3 Key Women in the French Resistance

Marie_Helene_Lefaucheux.jpg

Marie-Hélène Lefaucheux

Suzanne_Hiltermann.jpg

Suzanne Hiltermann-Souloumiac

3 Key Women in the French Resistance

Celebrating the airing of the French drama, Fallen from the Sky, about a senior woman who helps a British soldier during the Nazi occupation of France, we pay homage to some of the most important names of the French Resistance. These women, who inspired the leading character of the film, were the living proof of a profound love for their country and an admirable sense of responsibility.

Marie-Hélène Lefaucheux

Born in 1904, Marie-Hélène Lefaucheux became one of France’s leading human rights activists during and after World War II. In the years of the conflict, she was part of the French Resistance with her husband Pierre. Their Paris apartment was a point of connection for the underground network, and headquarters for an organization that prepared packages for political prisoners and their families. Marie-Hélène orchestrated her husband's release from Buchenwald concentration camp after he was captured by the Gestapo.

Following the war, she was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honor and became a member of the French delegation to the United Nations. She helped found the UN's Commission on the Status of Women and was its chair from 1948 to 1953.

Suzanne Hiltermann-Souloumiac

Born in January 1919, Suzanne Hiltermann-Souloumiac, spend her early years in Holland but moved to Paris to study ethnology. Suzanne joined the resistance Dutch-Paris network in 1943 and partook in many of the operations needed for sheltering Allied pilots and then for moving them out of Nazi-controlled areas. She was known as Touty in the Resistance Network and was arrested on February 27, 1944, to later be sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp.

To reward her fight for freedom and for the saving of many Allied pilots during World War II, President Harry S. Truman gave her the Medal of Freedom.

Germaine Tillion

Known for her work in Algeria in the 1950s on behalf of the French government, Germaine Tillion was born on May of 1907. After a childhood in Clermont-Ferrand, she moved to Paris to study social anthropology. Her first act of resistance was to help a Jewish family by giving them her family's papers. Then, Germaine became one of the members in the French Resistance in the Musée de l'Homme network, in Paris. Her missions included helping prisoners to escape and organizing intelligence for the Allied forces from 1940 to 1942.

Betrayed by the priest Robert Alesch, who had joined her resistance network and gained her confidence, she was arrested on August 13, 1942.

Return to Fallen from the Sky

 
  

Germaine_Tillion.jpg

Germaine Tillion

Sign up for the Eurochannel Newsletter!

Don't miss our latest line-up, exclusive sweepstakes and events!