From the Detroit News:
“George Stevens’s 1944 film immortalises an 18-year-old Simone shortly after she helped capture 25 German soldiers in her home village of Thivars, south west of Paris
Her notoriety was further established by a series of astonishing images, taken by the legendary war photographer Robert Capa, published in Life magazine the following month.
Now, more than 70 years later, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Simone, approaching her 90th birthday, is as spirited as ever.
Her actions helped to change the course of feminist history in France. But Simone remains eternally modest. ‘I was a Resistance fighter, that’s all,’ she shrugs. ‘If I had to do it all again, I would, because I don’t regret anything.’
She even appears on the cover of a new book on the French Resistance. Fighters In The Shadows by Robert Gildea, professor of Modern History at Oxford University, brings to light the role of female resistance fighters.
Simone was born into a farming family near Chartres, around 55 miles from the French capital. As the only daughter among three brothers, Simone was used to holding her own in a world of men.
In 1944, at the height of the Nazi occupation of France, she joined the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans (Free-shooters and Partisans, or FTP) – a combat alliance made up of militant communists and French nationalists. Simone was very much in the latter camp. Her father was a huge inspiration – a decorated soldier who had fought in the Great War – and she was intensely proud of her country.
‘The Germans were our enemies – we were French,’ she explained, simply.”
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