This is Resistance fighter Simone Segouin at the liberation of Paris, 25 August 1944. Wearing her distinctive shorts, she was just eighteen years old at the time.
Simone began her Resistance career by stealing a bicycle from a Nazi messenger, which she used to deliver Resistance messages. After that, she captured Nazi troops, blew up bridges and derailed trains.
On 23 August 1944, Simone participated in the liberation of Chartres and two days later in the liberation of Paris. After the war, she became a nurse.
Aged ninety-four, Simone still lives in France.
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An iconic photograph from the Spanish Civil War. This is Marina Ginestà i Coloma, born in Toulouse on 29 January 1919 after her family had emigrated to France from Spain.
Aged eleven, Marina returned to Spain, to Barcelona, with her parents, who were tailors. When the Spanish Civil War broke out she served as a translator and reporter.
This picture was taken by Juan Guzman on 21 July 1936 when Marina was seventeen years old. The location is the rooftop of the Hotel Colón in Barcelona.
In 1952, Marina married a Belgian diplomat. She moved to Paris in 1978 and died there on 6th January 2014.
It’s an amazing fact that the vast majority of the female Resistance fighters I have researched lived well into their nineties.
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Sara Ginaite-Rubinson was born in Kaunas on 17 March 1924. She was a schoolgirl in 1941 when the Nazis invaded Lithuania, killing three of her uncles and imprisoning her and the surviving members of her family.
While imprisioned in the Kovno Ghetto, Sara met Misha Rubinson, whom she later married. During the winter of 1943-44 the couple escaped and established a Resistance group. Twice, she returned to the ghetto to help others escape.
In 1944, Sara and Misha participated in the liberation of the Vilnius and Kaunas ghettos, freeing Sara’s sister and niece among many others.
After the war, Sara became a professor of political economics at Vilnius University. She also wrote an award-winning book, Resistance and Survival: The Jewish Community in Kaunas, 1941–1944.
Sara died on 2 April 2018, yet another remarkable Resistance fighter who lived well into her nineties.
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Brittany, 16 August 1944. Members of the FFI (French Forces of the Interior). Their uniforms show the French flag with the Free French emblem, the Cross of Lorraine.
By mid-August 1944 the Nazis were in full retreat and these women were contemplating the liberation of Paris, which arrived after a week-long battle, 19 August to 25 August.
Approximately twenty percent of the FFI were women. Many fought alongside their husbands, including Cécile Rol-Tanguy, Lucie Aubrac, Paulette Kriegel-Valrimont, Hélène Viannay, Cletta Mayer and Marie-Hélène Lefaucheux. They organised acts of sabotage, wrote and distributed newspapers, and freed many from Nazi concentration camps. Indeed, Marie-Hélène Postel-Vinay rescued Pierre Lefaucheux from a Gestapo prison camp. The couple subsequently married.