Sunday, October 11, 2015

Trial and sentence of French resister Louise Thuliez

Louise Thuliez
Courtesy of Vincent Boez

"Louise, Philippe, Edith, and many others were all brought to trial on the same day, October 7, 1915. Louise was called to the stand directly after Edith. She was asked many questions designed to reveal the organization system of the escape network; the Germans wanted to know who was in charge. But they were disappointed: this group has worked together on terms of equality. There was no "chief."

When they had finished questioning Louise, and she was in the process of returning to her seat, the prosecutor suddenly asked her one  more question: What was her motive for becoming involved in rescuing Allied soldiers? "Because I am a Frenchwoman" she replied.

All of the court proceedings were conducted in German, with French translations for the prisoners. When they heard their sentences read on October 11, the prisoners heard one German word repeated five times: "Todesstrafe." When the interpreter read the sentences in French, they realized what Todesstrafe meant: five of them, including Philippe, Edith, and Louise, had been sentenced to death.

Louise woke up at six the following morning with a feeling of dread. 'I am afraid,' she said to her cellmate, 'afraid for Edith Cavell.'"

From "Louise Thuliez: Because I am a Frenchwoman" from Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies and Medics.

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