Lucie Aubrac, French history teacher, Died at 95

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Dead, Lucie Samuel on the 14th of March 2007 at the age of 95, born Lucie Bernard, and better known as Lucie Aubrac, she was a French history teacher and member of the French Resistance during World War II.

On 21 June 1943, the Gestapo captured Raymond alongside high-ranking Resistance member Jean Moulin (under the alias “Max”) and many others.

They were taken to Montluc prison, located near Lyon.

The Nazis sought Jean Moulin in particular as he was General Charles de Gaulle’s top representative in the French Resistance.

Lucie was able to talk face to face with Klaus Barbie, Lyon’s Gestapo chief.

Her alias was “Ghislaine de Barbentane”, a name of high-standing, noble origin.

Because of her pregnancy and a specific provision of French law called “marriage in extremis,” under which a person condemned to death can marry civilly, Lucie managed to convince Barbie that she was unmarried, and being pregnant could not be a mother without being married (known as a “fille-mère”).

Barbie unwisely allowed Raymond to be released for the wedding, which gave Lucie and the Resistance an opportunity.

After the German invasion of France in 1940, the couple moved to unoccupied Lyon.

Lucie began teaching history, and she and Raymond joined the Resistance.

They met Emmanuel d’Astier, and the three formed the left-wing Libération-Sud (Liberation South) Resistance group.

Lucie and Raymond led double lives as teacher and engineer by day and Resistance fighters by night.

The couple used many aliases and eventually adopted Aubrac as their surname.

Over the next four years, Lucie and Raymond Aubrac’s worked for the Resistance, publishing propaganda and helping fellow partisans escape arrest.

In May 1941, Lucie Aubrac gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy, Jean-Pierre, whom she often took to Resistance meetings as a cover.

Lucie and Raymond Aubrac went into hiding and eventually made their way to London in February 1944.

In March, Charles de Gaulle announced that once France was liberated, women would be granted the right to vote.

In anticipation of this, Lucie became a representative of a consultative congress, making her the first woman ever to sit on a French parliamentary assembly.

After the war, the Aubracs returned to France, and Lucie taught history. She often visited schools and told students of her experiences in the Resistance.

She also served on several committees for the French Republic and was active in human-rights campaigns. In 1996, she was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government.

Barbie died in September, 1991.

Soon afterwards the so-called “Testament of Barbie” was released that once again accused Raymond Aubrac of being an informer.

In 1997 the journalist, Gerald Chauvy published a book that relied on information supplied by Barbie to suggest that Aubrac had betrayed Jean Moulin.

After Barbie’s death in 1990, however, a document – the so-called Testament of Barbie – began circulating in newspaper offices and repeating the allegations about Aubrac.

It was also at this point that Chauvy produced his book.

Although distancing itself from Barbie’s more extreme accusations, Chauvy’s work was based on genuine archival material, and its overall effect was to cast a cloud of suspicion over the veracity of Lucie’s account.

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