Alfred KleinAlfred Klein was born in Haguenau in the Alsace region of France, on December 30, 1916.

He was in law school at the University of Strasbourg when the French began conscripting young men in 1939 to face the growing German Nazi threat on their borders.

Klein was a French solder with initiative but on one of his forays too close to the frontline, he was taken prisoner by the Germans. He escaped and when the Germans invaded in 1940, he retreated to the quiet life of teacher at Chamalières.

It was all a brave facade.

Secretly, he was an active organizer of the French Resistance and one of their leaders starting in January 1941. He did it all - from hiding downed allied pilots, distributing arms and explosives, sabotage of Nazi installations and falsifying official papers. La Résistance archives recognize him above others for the successful sabotage of the Nazi airfield at Aulnat.

But in January 1944, he was betrayed and arrested by the Nazi Gestapo along with his cousin Rodolphe Rischmann. Even under Nazi torture, he held his tongue. On March 24, 1944, he was murdered by firing squad the day before fellow French law student Henri Weilbacher and, six weeks later, François Marzolf.

REFERENCES:

  • Alfred Klein (1916-1944), at premiumwanadoo.com/lesardents/aklein.htm
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Celebrity Lawyers
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, LawFun
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, LawMuseum
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, The Law's Hall of Fame
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, The Law's Hall of Shame
  • Klein's last letter in Fench: "La France, ma chère patrie, se relèvera et l'étendard de la Liberté et du droit des gens flottera bien haut. Une vraie communauté Franco-Allemande se fera jour qui servira à établir une paix éternelle. Que le sacrifice de notre vie profite à cet idéal. Ce sera notre meilleure récompense... Puis pour son directeur d'école ... je vais être fusillé à 6 heures. Je voudrais, que mon souvenir reste à l'école. Donnez le dernier adieu à mes élèves et dites leur en mon nom de bien travailler pour devenir des hommes de caractère et de bons Français. Adieu mes amis, je meurs la conscience tranquille et avec la certitude qu'il y aura une justice. Vive notre belle France".