‘Great Lady’ of French resistance who survived Nazi camps dies, aged 103

The Independent 2 weeks ago

A concentration camp survivor who fought the Nazis as a member of the French Resistance has died, aged 103.

Yvette Lundy died in the town of Epernay on Sunday.

She was born in 1916 in the northeastern village of Marne.

She later joined the resistance, the name given to a collection of movements which fought against the Nazi occupation of France and the Vichy government.

Lundy was famed for her work during the Second World War. In the midst of the conflict she supplied fake papers to Jewish people fleeing the Nazi regime’s forced labour camps.

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She also forged documents for escaped prisoners of war, while working as a teacher in the town of Giognes.

But Lundy was captured by the Gestapo in June 1944, aged 28. She was sent to Ravensbrück​, a Nazi concentration camp for women, according to Euronews.

“The body is naked and the brain is suddenly ragged: we are like a hole, a hole full of emptiness, and if we look around, it’s still empty,​” she said of the conditions there during a 2017 interview with the AFP news agency.

“Still today, there is a moment of the day when I think of the camp ... it is often the evening, before falling asleep,” she added, describing the installation as a “hell hole”.

The former teacher was later transferred to Buchenwald, and was eventually liberated y the Russian army in 1945.

Her brother, also a member of the resistance, died in a concentration camp the same year.

After the Second World War, Lundy returned to France.

More than a decade later she began to tour schools and speak of her experiences, at the urging of the French government.

She also wrote about surviving Ravensbrück​ and Buchenwald in her book Le Fil de l’Ariaignee (The Spider’s Thread).

In 2017 she was made a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, one of the most senior civilian awards in France.

On Monday the news of her death was met with effusive tributes online.

Eric Giradrin, a French national assembly member, said on Twitter he was saddened to hear of the passing of “the great lady of the resistance”. Lundy had worked throughout her life to educate younger generations about the Second World War, he said.

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“She was so great, so endearing, so benevolent, so radiant,” added Franck Leroy, the mayor of Epernay, in a Facebook post.

“She was this incredible resister, arrested in her school in Gionges, then deported to the camps of Ravensbrück and Buchenwald.

“For me, she was Yvette. Simply. A faithful, playful, funny, mischievous friend.”​


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Yvette Lundy, a Resistance fighter who survived the horrors of Nazi concentration camps has died aged 103, authorities said.
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All too often resistance is seen as a sign that something is wrong. The response is to change direction, to suppress the resistance or just to "power through." I suggest a healthier and more effective response to resistance: Treat it as your friend.
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