Dr. Annette Chalut - An obituary


The International Ravensbrück Committee mourns the loss of Dr. Annette Chalut, who died on November 8, 2021

The IRK mourns the French survivor and former President and Honorary President of the International Ravensbrück Committee Annette Chalut, who died in Paris on November 8, 2021 at the age of 97. On the death of Annette Chalut, the head of the Ravensbrück memorial and memorial, Andrea Genest, said: “We think with great gratitude of Annette Chalut, of her tireless commitment, with which she campaigned for the preservation of the historic site of the women's concentration camp, as well Her advisory support in the development of the permanent exhibition, which opened in 2013. She was a constructive conversation partner on the question of how the memory of the women's concentration camp can be shaped in the future. Annette Chalut leaves a large void, as an impressive contemporary witness and friend of the memorial, we will never forget her. Our deepest condolences go to her family. "

Annette Weill, married Chalut, was born on April 29, 1924 in Paris. After the German occupation of the free zone of France in 1942, she became involved in the resistance and adopted the code name Warnod. Together with her sister and father and with church support, she procured, among other things, forged papers for Jewish prisoners and smuggled them out of the camps. She was able to help some to flee across the border. After being arrested by the Gestapo for her activities in the Resistance, she was deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp on May 18, 1944, and to the Hanover-Limmer subcamp in June of the same year, where she performed forced labor at the Continental-Gummiwerke AG company. On April 15, 1945 she was liberated by the British army in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

After the war, Chalut continued her studies in medicine, which she graduated with a doctorate in 1949. She then worked as a doctor. As a representative of the Office National des Anciens Combattants et Victimes de Guerre, she paid particular attention to supporting the former deportees who had suffered serious health problems in the German concentration camps. She was also a member of the Social-Medical Commission in the Concours National de la Résistance et de la Déportation, which is part of the French Ministry of Education and Youth. Since 1946, Annette Chalut was active in the Amicale des Anciens Déportés de Bergen-Belsen. In 1990 she was elected to the board of the French association of former interned and deported resistance fighters, which she represented in the International Ravensbrück Committee from 1992 onwards. From 1999 to 2015 she was President of the International Ravensbrück Committee and was involved in this capacity for sixteen years on the international advisory board of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation. In 2013 she received the Order of Merit of the State of Brandenburg for her long-term commitment to those persecuted by the Nazi regime. Prime Minister Matthias Platzek paid tribute to her commitment as a contemporary witness "in lectures, interviews, films - in France and in other European countries." She received numerous other awards, including the Order of the Grand Officier de La Légion d’Honneur (Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor) in 2016. In 2009, together with other representatives of international survivors' associations, she adopted a legacy for the descendants under the title “Preserving memories - preserving authentic places - taking responsibility”. It says: “The last eyewitnesses turn to Germany, to all European states and the international community, to preserve and appreciate the human gift of remembrance and commemoration also in the future. We ask young people to continue our fight against Nazi ideology and for a just, peaceful and tolerant world, a world in which anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and right-wing extremism should have no place. "

Photo: Jeanine Bochat. IRK Conference Paris 2014