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Outwitting the Gestapo

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  275 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
This is Lucie's harrowing account of her participation in the Resistance: of the months when, though pregnant, she planned and took part in raids to free comrades- including her husband, under Nazi death sentence- from the prisons of Klaus Barbie, the infamous 'Butcher of Lyon.'
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Published August 1st 1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1984)
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Jun 22, 2013 Merrikay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book I have read on the French Resistance, which I am finding to be a fascinating subject. The first book was fiction, the second more of a personal although very educational journal. This third book is written in journal form but is giving me much more history about the formation of the Resistance. It is giving me a big picture of the breadth of the Resistance, both inside and outside of France, as well as in both occupied France and free France. More forms of resistance are d ...more
John Fullerton
I found this book quite remarkable for the ordinariness of courage on the part of a woman who is superficially conventional in every way: she's a French Roman Catholic, happily married, with a child she adores. She describes in an understated, self-deprecating way her role in the Resistance: walking into a prison to try to get a comrade out in broad daylight, befriending an SS officer, taking part in an armed raid in the streets to rescue another resistance member, a Sten submachine gun across h ...more
Aug 27, 2016 Riley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This memoir of the French Resistance is a good reminder of the bravery that people of principle can show, even in the darkest of times. It is humbling to think about, considering how easy it is to accommodate. In Lucie Aubrac's case, she and her husband chose to remain in France even though they had an out. I'd ask myself whether I would do the same, but I'm not sure if I'd like the answer.

From the book:

"[Her husband] Raymond Samuel was of Jewish origin; his ancestors had come from Poland at the
Ashley Lauren
Lucie Aubrac was one kick-a, bad-a lady.

Germans on my doorstep? Whatever, I'll just lie to their face.

Nazis capture my (Jewish) husband? NBD, I'll just march up to Klaus Barbie and give him a piece of my mind.

Pregnant? Psh, I'll go on raids and rescue missions until I start having labor pains.

Seriously, there's a book (and I guess, a movie) about Lucie Aubrac (aka: Catherine, Lucie Bernard, Lucie Samuels, etc) for good reason. She did some incredible things as part of the Resistance in France in
Dec 31, 2010 Keri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do not know how I got this book and it has been sitting by my bedside for a while but I finally got desperate to read something. This book was very interesting to me. It probably is well written in French but there are a few things that seem confusing or out of order. However it is well worth reading. A first hand account of the French resistance and an interesting life at challenging times makes good reading even for a person who prefers fiction and literature.
In Outwitting the Gestapo by Lucie Aubrac, Lucie retells her chilling experiences of living in occupied France during World War II. Before the occupation of France, Lucie was an strong-willed Catholic schoolteacher married to a loving Jewish man with a young son and a seeming average life. However, this all changed when the Nazis invaded France in 1943. Her husband, Raymond, went underground and together they joined the French Resistance, a league against Nazis. Through heroic journeys through u ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really admire Lucie Aubrac, and to be able to sit and listen to both she and her fellow compatriots, I'm sure would have been fascinating. The book has very interesting parts, and those I would rate a 5, but there are other parts that I believe were lost in translation, that is why my rating was just a 3 star.

To think that she was several months pregnant while accomplishing so much, I am just in awe. I believe if her story had been told by someone else, it would have shown the reader much more
Regina Lindsey
Jan 25, 2016 Regina Lindsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww-ii, ww1, ww2, wwi, wwii
Lucie Aburac, a history teacher, and her husband, Raymond, an engineer, decline an opportunity to further their studies in the United States to remian in German occupied France and help start the Reistance work under the Liberation Sud. The work covers the couple's activities during the nine months of Lucie's second pregrnancy, is told in diary style, and interspersed with flashbacks to fill in historical context.

It is hard to rate the book. I have been so entrenched in the dark side of humanit
I found myself not believing Lucie Aubrac, and felt it read more like a diary of a collaborator than one who bravely fought against the Nazis.

I felt guilty for thinking this of her. She's a true character in history. I couldn't help but google her afterwards to find, that her heroic acts have been questioned by many others who are rather dubious of her accounts.

Many people 'close' to her in the resistance get arrested and killed, the Nazis always seem to know where her friends in the resistance
Nov 02, 2011 BarbaraNathalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after viewing Lucie Aubrac, the film that was inspired by the experiences and challenges facing the French resistance during WWII. The film is impossible to find now, but fortunately the story is available througth the book.

Written as a memoir, Lucie Aubrac reveals the barbaric atrocities by Barbie, the butcher of Lyon. Lucie's husband is captured after contributing to a series of resistance manoevers, so the very pregnant Lucie goes to great lengths to gain the the interest an
Aug 29, 2013 dejah_thoris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
If get a chance, read this memoir of Lucie Aubrac's involvement with the French Resistance. Pregnant with her second child and mothering her first, this diary-style memoir of a family's life and struggles as active members of the Resistance is fascinating. Of course, Lucie is flown out of France at the last possible moment to give birth to her second child in London during the nightly Blitzkrieg. Stubborn as a mule and clever as a cat, she's rescued her own husband three times from the Gestapo, ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Ladygwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hillsdale, 2012
This was an amazing story. I was very impressed by the bravery of Lucie Aubrac and the other members of the French Resistance. She told this small section of her fight in a very frank and personal way, with humor and wit and detail. I wish she would have chronicled all of her resistance work- like when she rescued her husband from a death camp- but she didn't feel that was important enough to write about- she just wanted to chronicle the last 9 months, in which she rescued her husband from priso ...more
Jun 24, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A memoir about life in the French Resistance, 1942-2943. Most of it is focused on Lucie's attempt to free her imprisoned husband, along with anecdotes about encounters with various Resistance leaders, including Jean Moulin. Lucie was teaching at the Lyon Lycee, taking care of a 2-year old, and pregnant tthe time of these events. Some of the most moving passages have nothing to do with guerilla tactics but with Lucie's joy in her Boubou and the details of daily life under the Nazi regime. Clothes ...more
Apr 10, 2009 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
It took me a while to get through the first third of this book, which is strangely not as flowing and connected as I would have thought it would have been. I was terribly intrigued halfway through, and could not put it down for the last 95 pages. If you have read my other reviews or reads, well you know that I adore France (must be the cheese and pate) and am intrigued by the war and the resistance movement. Great memoir. How can one not appreciate an extraordinarily brave woman, who faced fears ...more
Jun 30, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an eye opener. I knew of the French resistance in the 2nd WW but they extent of participation was overwhelming. Lucie's bravery and creativity was wonderful. A great book for anyone interested in WW II history.
Apr 02, 2016 Allyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unbelievable read!
Jan 27, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like learning about the women in the French Resistance - WW II - you'll like this.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Corry L.
Dec 16, 2014 Corry L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing story. Lucie Aubrac is an incredible woman, and this memoir is vivid and as page-turning as a good novel. She evokes the privations and challenges of living in Vichy France and working for the French Resistance with precise detail that, as a writer, I found incredibly useful and fascinating. While ultimately uplifting and affirming, the struggles she and her family endured made me incredibly grateful for my life and freedom.
Apr 20, 2011 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-stories
A bit difficult to get into at first, especially because it was my first foray into French Resistance in WWII so I did not know a lot of the names Aubrac talks about as common knowledge. I soon did not care, Lucie Aubrac's story is compelling, you will find yourself rooting for her, holding your breath at each plan and plot.

Highly recommended for anyone looking for a book about a woman with guts and gusto.
I enjoyed learning about this period in Lucie Aubrac’s life.

Stories like this are always so captivating because they are true! Like the story of Nancy Wake Nancy Wake by Peter FitzSimons I am immensely impressed with these women’s determination and courage.

Would I be the same in their shoes? I hope so.

Michael Selvin
Remarkable memoir over six months during her pregnancy of the French resistance. She relates details of her husband and her experiences of working against the occupiers and the milice. Lots of day-to-day activities, including a major operation to liberate her husband from prison. On the way, she met Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon. Places the reader inside the action.
Joel Walsh
Jan 27, 2012 Joel Walsh rated it it was amazing
Unbelievable. While her Jewish husband is imprisoned by the Gestapo, she visits Klaus Barbie in person under a fake name to try to find out where he is. Meanwhile, she continues her teaching job and even goes on a planned all-day field trip days before the planned jail-break. And when I was a teacher, I would freak out just from having to organize the permission slips.
Memoir of service in French Resistance. Much of my seminar's discussion centered around Aubrac's decision to (and possible motives for) write her experience in the form of a diary, though she didn't keep one during her time in the Resistance. Good book for teaching the Resistance or critical reading of sources.
Mary Hauer
Jan 12, 2014 Mary Hauer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing first-person account of working with the French Resistance
Mar 20, 2013 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt like I was actually experiencing the same things that she experienced too. Although it was a bit confusing, I think that can be chalked up to the nature of her "job" because there was so many different names that were being thrown around.
Jul 15, 2010 Pancha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, memoir
An outstanding story of bravery. Resistance member Lucie Aubrac rescued her husband from Gestapo prisons three time, once while heavily pregnant. A memoir written in the diary format to better get across what life was like in occupied France.
Nov 30, 2010 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read loads about what it was like in England during the war for people not in the forces and want to learn about the equivelent in France.
Phil Beardmore
Dec 24, 2012 Phil Beardmore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring story of resistance to the Nazis, plus fond memories for me of the year I spent in Lyon as a student.
Jun 25, 2013 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great review of a woman in the French resistance movement from Lyon. A must read for French travelers!
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“We have been waiting for an hour when we see a squad of German soldiers line up on the roadbed alongside the train. Next comes a column of people in civilian clothes. Surely they are Jews. All of them are rather well dressed, with suitcases in their hands as if departing peacefully on vacation. They climb aboard the train while a sergeant major keeps them moving along, “Schnell, schnell.” There are men and women of all ages, even children. Among them I see one of my former students, Jeanine Crémieux. She got married in 1941 and had a baby last spring. She is holding the infant in her left arm and a suitcase in her right hand. The first step is very high above the rocky roadbed. She puts the suitcase on the step and holds on with one hand to the doorjamb, but she can’t quite hoist herself up. The sergeant major comes running, hollers, and kicks her in the rear. Losing her balance, she screams as her baby falls to the ground, a pathetic little white wailing heap. I will never know if it was hurt, because my friends pulled me back and grabbed my hand just as I was about to shoot.

Today I know what hate is, real hate, and I swear to myself that these acts will be paid for.”
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