December 7, 1944
Epinal, France

No. 70 (continued)

Dear Folksies,

            The story of Yvette is a proud yet sad one and all can only hope that she and her husband [Jean-Guy] are still well and alive.  George Baumann [Yvette’s father] had recently gone to Paris and gotten a lot of the details concerning Yvette that they had not previous heard and, in fact, Lilice [Yvette’s mother] and others, according to Jean Pierre [Yvette’s brother], are not being told all the particulars, the reason for which you shall see in a minute.

           It seems that Yvette and her husband were not actually in the FFI [French Forces of the Interior] as I told you I thought they had been in my last letter, but they were “Chiefs of the Resistance” right in Paris.  They were apparently the real big-shots there, along with one other whose name has become famous in France for his resistance activities.  Of course, Yvette and her husband did not go by their true names either.  One thing they did was provide help, money, etc., for the families of those of their members who were captured, deported, etc.  Apparently they did an awful lot to further the cause of freeing France. 

           One night, when they were expecting guests for dinner, the door-bell rang and Yvette’s husband went to the door.  When Yvette came out of the kitchen she found the guests had been replaced by Gestapo men and that her husband was tied to a chair.  They were both taken, to separate prisons, but they apparently did not have any proof against them.  Yvette, however, proudly admitted being Jewish.  She denied everything else.  When taken to prison she was 8 months pregnant, and while there, was attacked and as a consequence the baby was born dead. She was terribly ill, yet the FFI rescued her from the prison and secluded her in a home in a small village away from Paris. 

           However, one of the FFI that had helped in the bold rescue of her was afterwards captured and by torture forced to tell where Yvette was being kept.  So she was again captured and this time taken to the prison for the Jews.  They made her a nurse and she was taken as such to Germany about March of this year.  Her husband was likewise taken to Germany — as a Jew, but not as one of the resistance movement.  That, of course, is the last news anyone has of them.

             You know, it may seem strange, but whereas I didn’t remember Jean Pierre, I’ve always had a pretty vivid picture of Yvette as she was when we saw her 21 years ago.  And I wasn’t particularly surprised to hear of the things she had done — somehow I expected something like that from her. 

            Doude’s sister, likewise active in the resistance, only in the Lyon sector, was taken prisoner some months ago, held in prison in Lyon for a while and then a few months ago taken to Germany. She is un-married, her fiancé being in the Army that was formed in Africa. He came to visit her on a furlough recently, only to hear the sad news from his landlady.

                                                                                       Loads of love,

rene-transparent

.

Watch for the conclusion of this letter
December 8, 1944

René tells his parents about the “proud yet sad” tale of Yvette Baumann Bernard and her husband Jean-Guy Bernard. This photo (from left to right) Claudine Baumann Aaronson (Yvette’s sister) Jean-Guy, Yvette, Gilles Aaronson and baby Dominique Aaronson was taken in Theys, France (near Grenoble) at Christmas 1943. This is probably last time that they were all together before Yvette and Jean-Guy were arrested in Paris on January 28, 1944.

René tells his parents, “…whereas I didn’t remember Jean Pierre, I’ve always had a pretty vivid picture of Yvette as she was when we saw her 21 years ago.  And I wasn’t particularly surprised to hear of the things she had done — somehow I expected something like that from her.” The photo above shows (left to right) siblings Claudine, Jean-Pierre and Yvette about the time that René and his family visited them in France two decades before.