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BORN ON THIS DAY: The Mauritian woman who fought the Nazis

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BORN ON THIS DAY: The Mauritian woman who fought the Nazis

On May 8, 1918 was born Alix Marrier D’Unienville, one of the most famous Mauritius-born WWII heroes.

She was the daughter of Jules-Noël Marrier d’Unienville (1888-1959), a Mauritian writer and Hélène Marrier de Lagatinerie (1886-1959).

Her parents, wealthy aristocrats, moved from the district of Savanne to France, to a chateau near Vannes, when she was six.

One of his sisters, Marie-Thérèse is a nun. Her brother, France Charles, joined the Free French Forces. Her other sister was Solange married Fernand de la Taille Lolainville, an officer of the French Navy.

BORN ON THIS DAY: The Mauritian woman who fought the Nazis

Alix became a field agent and resistance operative in the Free French (RF) section of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) during WWII. She began her SOE training in June 1943, at the special training schools at Beaulieu.

In March 1944, she parachuted into Loir-et-Cher carrying millions in francs for distribution. 

She worked successfully in Paris until she was arrested in June 1944, and taken Gestapo headquarters where she was interrogated, and a search found her cyanide pill.

She was held in Fresnes prison in solitary confinement. She pretended to be mentally ill to escape from Fresnes and to be transferred to Saint-Anne hospital.

This plan was foiled by the Gestapo, who transferred her to La Pitié, a place associated with brutal atrocities of the Gestapo.

BORN ON THIS DAY: The Mauritian woman who fought the Nazis

Alix D’Unienville, by once again eating and talking, was able to get herself transferred briefly to Saint-Anne, and then to the prison camp at Romainville, where she and another woman, Annie Hervé, hatched a plan to escape over the walls using a rope they made out of black curtains.

The attempt was abandoned when Hervé was deported to Germany. D’Unienville was in the last convoy to be sent from Romainville to Germany, but she was able to escape when the prisoners were sent across a road bridge over the Marne because the rail bridge had been destroyed by Allied bombing.

She hid in two villages before being liberated by the Americans, and was able to return to Paris. After the war, D’Unienville was employed as a war correspondent for U.S. forces in southeast Asia before she worked as an air hostess for Air France and became a writer of fiction and nonfiction.

She is the first woman to have obtained the prestigious Albert London Prize in 1950.

She died in Paris at age 97 in 2015.

Source: Wikipedia

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The information and opinions expressed in our published works are those of authors/sources believed to be reliable. NewsMoris makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed.