Wednesday, September 23, 2015

France Bloch-Serazin (1913-1943)

France Bloch, daughter of Jean-Richard Bloch, was born on 21 February 1913. After obtaining a degree in Chemistry, she began working at the laboratory of Professor Urbain at the National Institute of Chemistry. She joined the Communist party and became involved in the support of Spanish Republicans.

In May 1939 she married Fredo Serazin with whom she had one son: Roland. Fredo was a metallurgist working at the Hispano-Suiza automobile factory. He was arrested by the Daladier government in February 1940.

After the German occupation of France, France was barred from her laboratory as an Jewish communist and had to work as a tutor in order to survive. In 1941 she participated in the communist resistance group led by Raymond Losserand. She installed a rudimentary laboratory in her two-room apartment and made grenades and detonators used in attacks organized by the youth resistance at the end of August 1941.

France was arrested by the French police on 16 May 1942. After four months of interrogation and torture, she was condemned to death by a German military tribunal along with 18 co-conspirators who were immediately executed. France was deported to Germany and imprisoned in a fortress at Lubeck where she was subjected to further torture. She was decapitated by guillotine on February 12, 1943 in Hamburg.

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