Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Gabrielle Cavailles-Ferrieres (1901-2001)
A descendant of Marie Durand, Gabrielle's ancestors include countess Malan de Merindol, buried alive because she had refused to reputiate her beliefs. Gabrielle followed in that tradition by joining the Resistance, initially for Liberation-Sud and then for Cohors, the intelligence and sabotage network founded by her brother, Jean Cavailles, a distinguished philosopher and Resistance hero who was captured, tortured and executed by the Germans. She was arrested by the Gestapo on 28 August 1943.
"On a beautiful evening in August 1943 in Paris, Gabrielle Ferrières and her husband go to dinner with the brother of Gabrielle (Jean), a shopping bag in hand loaded with supplies ... and reports on the economic activity of German to English. (Las) is an agent of the Abehr (against espionage service of the Wehrmacht) who, with revolver in hand, opens the door. The officer is alone to keep the trap and allows Ferrières to heat their meal at the kitchen. Gabrielle lights the gas and her husband starts to burn the reports. Shots, brawl, but the documents are unusable. Driven to the hotel Cayre Boulevard Raspail, Jean Ferrières realizes it and they hear all night over their heads brutalities which will be the object for an endless interrogation. All three were then conducted to Fresnes, where Gabrielle remained for five months before being released. Marcel Ferrieres was deported to Buchenwald. He returned, but Gabrielle never had any news of her brother. At the end of June 1945 the Minister of War made known that Jean Cavaillès was sentenced to death by the Military Court of Arras in early 1944 and the judgment was immediately executed. Gabrielle went to the town of Arras, where she learned that among the twelve torture victims exhumed from a grave discovered in the citadel, three were not identified. The envelope that contained her brother's portfolio read "Unknown No. 5." [From a biography translated by Marc Fineltin.]