Biographie

Camille Sutor

Luxembourg

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The dramatic fate of the Resistance fighter, Camille Sutor (born 30 May 1921, died 19 May 1944), is an example of the exemplary attitude of thousands of Luxembourg patriots. With disregard of the death penalty and with an unbroken will to resist, civilians doggedly defended themselves against the Nazi terror. This was all in order to protect and defend the lives of others.

Camille was born on 30 May 1921 in Ermsdorf and was a student at the Diekirch grammar school when neutral Luxembourg was occupied by the German Wehrmacht on 10 May 1940. Together with other students, he founded resistance groups as early as 1941.

Camile refused to join the ‘Hitler Youth’, he was expelled from the grammar school and settled down in unoccupied France. On his return to Luxembourg, he was arrested and sentenced by a ’special court’ to a prison term, which was lifted by an amnesty.

In September 1943, he resisted the order to be drafted into the Wehrmacht (German army). In the resistance, he continued to act as a smuggler for many fugitives and in the procurement of secret information about the German V1 bomb (vengeance weapon) for the British secret service.

 Camile had hid two Allied crew members of a downed bomber in his parents' house on the night of 18 May 1944. With the aid of a collaborator, the Gestapo surrounded the courtyard of the house early the following day.  Under heavy diversionary roaring, the Gestapo gained entry to the house, surprising  the fugitives hiding within.

In self-defence, Camille managed to shoot one of the Gestapo with his pistol. After the wounded Gestapo man was pulled out of the room, another of the Gestapo grabbed Camille's father. The intention to use him as a shield. In the same moment, the Gestapo fired at Camille, who fell to the ground, mortally wounded.

While the ruthless Gestapo now called for reinforcements, six family members were able to escape undetected with the two fugitives into a secret hiding place in the house. Here they had to endure hours in utter fear, forcibly listening to every word. After the fruitless search and looting, the Gestapo finally left the house. It was not until the following day that those in hiding were freed by other Resistance fighters and hidden with patriotic families until liberation.

After the war, Camille Suter's body was buried with military honours in Ermsdorf in June 1945. Posthumously, Camille was awarded the 'Croix de l'ordre de la Résistence’  for his exemplary courage and his sincere loyalty to his ideals and homeland, which keeps him in dignified memory to this day.