He was probably the youngest French resistance fighter during World War II, 6-year-old Marcel Pinte. Yesterday he was honored for the first time during the Armistice Day in France, a day when the dead of the two World Wars are commemorated. Marcels name was written on a monument to the dead of war in the central French Aixe-sur-Vienne.
Quinquin, as Marcel was also called, brought messages across the border to resistance leaders. He wore it under his clothes. He also helped soldiers with other tasks.
The boy was part of the army of shadows, a group of resistance fighters led by General Charles de Gaulle from London. Marcel listened to the orders of his father Eugene Pinte. Pinte was a resistance leader with an operating centre on a farm outside Aixe-sur-Vienne. That farm received coded messages and supplies from parachutes from London. Pinte also led the liberation of the French city. A few years ago, a street in Aixe-sur-Vienne was named after him.
Marcel, the youngest of five children, was nicknamed Quinquin, after a nursery song, by resistance fighters. His actions for the resistance remained under the radar for a long time, but received attention in 2018 when a family member brought the stories out.
On 19 August 1944, at the age of 6, Marcel died. He was hit by an automatic weapon that accidentally went off. At his funeral on 21 August several important resistance fighters were present. At the last drop of supplies on the farm, the parachutes were black instead of white. “The British knew that young Marcel had played a real role,” said family member Marc Pinte to Le Monde. “The black parachutes were a ticket for the family.”