- Christel, Jean-François and their three children have been tenants for more than eight years in a small house in the Bonnefoy district, in Toulouse.
- The town hall has asserted its right of first refusal to buy and destroy this housing, which sheltered resistance fighters during the Second World War.
- The current occupants believe that the garden expansion project is perfectly compatible with the existence of their house.
It’s a Facebook account like the social network is home to millions of. However,
the open page on November 14 by Christel and Jean-François with their three children Manuela (17 years old), Salomé (11 years old) and Charlélie (3 years old) made it possible to popularize their fight: to save from destruction the place where they have lived for more than eight years old, at 17, chemin Lapujade, in the Toulouse district of Bonnefoy.
“It started like wildfire”, is surprised a few days later Jean-François, cultural worker of 45 years. The media follow one another in this working-class house from the beginning of the 20th century, placed next to the railroad tracks, which sheltered resistance fighters during the Second World War.
Right of pre-emption
Tenant since July 2012, the family managed to obtain a bank loan to sign a sales agreement at the end of June, when the owner decided to part with his property. But the city made use of its right of preemption, formalized in a letter received by bailiff on October 8.
“The project is to enlarge the Lapujade garden, by destroying the house in ruins at n ° 19, which already belongs to the town hall, and ours,” explains Christel, a 41-year-old librarian. But it can very well be done by keeping us, the house, the family and its history. We are perfectly integrated into the life of the neighborhood, we feel good there. And we’re not talking about an apartment in the middle of a crumbling building. “
Work already done and others in the pipeline
If the exterior walls need a boost that the family has planned to do, a lot of work has already been done inside: windows and doors have been changed, such as part of the frame and all the roofing. , as well as the boiler.
President of Europolia, the local public development company of Toulouse Métropole, Annette Laigneau is however categorical. “Keeping the house to integrate it into the park, that does not make sense,” says the elected official in charge of town planning. The objective is to enlarge the Lapujade garden. Jean-Luc Moudenc (LR mayor and president of the metropolis) is committed to ensuring that all neighborhoods can benefit from places of greenery. However, there are not many in this neighborhood. ”An opinion that Christel and Jean-François do not share, who quote among others the Michelet garden, 200 meters from their home …
The testimonies of descendants of resistance fighters continue to arrive
And then there is this historical wealth discovered by the family, somewhat by chance in the municipal magazine, at the end of 2016: 17, chemin Lapujade housed the clandestine activities of a group of snipers and French partisans (FTPF) and especially of young Louis Taudou, who will escape a raid by the Gestapo and will tell the episode in his book Free Toulouse. Christel and Jean-François came into contact with Louis Taudou’s son.
The media coverage of their fight, supported by neighbors but also associations of former resistance fighters, has enabled other similar stories to be discovered. “A week ago, the son of resistance fighter Alex Grosdidier contacted us and explained to us that his father had also been hidden here, with others,” explains Jean-François. He knew the vine when he was a child. “
The 40-year-old designates the venerable vines that wind up to the balcony, in the small triangular garden that forms the tip of this 76 square meter property at the end of the street. “If we have to be integrated into a memory journey, there is no problem,” he assures us.
“It is not the house itself which is a place of Resistance”
“The history of the Resistance is not trivial, but the history of this house is banal in the sense that the houses around the Matabiau station which hid resistance fighters whose protectors were made by the railway workers. there are others, replies Annette Laigneau. It is not the house itself which is a place of Resistance, but the whole of this district. It is with the requalification of this garden that we will be able, in conjunction with associations of resistance fighters and residents of the district, to see how we can pay homage to the memory of Louis Taudou and all the resistance fighters of the faubourg Bonnefoy. “
The positions seem irreconcilable. And the family is worried because rents have skyrocketed in the neighborhood in recent years, and would undoubtedly prove inaccessible for their finances if they had to leave their home.
“It’s difficult for them, I admit,” said the elected Annette Laigneau. The EPFL (local public land establishment, responsible in particular for buying back property by pre-emption) has the role of rehousing tenants. We will do everything to ensure that it is in this neighborhood to which they are attached. As for Christel, Jean-François and their children, they always want to believe that their future will be written at 17, chemin Lapujade.