Lucie et Raymond Aubrac
Born Raymond Samuel into a Jewish family in Vesoul, Haute-Saône (His parents were deported to Auschwitz by the convoy No. 66 of January 20, 1944, and killed there.)
After the fall of France, Lucie joined the Libération-sud resistance group in Lyon after its formation by her husband. Later, she followed him to the Charles Delestraint’s group. In 1941 they joined forces with Emmanuel d’Astier to run the underground newspaper, Libération, the same year their first child, Jean-Pierre, was born.
On June 21, 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 a fortunate opportunity.
On the day of Lucie’s and Raymond’s “marriage”, October 21, 1943, Lucie and her comrades attacked the German truck that was transporting the prisoners back to German command, and released Raymond along with the thirteen other members of the Resistance being held. Six Germans, including the truck driver and five guards, were killed during the attack and escape.
Having had their true identities revealed, Lucie, Raymond and their first child Jean-Pierre left for London in February 1944. As it was the last alias they had used in France, Aubrac remained as their name in the United Kingdom.
Their second child, Catherine, born on February 12, and became de Gaulle’s goddaughter. In 1946, Lucy gave birth to her third child, Elizabette “Babette”, and Ho Chi Minh became her godfather.