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Raymond Aubrac, one of the greatest leaders of the French resistance, passed away yesterday evening, the BBC reports.His story is certainly worth remembering.
An engineer by training, Aubrac was born Raymond Samuel, a Jew, in 1914. Both his parents were later sent to Auschwitz and he adopted the name Aubrac.
Before the war he dabbled in Left Wing politics, but it was the war that pushed him to action. In 1940 he formed a movement against the Nazi operation — called Liberation Sud — in Lyon.
By 1942 he was working with General De Gaulle’s Resistance chief Jean Moulin. The next year the two were arrested in a Gestapo raid — Moulin was later tortured to death.
Aubric was luckier. While being transported by the Gestapo, a group of resistance fighters (including his wife, Lucie) attacked the convoy. His wife had famously arranged for him to be moved so that they could marry (she was pregnant at the time and such options were allowed in French law).
The AFP reports that the act became one of the most famous Resistance wins of World War II — two films were made about it, “Lucie Aubrac” and “Boulevard des Hirondelles.”
He fled France in 1944, and after the war enjoyed a successful career in government and banking. His wife died in 2007.
Before his death he had endorsed French Socialist candidate Francois Hollande in next month’s elections. Both Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy paid their respects to the hero today, Liberation reports.
Aged 97, he was one of the few leading members of the resistance still alive. He died in a military hospital in Paris.
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