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Lucie Aubrac: The French Resistance Heroine Who Outwitted the Gestapo

de Sian Rees

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1711,000,053 (3.75)No n'hi ha cap
In May 1943, a young pregnant Frenchwoman called Lucie Aubrac engineered the escape of her husband Raymond from the clutches of Klaus Barbie, the feared Gestapo chief. She later ambushed the prison vans in which members of the Resistance were being driven to an almost certain death. Spirited out of France by the RAF at the end of 1943, nine months pregnant, she arrived in London a heroine. In 1983, when both Aubracs had retired, Klaus Barbie was put on trial in France. He claimed that the Aubracs had become Gestapo informers in 1943 and betrayed their comrades. The French press and the couple themselves denounced this 'slander', but inconsistencies emerged in her story and led to doubts that have never quite gone away. This book tells true story of the remarkable Frenchwoman who outwitted the Gestapo.… (més)
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I would suggest potential readers of Lucie Aubrac's story - certainly those who know nothing of the Aubracs but might be interested in the story of the French resistance - catch up quickly with Patrick Marnham's review of this book in October's Literary Review. Marnham - biographer of Jean Moulin - points out Sian Rees' opening words: "`All her life, Lucie Aubrac was a storyteller'. According to her account she 'sprang her husband from Gestapo custody twice " but I have to agree with Marnham; how likely is that frankly? Barbie was the 'Butcher of Lyon' - or was this ruthless Gestapo chief just a big pussy cat?!! Rees has obviously looked at Aubrac's 'novel' 'Ils partiront dans l'ivresse' - but no where does she call a spade a spade - until the last 20 pages of this otherwise rather rose-tinted view of resistance. Aubrac's account is just that, a 'novelisation'. For those who don't know - and Rees does pulls her punches here - Aubrac and her husband were Communist Jews, they were opposed to de Gaulle's official representative in France (Moulin) and opposed to attempts to organise the resistance from London - Moulin of course was captured and tortured by Barbie in Caluire, a suburb of Lyon, in June 1943. That was the end of him and nearly the end of the French resistance. Somebody betrayed him. Barbie said the Aubracs were in on it. Gerard Chauvy's book 'Lyon 1943' - mentioned by Rees in those last 20 pages - told the whole story from this perspective. Needless to say the Aubracs got it banned and pulped. Moulin's secretary Daniel Cordier didn't pull any punches either when he participated in left-wing French newspaper Liberation's commission of enquiry into what the aubracs really knew and really did. In my view the Aubracs - especially Lucie- were liars and fantasists and particularly unpleasant people, but of course they've had the chance to tell their own 'stories' which Rees really relies far too much on. One of the main espisodes of Aubrac's book is her attempt to liberate her husband, captured at the same time as Moulin and held by Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie. The facility with which she is able to come and go from Gestapo headquarters in Lyon beggars belief - the Aubracs must have colluded in some way with Barbie - to secure Raymond Aubrac's release from German captivity about which the 'truth' will never be known. Either that or many elements of Raymond Aubrac's subsequent escape are pure invention. Of course Klaus Barbie muddied the waters somewhat at his trial in the late 80's but the usual brutal portrayal of him simply begs the question...how could he possibly have been taken in as Aubrac suggests? Rees now needs to do some real research, perhaps a book on husband Raymond, responsible among other things for the 'cleansing' of the city of Marseille after the Allies retook the town in August 1944, ie summary executions of 'collaborators' and the like, which didn't stop until around 1949. These activities sit rather uneasily with the somewhat rose-tinted view of the Aubracs presented here. ( )
  FalkeEins | Oct 25, 2015 |
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Wikipedia en anglès

No n'hi ha cap

In May 1943, a young pregnant Frenchwoman called Lucie Aubrac engineered the escape of her husband Raymond from the clutches of Klaus Barbie, the feared Gestapo chief. She later ambushed the prison vans in which members of the Resistance were being driven to an almost certain death. Spirited out of France by the RAF at the end of 1943, nine months pregnant, she arrived in London a heroine. In 1983, when both Aubracs had retired, Klaus Barbie was put on trial in France. He claimed that the Aubracs had become Gestapo informers in 1943 and betrayed their comrades. The French press and the couple themselves denounced this 'slander', but inconsistencies emerged in her story and led to doubts that have never quite gone away. This book tells true story of the remarkable Frenchwoman who outwitted the Gestapo.

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