In 1942, on the day after the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup in Paris, the Abbé Pierre receives Jews who escaped a first roundup in unoccupied France.
Between 1942 and 1944 he goes underground. He takes part in the Résistance and creates many maquis that will become part of the “Vercors army”.
He will keep his Résistance name “the Abbé Pierre”. After the Liberation and wishing to dedicate his life to serving others, he chooses to engage in politics and stands as a candidate in the General Elections in Meurthe-et-Moselle.
The man knows how to talk and to gather support from the entire public, even in the most critical situations.
During an electoral meeting, after hearing someone shout “send the priests to the sacristy!” Abbé Pierre grabs the microphone and says:
“go ask those whose lives were recently in danger, who had to cross the borders to save themselves, if they weren’t happy the priests were guiding them through the mountains instead of staying in their sacristy!”
Abbé Pierre will recall his years in the Parliament during his visit to the National Assembly to defend the SRU law on January 24, 2006:
“if I am here, 50 years after my time with you, it’s because the honour of France is at stake”.