Mother Elisabeth was Mother Superior of Notre Dame during the German occupation of Paris in May, 1940. As early as September, 1940, Mother Elisabeth became involved with underground networks of the French resistance. On March 25, 1944, Mother Elisabeth and her assistant Mother Marie Jesus were arrested. She was taken to various prisons and concentration camps, but ended up at Ravensbruck, North of Berlin. Andrée Rivière, a woman who survived deportation at Ravensbruck, remembers : “Sister Elisabeth was the soul of the camp. In this universe of killing madness, she was a monument of serenity and hope and love for other women".
On March 26, 1945, Mother Elisabeth volunteered to be killed in place of another woman who had children and was taken to the gas chamber. A month after her execution her camp was liberated.
This 8x10" print with archival paper and inks is mailed in a cellophane sleeve with chip board backing to prevent bending, and a paragraph with her story. Watermark is not on the high quality print.
The women in my “Heroes & Strangers” portrait series were selected because of their courage and bravery during World War II. There are thousands of stories like theirs; ordinary men and women being extraordinary lights during dark times.
To the faces of their rescued, they are heroes. To most of us, just generations apart, they are strangers at worst, forgotten at best.
My hope is that those who see these portraits memorize their names, know their faces, and are inspired by their stories to find courage for these present times.
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