Partisan Simon Seguan: how a girl in shorts became a symbol of Resistance

Partisan Simon Seguan: how a girl in shorts became a symbol of Resistance

Categories: Europe | History

18-year-old Simone Segouin, also known under the pseudonym Nicole Minet, was determined to rid France of fascism. She joined the French Resistance and started harming the Nazis wherever she was. Her first task was to steal a bicycle from a German soldier, and then she blew up bridges, trains and performed other dangerous tasks.

By the end of the war, Seguan had become a soldier. She fought in the battle for the liberation of her hometown, helped capture 25 German soldiers, and then joined the French troops during the march on Paris and liberated the French capital. She was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and awarded the Military Cross for heroism.

Partisan Simon Seguan: how a girl in shorts became a symbol of Resistance

The daughter of a peasant, before the war, Simon Seguan worked with three brothers and her father on a farm. My father was the head of the city council of Tiwara and the secret leader of a partisan cell, participated in the First World War. In 1944, the German administration demanded that he provide a list of young girls to send them to Spuar Castle. In an effort to avoid the sad fate of being raped or killed by German punishers, Simon got a job as a seamstress. However, in the morning she was found on the farm by the Germans and demanded to sew up their uniforms under threat of reprisal. Simone managed to escape from the clutches of the policemen and fled to Paris, where she took refuge with her aunt in Bon Marche.

Partisan Simon Seguan: how a girl in shorts became a symbol of Resistance

At that moment, Simone officially joined the Resistance Movement, unlike her three brothers, who were not there at all. She followed in her father's footsteps, participating in guerrilla operations in the vicinity of the city of Chartres: there she met her future husband, Lieutenant Bourcier. The father instilled in his daughter a love not only for loved ones, but also for his homeland: already as part of the French army at the end of the war, he participated in the liberation of prisoners of war camp prisoners.

Partisan Simon Seguan: how a girl in shorts became a symbol of Resistance

Simon served in the ranks of the partisans under the name Nicole Mine. A group of French guerrilla shooters provided her with all the necessary documents to maintain her legend and pseudonym. Through Nicole's efforts, many residents of Dunkirk who were fleeing from the bombing of the city were involved in the partisan movement. 

Initially, Simon (aka Nicole) performed simple tasks without the use of weapons. After completing a number of assignments in the cities of Chateaudun, Dreux and Chartres, Nicole achieved the full right to serve in the French riflemen unit and received her own weapon: a captured MP-40 submachine gun.

Partisan Simon Seguan: how a girl in shorts became a symbol of Resistance

Nicole distinguished herself in the battles for Chartres and Paris, becoming one of the few partisans participating in street battles in cities. In Chartres, she personally captured 25 German soldiers, and in Paris she managed to occupy part of the city with the help of only twenty people, although she herself does not like to talk about it and often claims that her merits are exaggerated. 

Partisan Simon Seguan: how a girl in shorts became a symbol of Resistance

For her courage and dedication in 1946, she was awarded the Military Cross and received the rank of lieutenant, which she also does not consider something outstanding, calling her main merit assistance in the liberation of the country.

Partisan Simon Seguan: how a girl in shorts became a symbol of Resistance

Seguan did not officially marry, although she had six children. She claims that she would not have changed her choice if she had had the opportunity to go back in time before joining the partisan movement.

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