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Death of Raymond Aubrac, Leader of the French Resistance

Publié le April 18, 2012
Major Figure Risked Life, Advanced Cause of "la France Libre"

Raymond Aubrac, a key figure of the French Resistance during the Second World War, died in Paris on Thursday, April 10, at the age of 97.

Mr. Aubrac was born on July 31, 1914 in the city of Vesoul, in eastern France. He entered the prestigious Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées at the age of 20. He finished his education as a civil engineer in the United States in 1937, at Harvard University and at M.I.T.

Ceremony at the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris.
(photo / L. Blevennec & C. Alix)

World War Two began as he was completing his military service near Strasbourg, on the Maginot Line. At that time, he met Lucie Bernard, who became his wife. The couple soon got engaged in the Resistance movements in the Southern Zone of France, which was then ruled by France’s puppet government then based in Vichy.

Mr. Aubrac participated with this wife in the foundation of the movement "Libération Sud," and became a staff officer of the "Armée secrète," a gathering of resistance activists. On multiple occasions, Mr. Aubrac was arrested by the Germans, but he always managed to escape, often with his wife’s help.

At the Libération, Mr. Aubrac was appointed Regional Commissioner of the Republic at Marseille by Charles de Gaulle. He continued to uphold the values of "la France libre" for the rest of his life.

Ceremony at the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris.
(photo / L. Blevennec & C. Alix)

In 2004, Mr. Aubrac and his wife signed an appeal to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Program of National Council of the Resistance. The text invited "the young generations to sustain and pass on the legacy of the Resistance and its timeless values of economic, social and cultural democracy."

A ceremony in honor of Mr. Aubrac was held on Monday, April 16, at the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris.

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