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A tribute to Lucie Aubrac

by Melanchthon Thu Mar 15th, 2007 at 03:31:58 AM EST

Lucie Aubrac, one of the great figures of the French Resistance, has passed away yesterday at the age of 94.

Lucie Aubrac was born Lucie Bernard on June 29 , 1912 in the region of Mâcon. Before the war, she studied History at the Sorbonne University from which she received the highest teaching diploma. She then started to teach History.

As soon as 1940, she engaged in the Resistance in Lyon with her husband, Raymond Aubrac and she contributed to the founding of one of the first resistance movements, Liberation-South. Together with Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie, they founded one of the most important clandestine newspapers: Libération. As the head of an armed commando, she carried out, among other actions, a military action to liberate her husband from the hands of SS-Hauptsturmführer Klaus Barbie, head of the Gestapo in Lyon. After the success of this operation, the couple left France in February 1944 to join de Gaulle in London and then in Algiers.

After the war, in 1945, when the French women obtained the voting rights for the first time, she created the Privilège newspaper of women, which lasted for a few months.  She was a member of the Consultative Assembly resulting from the Resistance and charged with supervising the Departmental Committees of Liberation.  She then resumed the teaching of History and kept campaigning for Human Rights. After she retired from teaching, Lucie Aubrac kept relentlessly going to high-schools to explain the resistance to the students.  

Lucie Aubrac published several books, among which was one published in 1984, "They left, wild with joy", an account of the escape that she organized to liberate her husband from Klaus Barbie.  

Lucie Aubrac was a great Frenchwoman - afew


Contrary to what those who think the European Union was created by the Anglo-Saxon neoliberals claim, many of the ideas which were implemented in Europe came from the French National Resistance Council Programme written clandestinely in 1944.  

Here is an appeal Lucie Aubrac signed, together with 12 other former resistance fighters in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of the French National Resistance Council: Video (in French) where her husband Raymond Aubrac appears.

Here is the text:


The Appeal of Resistance Fighters

At the time when we see the foundation of the social conquests of the Liberation being called into question, we, veterans of the Resistance movements and the fighting forces of France Libre (1940-1945), call on the younger generations to animate and retransmit the heritage of the Resistance and its still current ideals of economic, social, and cultural democracy.  

Sixty years later, Nazism is defeated, thanks to the sacrifice of our brothers and sisters of the Resistance and the nations united against fascist barbarity.  But this menace did not completely disappear, and our anger against injustice is still intact.

From our conscience comes this appeal to celebrate the topicality of the Resistance, neither in support of partisan causes nor instrumentalized by some stake of power, but to propose to the generations which will succeed us to achieve three acts which are humanist and profoundly political in the true sense of the term, so that the flame of the Resistance will never be extinguished.

First, we appeal to teachers, social movements, public collectives, creators, citizens, the exploited, the humiliated, to celebrate together the anniversary of the program of the National Council of the Resistance (C.N.R.) adopted in the underground on 15 March 1944: Social security and generalized pensions, control of "economic feudalisms," the right to culture and education for all, the press freed from money and corruption, labour and agricultural social laws, etc.  

How can it be that today money to maintain and extend these social conquests cannot be found, while the production of wealth has increased considerably since the Liberation, the period when Europe lay in ruin?  The political, economic, and intellectual leaders, and society as a whole, should neither resign themselves to nor allow themselves to be impressed by the current international dictatorship of financial markets which threatens peace and democracy.

We therefore call on the movements, parties, associations, institutions, and unions that are heirs to the Resistance to rise above the sectoral stakes, and to devote themselves first of all to the political causes of social injustices and social conflicts, no longer solely to their consequences, in order to define together a new "Program of the Resistance" for our century, recognizing that fascism always feeds on racism, intolerance, and war, which themselves feed on social injustices.

We call finally on children, young people, parents, old people, grandparents, teachers, public authorities, to raise a true peaceful insurrection against the mass media which offer, as the horizon for our youth, only commercial consumption, contempt for the weakest and for culture, generalized amnesia, and excessive competition of all against all.  We do not accept that the principal media from now on are controlled by private interests, contrary to the program of the National Council of the Resistance and to the ordinances on the press of 1944.

More than ever, to those who will create the century that is just beginning, we want to say with our affection:

"To create is to resist. To resist is to create."

Signatories:
Lucie Aubrac, Raymond Aubrac, Henri Bartoli, Daniel Cordier, Philippe Dechartre, Georges Guingouin, Stephan Hessel, Maurice Kriegel-Valrimont, Lise London, Georges Séguy, Germaine Tillion, Jean-Pierre Vernant, Maurice Voutey.

"When the government violates the rights of the people, the insurrection is, for the people and each portion of the people, the most sacred of rights and the most essential of duties." Article 35. Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 24 June 1793

Thank you, Lucie.

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"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Mar 14th, 2007 at 09:23:37 PM EST
by Nonpartisan on Thu Mar 15th, 2007 at 08:51:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Done!

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 15th, 2007 at 09:31:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, Melanchthon. I heard the news as I woke. I was about to write something. Strangely, I was thinking about her just yesterday.

Lucie Aubrac was a great woman, though she would have denied it and said she was just ordinary. Another clearly-defined individual, with bumps and sharp edges, like Abbé Pierre, resisters, combattants, never resigned to the pretended logic of social injustice, who passes on, and France, Europe, and the world are the less for it.

"To create is to resist. To resist is to create."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 15th, 2007 at 01:25:14 AM EST
A big thank you, Melanchthon...and excellent article on an excellent woman (and I never had heard of her until now...). And the letter she and her colleagues wrote is amazing. "Economic feudalism", indeed...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Mar 15th, 2007 at 04:15:15 AM EST
Now available on DailyKos

Please, recommend to make her better known on the other side of the pond.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 15th, 2007 at 05:13:46 AM EST
Congratulations. Looks like you made the Thursday night Diary Rescue.
by lychee on Thu Mar 15th, 2007 at 11:22:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Telegraph Obituary

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/news/2007/03/16/db1602.xm l

While in no way wishing to detract from her achievements, there appear to be some doubts as to the true story of the war period.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Mar 16th, 2007 at 08:39:22 AM EST

While in no way wishing to detract from her achievements

That obituary is a smear job, clearly suggesting that she (of her husband) is a traitor. Nice.

She's a commie and French, that's triple plus evil.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 16th, 2007 at 09:03:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't want to engage in a discussion of this, cause I don't know the facts. I saw something in the media, and I passed it on. I thought ET was a place where we clarify facts, not make them holy.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Mar 16th, 2007 at 10:15:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but the article, which is quite neddlessly nasty and partisan for an obituary.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 16th, 2007 at 11:06:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obituaries in The Independent and The Times do not go into the Barbie/Vergès/Chauvy smear. The Guardian does, in a more balanced way than The Telegraph.

Obituaries are generally by people who have some knowledge of the deceased or her/is life and times, and for that reason they are often signed. The first three linked to above are signed, the Torygraph one doesn't seem to be.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 16th, 2007 at 02:58:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole accusation comes from Gérard Chauvy's book written in a few months in 1997 to benefit from the popularity of the movie (it was published at the same time). This accusation had never been mentioned before. Chauvy based his book on the "testament" of Klaus  Barbie, head of the Gestapo in Lyon.

Klaus Barbie, after having collaborated with the US secret services, had took refuge in Bolivia, where, under the name of Klaus Altman, he worked as a "consultant" for the police of the dictatorship. Spotted in 1971 by Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, Barbie was formally identified by... Raymond Aubrac! In 1983, after the fall of the Bolivian dictatorship, Barbie was extradited to France.

Klaus Barbie's trial was held in 1987 and he was condemned to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity. His counsel was Jacques Vergès, a very famous lawyer. He helped Barbie to write his "testament" in which he accused many resistance fighters to be traitors and especially Raymond and Lucie Aubrac. Knowing that, given the facts, Barbie would be condemned, Jacques Vergès wanted to bring discredit upon the Resistance.  No other document nor witness had so far mentioned this, and no one since... Interestingly, Vergès did not mention this accusation during Barbie's trial, not even when Raymond Aubrac testified at Vergès request! But he disseminated it in the press and on the TV...

FYI, Jacques Vergès started by defending very courageously the Algerian freedom fighters from the FLN during the Algerian war. However, among the people he has defended since then are dictators Omar Bongo, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein,  the terrorist Carlos, the revisionist Roger Garaudy and Khieu Samphan, leader of the Red Khmers...

The so-called "jury" mentioned by the Telegraph was a "round table" organised by the French newspaper Libération, which was held with a surprising lack of rigour. It was denounced by a great number of historians.  

Here is good debunking by an historian (in French)


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Mar 16th, 2007 at 10:25:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, Gérard Chauvy has been condemned twice for libel...


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Mar 16th, 2007 at 10:27:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks! That was the point - for it to be debunked ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Mar 16th, 2007 at 10:54:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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