Patrick Marnham

Acting Heroically

Lucie Aubrac: The French Resistance Heroine who Defied the Gestapo

By Siân Rees

Michael O’Mara Books 256pp £20 order from our bookshop

Lucie Aubrac was a young French woman who became an instant celebrity in 1944 when she was flown out of France by the RAF and identified by the BBC as the heroine who had ambushed a German prison van, killed the guards and rescued her husband from the clutches of the Gestapo. Raymond Aubrac had been arrested in Lyon in June 1943 in the company of Jean Moulin, the political head of the French Resistance. Moulin died in German custody and when the war ended the Aubracs played a prominent role in the investigation and subsequent trial of the man they identified as the traitor who had betrayed him. This was paradoxical, since one of the first people suspected of betraying the meeting on 21 June in the house of Dr Frédéric Dugoujon in Caluire was Raymond Aubrac himself.

There were several reasons for suspecting Aubrac.

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