Marie Bartette (réseau Jove)
Rédigé par Alain dans la rubrique dans Maquis Parachutage Réseau, Portrait
Resistance during the occupation took many forms and individual stories of brave acts never cease to amaze me.
Marie Bartette was born in 1893 in the Tarn. In august 1940 she left her job in Bordeaux and went to stay in Arachon to look after her mother who was unwell. She was the daughter of an Officer and refused to admit defeat to the Germans.
At the end of 1940 together with some close friends, one of them being Robert Duchez, they decided to cut out of old newspapers 10,000 croix de Lorraine with messages on them such as - "Après le sombre orage vient le soldat d'été. Après notre esclavage viendra la liberté".
On the night of the 31st december they went through the streets of Arachon scattering the "tracts de fortune". The following day the Germans could not believe their eyes and due to a windy night a good number of them had ended up in front of the HQ Kommandantur. The whole town had believed that they'd been dropped from an allied plane. The same day, the 1st of january 1941, the whole town had heeded the call of de Gaulle's christmas message to stay at home between 3 and 4 o'clock in the occupied zone and 2 to 3 o'clock in the unoccupied zone (there were two different time zones in France at that time)as a protest against the occupation.
She later became part of the reseau Jove as had René Tallet (brigade Rac : bataillon Violette).
She was involved with parachute drops in the region and after the war recounted the amusing story of an Englishman who had parachuted into the area during the night of 14th june 1943 and couldn't be found. At dawn he surfaced and was spotted by a farmer and their conversation went something like this :
"What are you doing in my field at this hour?"
"I'm out for a walk"
"Cut the crap, you are a parachutist, I heard the plane during the night"
The parachutist grabbed his revolver and the farmer smiled and said -
"Don't worry, there are still some French in France! Follow me to my house."
He washed, was fed, rested and then taken by the farmer to the railway station at Marcheprime where he was met by a member of the reseau.
Marie Bartette was arrested on the 30th june 1944 and interrogated. She was taken to Dachau then Ravensbruck from where she was liberated by allied troups and returned to Arachon at the end of may 1945.
She died on the 27th november 1961 aged 68 in Saint Severin en Charente.
In the spring of 2011 I visited the cemetery just outside of Saint Severin and took the following photos of her tombstone.
Marie Bartette : Web site