Christiane Rème, née Cavelier de Cuverville

born 1923 in Bonn (germany) died 01.Juli 2019 Ravensbrück: 3. February 1944 - 23. April 1945, liberation by the Swedish Red Kross

Christiane Rème, Foto: J.Bochat
Christiane Rème, Foto: J.Bochat

Christiane was born in Bonn in 1923.

With the beginning of the war, as a student at the l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques Paris, she sought contact with the resistance and in 1943, under the code name Annik, became part of the resistance network “Manipule”, the CLDR (Ceux de la Résistance) and the AS ( Armée Secrète).

She did all the tasks in the secretariat, got information and passed it on to the "Resistanz Interieure", "Parsifal", which kept the connection with London. From there came instructions and requests for information which she forwarded to the “Manipule” networks and the CLDR. She produced false identity cards, was responsible for propaganda and newspapers, solicited donations of weapons, etc.

In early 1943, the “Manipule” network was discovered. On October 11, the Gestapo arrested Christane and interrogated her. Despite repeated blows with a bull pizzle, her tormentors never learned what role she played in the resistance. She was subsequently imprisoned under the strictest security conditions in Fresnes Prison. She didn't even receive packages from the Red Cross. On January 21, 1944 she was transferred from Fresnes to Compiègne and deported on January 31 in the “convoy of 27,000” to Ravensbrück together with 959 women. The majority of the members of this transport were female warriors. Among them Geneviève De Gaulle and Emilie Tillion

They arrived on February 3rd and Christaine stayed in the concentration camp for fifteen months.

Assigned to the column of the “available”, she had to do the lowest compulsory labor. Thanks to a comrade from Alsace, such as one of the women of the «convoy of 27,000», she was accepted into the “painters' column”. She kept stressing that this saved her life.

On April 23, 1945, the Swedish Red Cross came to Ravensbrück to pick up 300 French people whose release had been obtained. The commandant of the camp, however, kept Christiane and her friend Jacqueline Péry d’Alincourt hostage in the hope of being able to exchange their lives for his.

It was thanks to the persistence of a Swedish officer that Christiane was extradited to Sweden with the other hostages.

In Sweden, Christiane and her friend Jacqueline vehemently pushed back the French deportees to their homeland. In August 1945 Christiane also returned to France.

As a member of the ADIR (Association nationale des anciennes déportées et internées de la Résistance), she was also involved after the war together with other former deportees and was elected to the board in 1982. In 1994 the ADIR joined the International Committee of Ravensbrück, represented by Annette Chalut and Christiane, both former members of the Resistance and deportees. Annette was the President of the ICR for 18 years. Christiane participated in the annual meetings of the ICR until 2009. She was a member of the CAR (Comité d’action pour la Résistance), the SFAADIR (Société des Familles et Amis des Anciennes Déportées et Internées de la Résistance) and the Germaine Tillion association. As a contemporary witness, she reported on her work in the Resistance and her deportation to students and on many other occasions.

In June 2014 she left her archive to the BDCI, today La Contemporaine. Printed and audiovisual documents from modern history, international relations and private archives are stored there.

With Christiane we lose a friend who worked in the background and showed entrepreneurial courage. She never lost her sense of humor, even in difficult times. She was a friend who always had a smile. We will miss her at the monthly lunches of former comrades from the deportation. We, the "daughters of ...", as we like to call ourselves, will miss her very much,

You can see and hear Christiane on the Youtube channel of the "Germaine Tillion" association: