Accessibility links

Breaking News

French Resistance Hero Lucie Aubrac Dies at 94

French resistance heroine Lucie Aubrac, who led a daring World War II raid to free her husband from a Nazi prison, has died in suburban Paris. She was 94.

Aubrac's daughter said her mother's death Wednesday came after a two-month hospitalization.

French President Jacques Chirac, said in a statement Thursday "a light of the resistance has gone out." Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said France lost a woman of "honor, tenacity and commitment."

Aubrac was a history and geography teacher when the Nazis invaded France in May of 1940. Months later, she helped her husband, engineer Raymond Samuel, set up one of the first networks of resistance fighters in southern France, Liberation-sud.

When her husband was arrested by the Gestapo (Nazi security police) in 1943, she led an armed commando raid near Lyon that freed him and other resistance fighters.

Aubrac and her family fled to London in 1944, where they joined the administration in exile of resistance leader Charles de Gaulle. She was later awarded the Legion of Honor, France's highest award, for her wartime exploits.

The 1997 movie Lucie Aubrac detailed her life. Two other films, The Army of Shadows, and the Boulevard of the Swallows were also based on her life story.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.