World War 2: The mystery of the disappearance of Joseph Prieto finally solved!

World War 2: The mystery of the disappearance of Joseph Prieto finally solved!

Henri et Michèle Nicol, à côté de Jean-Pierre Fournier, étaient proches du fils de Joseph, Roger. DR – DR

The Lodévois, a Spanish immigrant who became French, fought in the war in 1939 before finding himself in the group of “Hanged and Deported” from Tulle, where he completed his STO in 1944.

Although his name appears on the Lodève war memorial, among those deported during the Second World War, little was known about the end of Joseph Prieto's life. For several days, in addition to the name on a stele, his photo has appeared on the wall of the Haut-lieu de Cueille, with victims of reprisals by the Germans 80 years ago, on June 9, 1944 in Tulle. A part of the mystery has now been resolved thanks to the tenacity of a family friend from Lodévois, Michèle Nicol, helped by her husband Henri and the teacher-historian Jean-Pierre Fournier as well as the daughter-in-law of the person concerned, Geneviève who now lives in Montpellier. Michèle, Geneviève and Delphine, Joseph's granddaughter, were among people who followed in the footsteps of their family history in the prefecture of Corrèze last Sunday.

In the camps of Dachau then Zwickau where he died at the beginning of 1945

"With my husband, we were very friends with Roger, Joseph's son, who was born in 1944 and never knew his father, requisitioned just before to do his compulsory labor service, says Michèle Nicol who found his file attesting that Joseph had worked at the Tulle arms factory since February 14, 1944. We promised to highlight his story and learn more about his disappearance at the end of the Second World War, for Roger who has since passed away."

World War 2: The mystery of the disappearance of Joseph Prieto finally solved!

Geneviève in front of the photo of her father-in-law on the wall of the victims of the Tulle tragedy, at the Haut Lieu de Cueille. Midi Libre – DR
While doing research last month, the Lodévoise found her trace in the Zwickau concentration camp, in Germany at the beginning of 1945. "I immediately called Geneviève who, coincidentally, had just received a phone call from the organizers of the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Tulle tragedy to ask for photos of Joseph, as part of a tribute to the victims."

From Spain where he was from in Lodève…

N&eac; à Lietor (Spain) on August 9, 1912, Joseph Prieto arrived in 1917 with his family. Lodève whereù he grew up. À At the age of 18, he applied for and obtained nationality. French, works as a mechanic and pursues one of his passions, cycling, winning races throughout the region. The one that many people called “Pietro” not being able to get through say his name, get married & Saint-Jean-de-la-Blaquière from whereù His wife was from, &Eglantine Mutuel with whom he came to live in a house located in the Bouquerie district, near Paris. side from the hospital.

The couple had two children, Josette born in 1939, the year during which the Lodévois would be mobilized. à at the age of 27 in the French army, then Roger was born. in 1944 when he had just responded a few months earlier to a summons under the STO to go à Tulle. Joseph will make a return trip to attend the baptism of his son, and no one ever sees him again in his adopted city, giving free rein to his life. all the hypotheses and rumors about his fate.

Before the mystery finally becomes clear, the day before the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of a tragic event.

World War 2: The mystery of the disappearance of Joseph Prieto finally solved!

The Lodévois mechanic, son of a Spanish immigrant, passionate about cycling, won races in the region. DR

The opportunity to highlight the story of this Spanish immigrant, who arrived in Lodève at the age of 5, naturalized at the age of 18 and who worked as a mechanic. "He was mobilized in 1939 before doing the terrible campaign in France then finding himself in Dunkirk before returning to Lodève, continues Jean-Pierre Fournier . Summoned in 1943 to the STO, we found his trace a few months later in Tulle." Where was also Polydore Valat, the grandfather of Henri Nicol. The two Lodévois will find themselves at the heart of a tragic event, on June 9, 1944, in response to the capture of Tulle by resistance fighters for a few hours, who took prisoner and shot on order 47 German soldiers before leaving. fold. "In retaliation, the Germans rounded up 2 000 men in the early morning gathered at the arms factory to check identities. They wanted to hang 120, they hanged 99 and deported 149 of whom 101 never returned."

If Polydore was released following a "new sorting", Joseph found himself in Compiègne on a death train to Dachau . It was there that he met the director of the Clermont-l’Hérault school, Robert Bouzid, the last person to see him!

Highlight its history and honor it

"They always said in Lodève that Roger Prieto's father had disappeared and rumors were flying about him. 15 years later, Joseph was recognized as dead during deportation and his name inscribed on the Lodève war memorial" continues Michèle Nicol. We are now starting to learn more about his last two years. After Dachau, the mechanic passed through the camps of Hersbruck then Zwickau where he died in unknown circumstances. "I would like to be honored, as his son wished, by giving him the name of a street in Lodève which would indicate the place and the date of his death."

Geneviève Prieto, her daughter Delphine and their friend Michèle Nicol were invited on Sunday June 9 to the tribute march to the Drama of Tulle for which they were accompanied by a journalist from the local press. « With the families, the officials, the population, we were 1 200. There were various laying of wreaths along the route, it was very moving, remembers Michèle Nicol. Geneviève and Delphine also had a lot of emotion during the official ceremonies and then seeing Joseph's photo, taken on his wedding day, alongside those of the 200 other victims on the wall of the Haut-lieu de Cueille, where the Germans had buried the 99 hanged.

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