Berty Albrecht

1893-1943
Berty Albrecht. Source : SHD

Bertie Albrecht was born in Marseille on 15 February 1893 into a Protestant family. She qualified as a nurse and worked in a military hospital during the war. In 1919 she married a Dutch financier, Frédéric Albrecht, with whom she had two children. She left for London in 1924. On her return to Paris in 1931, she devoted her time to the League of Human Rights and Women condition. In 1934, she took up the cause of German refugees fleeing fascism, helping them to find work, money, and accommodation. She did the same for the refugees of the Spanish civil war. During the war she was mobilised as superintendent at Usines Fulmen to Vierzon. Profoundly shocked by the armistice, she refused to accept defeat and moved to the free zone where she met up with her friend Henri Frenay who had escaped from Germany and with whom she organised what was to become the major Resistance movement "Combat", first in Vichy and then in Lyon.

She was arrested by the Vichy government, end of November 1942, placed under administrative detention and refused a lawyer or a trial. She went on hunger strike to obtain the right to a trial and her demand was met after 13 days. After being transferred to Saint-Joseph prison in Lyon she was judged six months later and was condemned to spend the rest of the war in an internment camp set up by the Vichy government. She feigned madness, and was interned at the psychiatric hospital in Bron, from which she escaped with the help of a commando raid organised by the Combat movement on 23 December 1942. Hunted by both the French and German police, she spent two months in hiding in the region of Toulouse before joining Henri Frenay in Cluny and taking up the clandestine struggle once again. She was denounced and arrested by the Gestapo in Mâcon on 28 May 1943. She was taken to the Montluc prison in Lyon and then incarcerated at Fresnes, May 31 at 0:15, where she managed to escape the supervision of its guards and commits suicide by hanging in the night.

In May 1945 his body was found in the vegetable garden in the Fresnes prison and buried in the crypt of the Memorial Fighting France Mont Valerian. She was posthumously awarded the 'Croix de Compagnon de la Libération', the 'Médaille Militaire', the 'Croix de Guerre avec Palmes' and the 'Médaille de la Résistance'.

She was arrested by the Vichy government, end of November 1942, placed under administrative detention and refused a lawyer or a trial. She went on hunger strike to obtain the right to a trial and her demand was met after 13 days. After being transferred to Saint-Joseph prison in Lyon she was judged six months later and was condemned to spend the rest of the war in an internment camp set up by the Vichy government. She feigned madness, and was interned at the psychiatric hospital in Bron, from which she escaped with the help of a commando raid organised by the Combat movement on 23 December 1942. Hunted by both the French and German police, she spent two months in hiding in the region of Toulouse before joining Henri Frenay in Cluny and taking up the clandestine struggle once again. She was denounced and arrested by the Gestapo in Mâcon on 28 May 1943. She was taken to the Montluc prison in Lyon and then incarcerated at Fresnes, May 31 at 0:15, where she managed to escape the supervision of its guards and commits suicide by hanging in the night.

In May 1945 his body was found in the vegetable garden in the Fresnes prison and buried in the crypt of the Memorial Fighting France Mont Valerian. She was posthumously awarded the 'Croix de Compagnon de la Libération', the 'Médaille Militaire', the 'Croix de Guerre avec Palmes' and the 'Médaille de la Résistance'.