Monday, September 7, 2015

Elise Rivet (1890-1945)

Elise Rivet, also known as Mere Marie Elisabeth de l'Eucharistie, was born to an Alsatian mother and French naval officer father. After the death of her father in 1910, she moved with her mother to Lyon. She worked for a time in a hair salon before joining the convent of the medical sisters of Notre Dam de Compassion in Lyon.

After France fell to Germany in WWII, she began hiding refugees from the Gestapo and eventually used her convent to store weapons and ammunition for the Mouvements Unis de la Résistance (MUR) at the request of Albert Chambonnet.

On 24 March 1944, she and her assistant were arrested by the Gestapo and taken to the Montluc prison in Lyon. From there, she was taken to Romainville, before being shipped to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. There, stripped of her religious garments, she was forced into hard labor. Mere Elisabeth volunteered to go to the gas chamber in place of a mother on 30 March 1945 ... only weeks before Germany surrendered unconditionally.

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