You don’t know what freedom is if you have never lost it.
March 16, 2010 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Andrée Peel, Rescuer of Allied Airmen, Dies at 105. Andree Peel, (born Andrée Marthe Virot) who was known as Agent Rose, helped 102 British and American pilots escape from her native France. 'She was the most highly decorated woman to survive the conflict and was awarded the Legion d'Honneur by her brother, General Maurice Virot. Mrs Peel was awarded the War Cross with palm, the War Cross with purple star, the medal of the Resistance and the Liberation cross. She also received the American Medal of Freedom from US President Dwight Eisenhower, as well as the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct, presented to her by King George VI.' 'She fed information to the Allies on German shipping and troop movements and on the results of Allied bombing in the region. She also guided British planes carrying intelligence agents to nighttime landings at secret airstrips marked by torchlight.'

'She was best remembered for playing an important role in the rescue of 102 Allied airmen, by her account, in a network that set up safe houses for fliers on the run from the Germans and then took the men to isolated sections of the Brest beaches, where they boarded boats transporting them to England.'

When the Germans learned of her resistance work she fled to Paris, but she was arrested by the Gestapo shortly after the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.

She was beaten and tortured, then imprisoned at the Ravensbrück and Buchenwald concentration camps. She was about to be killed by a firing squad at Buchenwald when it was liberated by American troops in April 1945.

“I saved 102 pilots before being arrested, interrogated and tortured, I suffer still from that. I still have the pain.”

'On Feb. 3 she celebrated her 105th birthday at her nursing home. Wearing 11 decorations for valor on her blouse, she was presented with a cake decorated with the French flag and sang the French national anthem.'

She wrote an autobiography recounting her WWII experiences "Miracles Do Happen" and it was made into a film.
posted by VikingSword (18 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Listen to me carefully, because I shall only say this once:

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posted by GuyZero at 4:12 PM on March 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Blesse mon coeur d'une langueur monotone

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posted by Ironmouth at 4:23 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. Thank you Mme Peel.

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posted by Nick Verstayne at 4:31 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sadly some persons unknown took advantage of the well-publicised passing of a true hero and decided to pay tribute in their own special way: by breaking onto her home and stealing her stuff.

Shameful.
posted by JustAsItSounds at 4:40 PM on March 16, 2010


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posted by Joe Beese at 4:46 PM on March 16, 2010


The words hero and heroine are tossed around way too lightly.

This one's a Motherfucking heroine.


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posted by lalochezia at 5:36 PM on March 16, 2010


From the first post: “I rarely thought of my personal safety. I just acted and did what I believed was the right thing.”
Second what lalochezia said, motherfucking badass heroine at that.
And she had my birthday. May I leave just a tiny bit as good a mark on the world as she did.

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posted by the_royal_we at 6:04 PM on March 16, 2010


Holy shit.
posted by marxchivist at 8:03 PM on March 16, 2010


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(Shameful that this FPP wasn't as popular as hipsters on food stamps or Lady Gaga. Just proves how far we've fallen.)
posted by Mael Oui at 8:17 PM on March 16, 2010


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posted by pianoboy at 8:29 PM on March 16, 2010


Mael Oui(Shameful that this FPP wasn't as popular as hipsters on food stamps or Lady Gaga. Just proves how far we've fallen.)

I have it on good authority that the burglars mentioned in JustAsItSounds's comment were described as "gangly persons dressed in thriftstore clothing" and last seen pedaling on fixed-gear bicycles to a local pawn shop. They may be fencing the stolen property in order to buy more organic salmon and freerange couscous that food stamps couldn't cover.




and a mighty .
posted by dr_dank at 8:44 PM on March 16, 2010


"She was the most highly decorated woman to survive the conflict"

And that's the bit that got me right there. We celebrate the ones who live long enough to remind us of past sacrifices and bravery, but often forget the countless others who were just as courageous but less lucky, and who lost their lives.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:07 PM on March 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sounds like it could be a hell of a movie.
posted by Relay at 10:01 PM on March 16, 2010



posted by DreamerFi at 2:17 AM on March 17, 2010


Telegraph obituary

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posted by adamvasco at 3:09 AM on March 17, 2010


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posted by SageLeVoid at 5:04 AM on March 17, 2010



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posted by dealing away at 9:28 PM on March 17, 2010


!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:37 PM on March 17, 2010


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