France Bloch-Sérazin

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France Bloch-Sérazin (French pronunciation: [fʁɑ̃s blɔʃseʁazɛ̃]; 1913–1943) (February 21, 1913 – February 12, 1943) was a militant communist who fought in the French resistance during World War II.


Commemorative plaque at the backside of Untersuchungshaftanstalt Hamburg

Born in Paris the daughter of the writer Jean-Richard Bloch, France Bloch was initially a student in the countryside near Poitiers where she obtained a degree in chemistry. In October 1934, she began working at the laboratory of Professor Urbain at the National Institute of Chemistry. She joined the Communist Party in Paris, becoming involved in the support of the Spanish Republicans.

In May 1939, she married Frédo Sérazin, a metallurgist working at the automobile factory Hispano-Suiza. Together they had one son, Roland. Frédo was arrested in February 1940 by the Daladier government. After the installation of the Vichy regime, she was barred from her laboratory as a Jewish communist and had to work as a tutor in order to survive. In 1941, she participated in the first groups of the communist resistance led by Raymond Losserand and installed a small, rudimentary laboratory in her two-room apartment on the Place du Danube. Working with Colonel Dumont, she made grenades and detonators used in attacks organized by the youth resistance at the end of August 1941.

France Bloch was arrested by the French police on May 16, 1942. After four months of interrogation and torture, she was condemned to death by a German military tribunal, along with 18 co-conspirators (who were all immediately executed). Meanwhile, Bloch herself was deported to Germany and imprisoned in a fortress at Lübeck. She was subjected to further torture there, and was decapitated by guillotine in Hamburg on February 12, 1943.


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