Editorial of the first issue of Résistance, December 15, 1940
Resist! In our anguish at the disastrous fate that has befallen our nation, this is our heartfelt cry. This is the cry of every one of you who is not prepared to accept this catastrophe, of every one of you who wants to do their duty.
But amid your feelings of isolation and helplessness, amid the current turmoil of ideas and approaches, you wonder where your duty lies. First and foremost, to resist is to keep heart and head. But above all it is to do something, to take actions that will be positive in their efforts, that are considered and purposeful. Many people have tried, but have been discouraged by their apparent impotence. Others have formed groups, but also these groups have also felt isolated and powerless.
Patiently, doggedly, we have sought these groups and brought them together. Dedicated and determined, they are already many in number (more than an army in Paris alone), and they have understood the importance of organization, working out a modus operandi, of adopting discipline and leaders.
The modus operandi? Get together at home with people you know. Choose your leaders. Your leaders will find men of experience who will guide their activities, and who will report back to us at different levels. In order to coordinate your endeavours with those of unoccupied France and all who are fighting alongside our Allies, this Committee will take command. Your immediate task is to organize yourselves, so that when you receive order, you will be ready to resume the struggle. Recruit men of determination, choose them with care, and surround them with the best and finest. Give heart and resolve to those beset by doubt and those who can no longer dare to hope. Track down and watch those who have disowned their country and who betray her. Meet up every day to pass information and observations that may be useful to your leaders. Be ruled by iron discipline, constant vigilance and absolute discretion. Beware of those who are reckless or feckless, loose-tongued or treacherous. Be neither boastful nor too trusting. Make every effort to supply your own needs. We are working to muster the means of action that we will later pass on to you.
In becoming your leaders we have sworn to sacrifice all — pitilessly and relentlessly — to this mission.
Unknown to each other yesterday, strangers to the political infighting of assemblies and governments, independent French men and women above all, chosen for the action to which we are sworn, we are united in a single ambition, a single passion, a single desire: to bring about the rebirth of a pure and free France.