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The French War Hero Robert Nant – Does he have a Son?


War is a powerful thing. Not only does it take away life, it separates families and tears apart love affairs. And World War Two was perhaps more testing on the human spirit then any other war with its fight against Hitler and the unspeakable genocide he committed. Even sixty years on, a paternity DNA test for one French man has revealed an extraordinary story.

DNA given for Paternity Test

The French war hero Robert Nant, now in his eighties, gave DNA for a test to find out if a younger man, also called Robert Nant, now in his sixties, was in fact his son. The question of taking a paternity test was raised after the story unravelled. It turned out that the younger Robert was born in a concentration camp in 1945. His mother sadly died soon after, a victim of the camp. And so he was left never knowing who his father was.

DNA samples

But sixty years on, now paternity DNA tests are readily available and accessible with DNA samples, it became possible for the war hero to finally find out if the younger man was his son. It was thought that the war hero’s son was conceived in the camp as a result of a fling with a French resistance agent on the run from the Nazis.

A note about Paternity Tests in France

Whilst it is possible to carry out a paternity test in France, unlike most other countries in the world, direct to consumer DNA tests are actually banned by law. This means that a person based in France and ordering a “peace of mind” test is committing an offence. For a test to be carried out in France, it needs to be court ordered. Read more about how the paternity testing ban was upheld in France.

Agreed a Paternity Test

Now they are both pensioners, but the two men agreed to a paternity DNA test to find out if they were indeed related. The elder Robert recalled his affair with a blonde-haired resistance courier in the summer of 1944. Robert Nant Junior had been adopted but discovered camp records where his mother registered him as ‘Robert Nant’ when he was born. The DNA test would reveal if the two Robert’s were in fact father and son.

Heartbreak and Speculation

The younger Robert tried to contact the elder Robert in 1975 after reading a story about Robert Nant’s wartime experience. But although the older Robert went in search of the younger Robert Nant, they missed each other. Later, a telephone call the younger man made to his suspected father was hidden by the elder man’s ex-wife. A paternity test could have happened back in the seventies and saved a lot of heartbreak and speculation but it wasn’t to be. When Robert senior divorced and remarried he decided to hire a private detective to search for the man he felt was his flesh and blood. The detective found him and after a paternity test was granted by a French court, the DNA test sadly confirmed that the two men were not after all related. The mystery of his lost son it seems will be forever lost in history.