Visitors to the Arras Memorial should make the effort to visit this stark monument to 218 patriots from various towns and Resistance Groups who were shot in the ditches of the citadel by the German occupiers between 1941 and 1944.
Coming out of Arras centre, follow the signs for the Citadelle onto the Bd Charles de Gaulle. This section of road is a dual carriageway.
You will see the Citadel (One of the old military barracks of Arras) on your left and immediately afterwards a set of traffic lights just before the British Memorial. Use the car park opposite.
To reach the monument you could walk to it from the British Memorial, which will take you about ten minutes. Follow the road round to the left between the Memorial and the Citadel and along the back wall.
Alternatively, and more interesting is to walk up through the citadelle and exit via a rear tunnel in the ramparts.
The names of the various resistance groups are listed on the entrance gate. You will notice that the French Communist Party lost a lot of their men: PCF
A single post marks the actual execution point, whilst there are over 200 plaques along the walls of the citadel, showing the name, age, occupation and organisation of the victims.
The inscriptions use a V for a U so that many of the words look a little bizarre.
MINEVR is thus a MINER (Not a minor).
This area is close to the mining fields and you will notice a number of Polish names amongst the victims. They serve as a reminder of the Polish mining families who came to France and then joined resistance groups to fight the invaders. They could thus deal a blow as much for their own homeland as for their adopted country.
There is a First World War monument on the main road between Arras and ND de Lorette commemorating the Polish members of the Foreign Legion who died there in 1915.