Clandestine Baking

Myself and Mr Bergeron
Myself and "Mr Bergeron", in front of his bake house, holding modern versions of the tools used to defy the Fascist enemy. The mop and the rake.
Gard France 2001.

Photo: Albert Barden.

After enquiring in the local bar as to whether there were any wood fired ovens in the village, we were directed to a farmer (whom we shall call) "Mr Bergeron".

In the yard of his ancestral farm he showed us his bake house, and began to recount the most incredible story.

During the Fascist occupation of France in the last World War, there was a huge, German army camp on a near by plateau. Each year the entire grain harvest of the surrounding villages was requisitioned by the Germans, leaving the local inhabitants to fend for themselves. They could not make bread however as this would indicate they were in possession of grain that should have been given to the Germans.

Mr Bergeron proudly told us how he could still remember, during his childhood, his mother making bread, at night so that the Germans would not notice the smoke. The bread was then distributed within the neighbourhood.

Marcus Flynn