World War II freedom fighter Raymond Aubrac has died at age 97 in France.
Aubrac and his wife, Lucie, took part in of the war’s more daring escapes:
Mr. Aubrac had been captured in June 1943 with Jean Moulin, a revered Resistance leader, and six other operatives. Tortured by Klaus Barbie, the notorious Gestapo officer known as the Butcher of Lyon, Mr. Aubrac was sentenced to death.
Lucie, pregnant with their child, convinced the Nazis to let them be married before he was killed. She didn’t bother to tell them that she and Raymond were already married.
As they met to sign a marriage certificate, she whispered to her husband that colleagues were planning his rescue. That happened as a truck was transporting Mr. Aubrac and a dozen other prisoners from one jail to another. Suddenly, four cars appeared, their occupants brandishing machine guns. Five German guards were killed, and the prisoners escaped.
“You know,” he said, “in life there are only three or four fundamental decisions to make. The rest is just luck.”