Juliette Gréco was born in Montpellier to a Corsican father and a mother who became active in the Résistance, in the Hérault département of southern France. She was raised by her maternal grandparents. Gréco became involved in the Résistance, and was caught by the Gestapo, along with her older sister, when she was only 16 years old. She was imprisoned at Fresnes prison for several months. After he release, she walked the eight miles back to Paris.She moved to Saint-Germain-des-Prés in 1946 after her mother left the country for Indochina. Gréco became a devotee of the bohemian fashion of some intellectuals of post-war France. Jean-Paul Sartre said of Gréco that she had "millions of poems in her voice". She was known to many of the writers and artists working in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Boris Vian, thus gaining the nickname la Muse de l'existentialisme.