Who was Harry Peulevé?

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Capture

On 21 March 1944 Harry, Delsanti and Roland Malraux (André Malraux's half-brother) visited Bertheau's safe house to deliver an urgent message for transmission to London. Shortly after their arrival the Gestapo raided the house and arrested all of them, having been tipped off by a neighbour.

After initial questioning, Harry was interrogated by the Sicherheitsdienst (SS counter-intelligence service) at its Paris HQ at Avenue Foch. Although subjected to torture including the dreaded bagnoire (water torture), he refused to give up the whereabouts of Poirier, Hiller, Watney or the locations of maquis camps.

Harry was transferred to a dungeon in Fresnes prison, where he was kept for another two months in complete darkness. Unknown to him, Violette was also being held at Fresnes: after parachuting to a maquis group near Limoges, she had been captured on her way to meet Jacques Poirier in the Corrèze, now in command of Harry's circuit.

Jacques travelled to Paris to plan Harry's escape, but saw little opportunity for a breakout. Harry nearly managed to get away unaided, shuffling out of the main prison gate amongst a crowd of visitors, but was shot in the leg as he made his getaway. Returned to his cell, he received no medical attention and was forced to remove the bullet himself. As the Allies approached Paris he knew that the SS would most likely execute him before its liberation.

171 Route du Tulle, Brive, where Harry was arrested

171 Route du Tulle, Brive,
where Harry was arrested

84 Avenue Foch, Paris

84 Avenue Foch, Paris

©2009-16 Nigel Perrin