Roma connection remembers French resistance hero
SHE WAS a hero of the French Resistance in World War II, survived two concentration camps, saved the lives of countless people and lived to the age of 103.
While Yvette Lundy never set foot on Australian soil before her passing on November 3, the president of the Roma RSL sub-branch George Mehay, is paying tribute to the strong and inspirational woman, who was also his aunt.
“I knew her quite well,” Mr Mehay said.
“She was quite close to my mother, as they were only four years apart.
“I remember her as being opinionated, but very nice, and also very fair – she was a very strong person.”
Ms Lundy was born on April 22, 1916 and was one of seven children.
Along with four of her siblings (Rene, Lucien, Georges and Berthe), she worked for the Resistance from the town of Gionges, where she was a secretary and a teacher.
She supplied forged official documents to escapees from the Bazancourt camp, and to Jewish families, before being captured and arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned on June 19, 1944.
Ms Lundy survived three concentration camps – Saarbrucken, Ravensbruck and Buchenwald, before being freed by the Red Army in April 1945.
After the war, she struggled to talk about her experiences for a long time, but after 1959, began travelling to schools throughout Europe to share her story and aid in reconciliation between France and Germany.
In 2017, aged 101, Ms Lundy was made a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, one of the highest decorations for civilians in France.