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Berty Albrecht

Berty Albrecht (born Berthe Wild; Marseille, 15 February 1893 – died Fresnes, 1943).[1]

Life

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Born into a middle-class Protestant family, she married the Dutch banker Frédéric Albrecht in 1918. They had two children, Frédéric and Mireille. Separated from her husband, she moved to Paris, where she made friends with Victor Basch, a teacher at the Sorbonne and the president of the Human Rights League. She founded a feminist journal, Le Problème Sexuel (The Sexual Problem), in which she campaigned for the right to access contraception and abortion.

Conscious of the reality of Nazism and hostile to the Munich Accords, she founded a welcome centre for German refugees. There, she met Captain Henri Frenay, and participated in all of his Resistance initiatives, despite their political differences. She was close to the Communists, whereas Frenay, although a visceral enemy of the Nazis and collaborators, harboured doubts about Marshal Pétain, whom he thought was secretly preparing the Liberation of France. Together, they successively produced three journals: “Bulletins d’informations et de propagande” (Information and Propaganda Bulletins), “Les Petites Ailes” (Little Wings) and then “Vérités” (Truths), before becoming directors of the “Combat” network.

Death

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Detained and released once by the French police, she was arrested in 1943 by the Gestapo and transferred to Fresnes Prison, where she was tortured. She then committed suicide by hanging.

Legacy

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After the war, her body was buried in the crypt of the French Resistance martyrs in Fort Mont-Valérien. This is now part of the Mémorial de la France combattante. Albecht is one of the six women nominated to the order of French Resistance Fighter.

Honour

References

  1. Berty Albrecht (1893-1943) profile, cheminsdememoire.gouv.fr; accessed 21 February 2018.

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