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Speech on behalf of the families by Mr. Hervé Fauve

A few weeks before I had the idea of creating this site, I was asked by the President of the AGASM, Admiral SALLES, _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_qui asked me if I agreed to speak on behalf of the families.

I accepted.

Below are the words I spoke on January 27, 2018, in front of the National Submariners Monument during the ceremony.

Ladies  gentlemen,

When I was asked if I agreed to speak today on behalf of the families, I was seized with doubt. How to speak, on behalf of all, of a drama that resonates so differently for each of us. How to speak about an individual pain in the name of 52 families?

This morning many of us have only one face, only one name in mind. A face that has frozen forever 50 years ago today this January 27, 68 at 8 am. He was a husband, a fiancé, a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, a cousin, a friend.   A man who was around 20-30 years old, who loved, had hopes, with whom we shared projects, desires, some had founded a family, others were preparing for it, children were unborn.

For me, it's not Lieutenant de Vaisseau Fauve, Pasha de la Minerve, who disappeared that morning, it's my father. For anyone who knew him, it was Teddy.

This pain cannot be shared, it cannot be told, it is deep within each of us, with an intensity that only we can perceive. We've been wearing it since that morning of January 28, 68, when the doorbells rang to tell us the terrible news.

We each experienced this tragedy in our own way. My grandmother, Marie-Thérèse, who died 2 years ago, 48 years after her eldest son, never wanted to talk about it. My mother, Noyale, who died 6 years ago, talked about it when asked, but she insisted on discretion. Others, children in 68, have only vague memories, even, more terrible, no memories at all because they were too young at the time.  And what about those who, like my brother André, were born orphans in the months that followed.

Those who were in Toulon and in the other military ports, were able to rely on the extraordinary spirit of solidarity of the so-called " sous-marinade_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_”. Names de  those days come to mind, Cousturié, Albatro, Orsini, Bladé, Faltot and many others who had allowed us to better pass this difficult test.

Among all these names, there is one that I would like to mention particularly in these circumstances, it is Bernard de Truchis, who will be the pasha of the Eurydice when he died on March 4, 1970. Many of us remember still today for his attentive support.

One of the dimensions of the drama that we had to learn to live with was the distress of remaining in the dark about what had happened. At the time, we were, in addition, exposed to direct words that were hard to hear about our loved ones who died in this tragedy.

The Navy institution made assumptions, took measures to remedy the possible causes of the accident, but never told us anything. Certainly these were only hypotheses for lack of having found the wreckage, but we also had our questions : how had they died, had they suffered, where were they? The question remained, and, for some, still remains open. This was even truer for the many families unrelated to the Navy. This week again I received testimonies of this distress.

Slowly   patiently, stubbornly, discreetly I searched. Tried to get to know this father better, whom I had only seen with my child's eyes, tried to find out what had happened on January 27 and the days that followed.

The first to help me was Roger Piot with whom my mother had remarried, but also many other submariner friends with whom I had forged strong bonds of trust. Knowing their own moral standards, I knew they weren't lying to me. So, when Francis Orsini, godfather of my own brother, declares that we know nothing with certainty, that we only have hypotheses, I believe him.

I even went to see at the highest level of the state, in 2003,   by directly contacting the Minister of Defense at the time, Mr. Pierre Messmer, who told Christophe Agnus, son of Jean Agnus,   and to myself, how he experienced this disappearance and even General de Gaulle's own perception of it. All this, in silence, without talking about it for many years. Some may have been able to see the fruit of this long work, I recently shared it on the internet for anyone who wanted to know.

Over the years, the ranks of those who had known them thinned out, new generations appeared. Our loved ones, who have disappeared, would today be grandparents, great-grandparents. There are some of these grandchildren here whose grandfather only exists through our testimony. They need to know who their grandfather was, to know that it's not just a story, a photo, a name on a plaque.

Over the past few weeks, I have received many testimonials, memories of people who loved them, who still think of them. Many of them are today  here, with us, in thought or in prayer.

And to those who didn't know them and who are here today I say, be proud of them and don't forget them.

And, each time you look at the Mediterranean, think that it is their shroud and that they rest there forever.

Herve Fauve

Hervé Fauve - Cinquantenaire disparition Minerve

Hervé Fauve  - Photo Pierre Fauve

Photo Pierre Fauve

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