Resources on the Aubracs

Aubrac, Lucie. Outwitting the Gestapo (University of Nebraska Press, 1994).

Lucie Aubrac (1912-2007), of Catholic and peasant background, was teaching history in a Lyon girls' school and newly married to Raymond, a Jewish engineer, when World War II broke out and divided France. The couple, living in the Vichy zone, soon joined the Resistance movement in opposition to the Nazis and their collaborators. Outwitting the Gestapo is Lucie's harrowing account of her participation in the Resistance: of the months when, though pregnant, she planned and took part in raids to free comrades—including her husband, under Nazi death sentence—from the prisons of Klaus Barbie, the infamous Butcher of Lyon. Her book is also the basis for the 1997 French movie, Lucie Aubrac, which was released in the United States in 1999.

 

Aubrac, Raymond and Lucie.  The French Reistance: 1940-1944 (Hazan, 1997).

This volume relies on the telling of the French Resistance movement though a presentation of over 100 pictures.  Includes posters, as well as propaganda papers.

 

Films

Lucie Aubrac (1997), Director: Claude Berri, Running time: 115 minutes.

Carole Bouquet stars as Lucie Aubrac, a heroine of the French resistance during World War II. Her husband Raymond (Daniel Auteuil) is a resistance fighter who helps sabotage Nazi trains. At a meeting, he and some compatriots are arrested, but believed to merely be black-marketeers. Lucie secures his release and enables them to fulfill their oath to spend every May 14 together, the anniversary of the first night they made love. The arrest of a resistance leader causes divisions; a meeting called to resolve them is raided, and Raymond is arrested again, along with an important resistance figure known as Max. Raymond endures brutal interrogations but is sentenced to death. With steely determination, Lucie plots to rescue him.

Lucie Aubrac is part thriller and part romance, but both halves are handled with a subdued discretion that doesn't prevent the movie from being deeply engaging. Meticulous and skillful, director Claude Berri paces his story carefully, paying attention to the details of life in occupied France. The fully developed atmosphere, never overstated, gives just the right frame to Lucie and Raymond's passionate marriage. Auteuil is solid, but it's Bouquet's film; her performance is as low-key as the movie, yet completely compelling and deeply affecting. Based on a true story.  (Bret Fetzer for Amazon)