Gerhard Leo - Gerhard Leo

Gerhard Leo, around 1943

Gerhard Leo (born June 8, 1923 in Berlin ; † September 14, 2009 ibid) was a German journalist , author and fighter for the French Resistance .


Leo comes from a family who fled to Paris in 1933. His father Wilhelm Leo came from an assimilated Jewish family, was a Social Democrat and a lawyer in the Weimar Republic . In Paris, Wilhelm Leo was a co-founder of the National Committee Free Germany for the West (CALPO).

After the invasion of the Wehrmacht , Gerhard Leo's path led to the initially unoccupied south of France, the so-called Vichy regime , where he joined the French resistance in 1942 and assumed a French identity. In February 1944 he was arrested by the Germans. During his transport to Paris, where he was to be sentenced, he was freed from the train by partisans in the small town of Allassac . Until the end of the war in France he fought in the ranks of the Forces Françaises de L'Intérieur with the rank of lieutenant and took part in the liberation of Tulle . Furthermore, he was the authorized representative of CALPO in theFree Germany movement and became a member of the French Communist Party .

After the war Leo returned to Germany, first to the Ruhr area . In 1954 he emigrated to the GDR . Since then he has worked as an author and journalist. For a time he worked as a special correspondent for New Germany in France. Leo was accredited to the Eichmann trial in Israel in 1961 . [1]

In the GDR he was awarded the Patriotic Order of Merit in silver in 1970 and in gold in 1983. [2] [3]

In recognition of his services Gerhard Leo was on 17 February 2004 by decree of French President Jacques Chirac for the Legion of Honor appointed.

Gerhard Leo was involved in the Association of Germans in the Resistance, in the armed forces of the anti-Hitler coalition and the movement "Free Germany" (DRAFD) , in which he also published. [4] Until his death, he continued to work in various anti-racist associations. He led commemorative tours, gave lectures for the VVN – BdA and was committed to refugees threatened with deportation in Berlin-Köpenick . He was buried on October 8th.

He is the father of the historian Annette Leo and the grandfather of the journalist and author Maxim Leo .

Fonts (selection)

  • Early train to Toulouse. A German in the French Resistance 1942–1944 . Nation, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-373-00239-7 . New edition: BS, Rostock 2006, ISBN 3-89954-172-3 .
    • A German in the Resistance. The train to Toulouse . Übersetzt von Pierre Durand. Tiresias, Paris 1997, ISBN 2-908527-55-3 .
  • Pariah riot. The adventurous life of Flora Tristan . Dietz, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-320-01568-0 .
  • Secret files 51. A documentary montage . Edition q, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-86124-197-8 .
  • Denise Bardet's diary. Dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the destruction of the French commune of Oradour-sur-Glane on June 10, 1944 . Trafo, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-89626-265-3 .




Individual evidence

  1. Mario Keßler ; The SED and the Jews - between repression and tolerance . Berlin: Akademie, 1995 ISBN 3050030070 , p. 130
  2. Berliner Zeitung , May 6, 1970, p. 6
  3. ^ New Germany , April 30th / April 1st. May 1983, p. 3
  4. ^ Gerhard Leo: Germans in the French Resistance - A Way to Europe in DRAFD-Information 08/1999