Léon Salomon treasurer
The « Merite National » for Léon Salomon
Last march the 5th, in the beautiful halls of the hotel Prince of Wales, took place the solemn ceremony of the knighting at the order of the National Merit of our comrade Léon Salomon the treasurer of our Union…
At 6pm started the official ceremony. Our general Secretary, Isy Blum, expressing the feelings of all present comrades, congratulated Salomon with these word: “This high distinction, our comrade Salomon deserved it indeed and for several reasons. Arrived in France in 1935, he engaged in the French army as early as 1939 in order to defend his adoptive country and freedom, threatened by the nazi enemy. Assigned to the 21stIRFV he learns in Barcarès the job of soldier. He moves to the front with his unit on June 22nd1940 and after strong combats he is taken prisoner. It’s in the Stalag XII D and particularly in the disciplinary camp in Baumholder that he spend the tough years of captivity. His behavior during the fights in 1940 were exemplary. As a POW, behind the barbed wires, he earned the respect of the prisoners who knew him. During the dark hours when apathy and despair was wreaking havoc in the ranks of captives, he brought the words of encouragement and hope. He was an excellent comrade, always ready to help and share a piece of bread with a buddy. It’s mainly after his return to France though, and as an active leader in our Union, that he earned with his untiring activity, the respect of all our comrades… Our president B. Pons approaches Léon, very moved. He gives him the decoration and pronounces these official sentence: “ In the name of the President of the Republic I knight you Chevalier of the National merit”. He gives him the accolade and then all the audience come in turn to congratulate the recipient. The combatant’s brotherhood atmosphere dominated all along the evening.
Article published in « Notre Volonté » N°145 April 1974