Teachers’ Guide for Secret Liberators: Canada’s SOE Agents in Occupied France.

John Myers OISE (retired)

Section 2 Key Questions

Some of the key questions presented in individual parts can apply to other parts of the film.

Part 1- from the fall of France to the spring of 1943 (ends at 13:40 minutes)

  • The creation of the SOE: goals and strategies, training of agents and why they were fluent in French and sometimes other languages?
  • Key Questions: Why would anyone join? What dangers did they face? How did the SOE avoid detection?
  • What made St. Quentin a base for SOE operations?
  • How did the Germans respond to the work of the SOE?

Part 2- the summer of 1943 (ends at 23 min.)

  • How did the SOE operate in secret?
  • What mission was featured here? What happened?
  • What was the “Radio Game”?

Part 3- fall and winter of 1943-4 (ends at 30 minutes 30 sec)

  • What role did technology play in the operations of the SOE and the German forces?

Part 4- spring of 1944 and D Day (ends at 39 minutes 40 seconds)

  • How did the mission change in advance of D Day?
  • Why was Al Sirois smiling through the telling of his tale?
  • How did the Radio Game end?
  • What was the significance of the files marked N and N (nacht und nebel)?

Part 5- conclusion

  • What happened to the SOE prisoners?
  • What was Al Sirois feeling as he made his final comments in the film?

There are a couple of “sensitive” scenes of torture and death that may not be suitable for viewing. These include the last section from Part 1 at about the 13-minute mark for about 30 seconds and the beginning of Part 5 from the 41-minute mark for about 2 minutes 15 seconds. Be sure to preview these sections before deciding to show them!

Contributing Writer