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Raymond Aubrac (1914–2012)

Author of The French Resistance: 1940-1944

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Raymond Aubrac was born Raymond Samuel into a middle-class French Jewish family of shopkeepers in Vesoul, in the Haute-Saône in eastern France. He was active in left-wing student politics, and met Lucie Bernard during meetings. He studied civil engineering at the prestigious École nationale des ponts et chaussées in Paris, and received a scholarship for further study at MIT and Harvard University in 1937. He served in the French army as an engineering officer at the outbreak of World War II and met Lucie again in Strasbourg. They were married in December 1939. Raymond and Lucie formed an early resistance group called Libération-Sud, with Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie, and took the nom de guerre Aubrac. In 1941, they helped Emmanuel d'Astier set up the underground newspaper Libération. In 1943, Raymond Aubrac was one of eight senior Resistance leaders arrested by the Milice and handed over to the Gestapo. He was sentenced to death, but was saved when his wife Lucie helped organize a daring rescue operation. The couple hid in the French countryside and later escaped to London, where they joined Charles de Gaulle's government in exile. After the war, Raymond Aubrac was appointed to a senior post by the French Ministry of Reconstruction, overseeing the nation's reconstruction and mine clearance. He also worked on many civil engineering projects in Europe, North Africa and Asia. He published his book The French Resistance in 1994.
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