After Northern France fell to the Nazis, Lyon became the seat of the
French Resistance. Information, arms, and supplies flowed across the
mountains and into the city, where the nation's bravest freedom fighters
plotted liberation. The Nazis were not amused, and in spring 1943
occupied the city with horrific intent. The infamous Klaus Barbie,
"Butcher of Lyon," installed his Gestapo forces here.
Today, this former military hospital and seat of malevolence has been
been transformed into a moving museum, a must-see for anyone interested
in the era. It documents Lyon's dark
est hours with dignity, using photographs and evocative exhibits, such
as the vehicles used to deport Jews and other undesirables, and excerpts
from Barbie's trial for crimes against humanity.
Multilingual audio guides make it accessible to anyone.
In addition to the museum, the Centre d'Histoire de la Resistance et
de la Deportation operates a documentation center (open Wednesday
through Saturday) that is free to the public, offering more than 45,000
relevant works, 10,000 photographs, 5000 videos and 700 first-hand
testimonies from those persecuted during WWII.
You can reach the center on either Tramway
T2 (Centre Berthelot) or metro line B (Jean Macé).