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Lucie Aubrac Talks About Collaborators

Discussion in 'The Secret War: Resistance and Espionage During WW' started by Jim, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Mme Lucie Aubrac, young French Resistance fighter, defended in London in 1944 the action of her countrymen in shaving the heads of French "collaborationist" women and driving them through the streets of Cherbourg.

    I was sent to her by Fighting French H.Q. in London. " She came from France only a few months ago, and can explain better than you can imagine just what the mood of France is," they said, Mme. Aubrac is tall dark-haired, a dynamo of energy. The moment I raised the question of the collaborationist women burning, phrase upon acid sentence poured from her.

    Daily Mail Reporter.

    Lucie Aubrac

    [​IMG]

    "Have you ever seen Monsieur, the Carnival? For 40 days we have been pious. For 40 days we pray. But the Carnival we explode. We commit follies. We go mad. Sometimes we go too far, but not this time. It is not 40 days, but four years. The soul of France is free discussion, but everywhere we had to be dumb. The soul of France is gaiety and we had to be glum. Our radio must be listened to behind closed windows. Our walks must be taken under German eyes. For four years, Monsieur. And now in one little corner we are free. Imagine to yourself the reaction of that freedom.

    No Whipping

    What would you have us do with these collaborators? Put them in prison? For one thing, the prisons are full. For another, the women who have had their heads shaved do not merit prison. They are the women who consoled the Boche soldiers. They have not betrayed anyone to their death, traitors like that will be shot or will go to prison. But these women who have betrayed in the spirit we treat them more lightly. We shave their heads. We do not write across their papers and preserve a record of their crime. In a few weeks or a few months their hair will grow again and all will be forgotten. For the women to whom this has been done are the women of the town, almost all of them. In the old days they were whipped. We are not whipping today. For us in France ridicule is a mortal weapon, it kills. These petty collaborators, therefore, we ridicule. They are not worth more. They do not deserve less. Figure to yourself, I ask you, the feelings of the men of the Maquis who have fought for years in secret when they meet a woman who had made friends with the enemy. Do you wonder why they explode?

    Raymond And Lucie Aubrac

    [​IMG]

    Mercy

    Let me tell you a story. On Armistice Day last year the men of the Maquis announced they would hold a parade in a certain town. The Germans occupied the town, as we knew they would. And the parade was held in another town. One of the flirts of the Germans tried to telephone to advise the Boche of the change of plan: A message was intercepted. The Germans did not arrive. Two days later the informer was taken from her house by men of the Maquis and stripped. A word was painted across her back and she was turned out of doors. She was not killed. Do you think that was too severe? Me I marvel at their mercy. The Anglo-Saxons are strange to a Latin, Monsieur; Mme. Aubrac went on more calmly. You are brave. You will face anything but the shocking. There are things I find shocking. Monsieur, I do not talk about atrocity stories, but 1 cannot weep over these petty traitors with shaven hair. I have seen too many women who have had their eye lashes plucked out or their finger nails torn out to make them speak.

    ‘Our Right’

    Besides today I have heard the English say this shaving of heads is a German way to treat women. I will not say that it is just that they should be treated like Germans, for they have chosen to become half Germans. I will say that if you here knew the Germans as we have had to know them, you would not say that to shave the head is German. Those gentry have worse things in their repertoire. I have been, here only five months, Mme. Aubrac rescued her husband from the Germans at pistol point, brought him and her three year old child by air to London last February, and within two days, bore her second child, on the free soil of England, and five months is too short a time to understand a people. But I would say that we of the Resistance who have lived the life we have had to live for the last four years now have the right to punish those who comforted our enemies. And if we punish them with ridicule in the French way, why not? For we are French, and thanks largely to you, Normandy begins to be France again."
     

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