1940. Following the German occupation of France, he participated in resistance efforts against the Nazis.

As early as March 1941, the German occupying forces became aware of Barrier. On 27 February 1943, he was arrested in Saint Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees, close to the Spanish border. Following arrest, he spent time in the Bayonne, Bordeaux, Frontstalag 122 and Compiègne prisons, and was then deported to Buchenwald Concentration Camp on 18 September 1943. There he received the inmate number 21802, was housed in Block 40 and forced to work in the quarry, Construction 1 and Gustloff Works labour detachments.Barrier was a member of the inmates’ resistance organization in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He was active in the "Brigade française d’action libératrice" and in the takeover of the camp on 11 April 1945. Before this, the SS guard units had been driven out by the U.S. Third Army.

After the liberation and the several years of convalescence required to restore his damaged health, Barrier worked as a typesetter in Tours. From 1961 until retirement in January 1982, he was a "correcteur d'imprimerie" in the Imprimerie Nationale in Paris. Barrier is a member of the national committee of the Association Française Buchenwald-Dora et Kommandos and its treasurer. Since 1986, he has also served as the treasurer of the International Committee of Buchenwald-Dora and Subcamps, and since 1994 he has been chairman of the Inmates’ Advisory Board at the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation. Floréal Barrier is an officer in the French Legion of Honour.

He died in Cagnes-sur-Mer on 25 October 2015.