Ninety-three years old. The last leg of my journey. The end is in sight. I'm lucky to be able to seize the time I have left to reflect on the events that laid the foundation for my lifelong commitment to politics: the Resistance, and the program devised sixty-six years ago by the National Council of the Resistance. For this, we owe a debt of gratitude to Jean Moulin, who rallied together the scattered forces that opposed the German occupation of France — resistance movements, political parties, trade unions — to unite them in their defense of France and their pledge of allegiance to its only true leader: General Charles de Gaulle. I had joined de Gaulle in London in March 1941. And it was there, on March 15, 1944, that I learned the council had drawn up and adopted a declaration of its policy, putting forward a set of values and principles upon which to ground our nation's modern democracy once it was freed from occupation.
Today, more than ever, we need these principles and values.
This is an excerpt from Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous! by Stephane Hessel. Translation by Marion Duvert. Copyright 2010 by Indigene Editions. Reprinted by permission of Twelve/Hachette Book Group. All rights reserved.