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Herbert Steinschneider


Phil Steinschneider



At the time of this writing, most of those who worked in our Résistance group at Montpellier are no longer with us.

Dean Henri Leenhardt, the brains and the technician behind our group of forgers, died in the late Fifties.

Georges Crespy, who was responsible for my transformation into Pierre Séguy, died suddenly at the age of forty-five.  He had become Professor at the Montpellier Seminary and had a brilliant career ahead of him.

Théo Preiss preceded George's passing, in 1950.

René Chave, the head of our Résistance cell, died in 1960.

Others, however, are still very much alive.

Gaby Nahas, alias Georges, the chief engineer of our American Railroad, was invited to come to the United States immediately after the war for a speaking tour, and was decorated by President Truman with the Freedom Medal, one of the highest distinctions America has to give.  Having become associated with the Mayo Clinic, he was one of the inventors of the heart-lung machine.  While at the Space Medicine Center in Washington, he discovered THAM, a drug which eliminated post-operative shock.  He became, shortly thereafter, full Professor of Pharmacology at Columbia University.  He is best known today for his research on the effects of marijuana.  We see each other often, both in New York and in Washington.

Jean Soulier, who was shot during the battle of Cornelly, has survived his wound.  When the doctors at the hospital, looking at the X-rays, told him that he might never walk again, he refused to comply.  He walks today with a hardly perceptible limp.  He has become a successful doctor in Alès.  We visit him often at his beach home at the Grau du Roi, where he and his wife spend their vacations.

Aimé and Sophie Soulier, his parents, are very old now, but they still live in Lasalle in the same apartment in the same house, next to Cornelly, which has been rebuilt.  The farmer and his family who lived in the house in 1944 have moved and we no longer know where they are.  In 1966 a monument to the dead of World War II was built on the spot where the gendarme fell at the beginning of the battle of Cornelly.  I was asked to speak on that occasion.

The identity of the German doctor who saved Jean's life has eluded us.  Neither the Vienna telephone book nor other inquiries have produced any results.

Some people still remember me in Lasalle; but they are fewer and fewer.  A new generation has taken over, for whom the events of 1944 are as from another age.