This exhibition tells the incredible story of the commitment of the icon of French cinema, Jean Gabin, during the Second World War. Dozens of personal items are presented as well as unpublished photos and archives but also a tank like the one he led. Many events will take place during this exhibition which will welcome on many occasions, the son of Jean Gabin, Mathias Moncorgé.
Discover Jean Gabin’s involvement in World War II, eighty years after he enlisted in the United States in April 1943.
Inside this exhibition on more than 200m2, the public discover dozens of personal pieces of the actor (including the jacket worn during “La traversée de Paris”), photos and unpublished archives, audiovisual resources … A Tank Destroyer M10, identical to the famous “Souffleur II” led by Jean Gabin at the end of the war, will also be on display.
Jean Gabin, a man who constantly refused the easy way.
After the 1940 debacle and the beginning of the occupation, many show business personalities stayed in Paris and adapted to the new established order. However, in February 1941, the idea of continuing his profession and his life under these conditions being unbearable to him, Gabin decided to leave for the United States, leaving everything behind. While a career in Hollywood was in his sights, the same desire not to remain “hidden” and to do something for his country animated him when in 1943, he made his request to join the French fighting forces and thus return to the old continent.
Jean Gabin becomes Jean Moncorgé again.
After shooting The Imposter at the request of General De Gaulle, a propaganda film for the Leclerc army in Africa, his wish was finally granted. He then became a second master in the marine fusiliers under his real name: Jean Moncorgé. An instructor in Algeria during 1944, he finally managed to integrate the Armored Regiment of the Marine Fusiliers, under the direction of General Leclerc, with whom he landed in Brest in January 1945. For the few months of the war that remained, Jean Moncorgé, claustrophobic and pyrophobic, commanded the Souffleur II tank and took part in the fighting in Alsace-Moselle, in the Royan pocket, and then in the capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, in Berchtesgaden.
Organiser: Normandy Victory Museum - Musée de la bataille des haies