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Geneviève DE GAULLE-ANTHONIOZ

French Geneviève DE GAULLE-ANTHONIOZ

born Geneviève DE GAULLE

Niece of General Charles de Gaulle, a member of the French Resistance

Source :  Patrick EMERIAU

Born: on October 25, 1920 in Saint-Jean-de-Valériscle, France
Died: on February 14, 2002 in Paris, France


Biography

Joining the resistance just after the occupation of France in June 1940, she expanded the present information networks, in particular the group “Défense de la France”. Arrested by P. Bonny, of the 93rd Band of Rue Lauriston, on July 20, 1943, she was imprisoned in Fresnes and was later deported to the concentration camp of Ravensbrück on February 2, 1944. In October of that year, she was placed in isolation in the camp bunker. This decision was taken by Heinrich Himmler in order to keep her alive and use her as a possible exchange prisoner. She was released in April 1945 and married Bernard Anthonioz the following year, a fellow resistance member and art editor, with whom she had four children.

Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz wrote a book, fifty years after her release from Ravensbrück, speaking of her life in the concentration camp and the mutual help between the women. This book was called La Traversée de la nuit (literally, "The Crossing of the Night", translated to English as "The Dawn of Hope: A Memoir of Ravensbrück" [ISBN 1-55970-498-5] published by Arcade Publishing), and was published by Points. It was translated into English and published in 1998 as God Remained Outside - An Echo of Ravensbruck.

An active member and later president of the ADIR (Association of Deportées and Internées of the Résistance), she filed lawsuits against Nazi war criminals, then took part in the rise of the political movement launched by her uncle, the Rally of the French People.

In 1958, she worked with the cabinet of André Malraux when she met Father Joseph Wresinski, then chaplain of the town of Noisy-le-Grand. In the sufferings of the families she met there, it revived those of which she and other deportees had experienced. In 1987, she testified in the case of the Nazi Klaus Barbie.

Allied with the movement ATD Quart Monde, then a permanent volunteer, she was the president of the movement from 1964 to September 2001.

In 1988 she became a member of the French Economic and Social Council, and for ten years fought for the adoption of a law against great poverty. Deferred in 1997 due to dissolution of the French National Assembly, her law was voted in 1998.

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