Jean Desbordes (May 3, 1906 – July 6, 1944) is a French writer and poet. He died in Paris on July 6, 1944 , tortured by the Gestapo.

He was born in Rupt-sur-Moselle (Vosges) on May 3, 1906 into a Protestant family. He attended the primary school of Rupt-sur-Moselle, then the college of Remiremont . A brilliant student, he passed his baccalaureate. Until 1925, he lived in the countryside. Apart from his mother, his sisters and his animals, he sees no one.

In his loneliness, he comes across a book by Jean Cocteau, Le Grand Écart. Passionate about this writing, he sends him a letter under the pseudonym "Jean De List" with some leaflets that he himself wrote. Jean Cocteau replied: "Your fire sets the pages on fire ... Calm down ..." In July 1926, he becomes Jean Cocteau's secretary and maintains a romantic relationship with him. Jean Cocteau makes a series of portraits of him. They will be exhibited with illustrations for Œdipe-Roi and published in 1929 to 213 copies under the title 25 dessins d'un dormeur  representing him asleep in sailor's suit. After seven years together, he leaves Cocteau and settles with his mother and his sister. He gets married on August 12, 1937 with Madeleine Peltier.

Jean Desbordes wrote in June 1928 the poetic essay J'adore prefaced and launched by Jean Cocteau; he even reserves a role in the film in his film Le Sang d'un poète, made in 1930.

He published among others Les Tragédiens, a novel in 1931, La Mue, a play in 1935 played three years later at the Comédie-Française under the title of L'Age Ingrat and Le Vrai Visage du marquis de Sade in 1939.

He was received at the Société des gens de lettres on April 27, 1938.

Under the German occupation, Jean Desbordes enters resistance to the Intelligence Service of the F2 network under the pseudonym of Duroc. He directs the F2 Marine Network which monitors the maritime movements of the Channel, from the underwater bases, but also the arsenal, the fortifications and the airfields of Cherbourg. The information transmitted by the Marine Network F2 contributed to the success of the Allied landing of June 1944 in Normandy.

But German surveillance is tightening and July 1944 he was arrested with 26 other members of the French-Polish F network. On July 5, 1944 , he was tortured by the French auxiliaries of the German police (Gestapo) led by the German Friedrich Berger, at 180 rue de la Pompe, in Paris. He died under torture without speaking on July 6, 1944.

He is posthumously decorated, as Wlodzimierz Kaczorowski, Golden Cross of the Military Order of Virtuti Militari. His name is engraved in the Pantheon in the list of writers who died for France during the 1939-1945 war.


  1. https://fr.wikipedia.org/queerplaces/images/Jean_Desbordes