Elise Rivet

Elise Rivet born January 19, 1890, in Draria, Algeria - died March 30,1945, Ravensbrück, Germany, was a Roman Catholic nun and war heroine.

The daughter of a French naval officer, she joined the convent of the medical sisters, "Notre Dame de Compassion" in Lyon. In 1933 she became "Mère Marie Elisabeth de l'Eucharistie," the convent's Mother Superior. After the fall of France to Germany in World War II, she made the decision to fight evil and began to hide refugees from the Gestapo and eventually used her convent to store weapons and ammunition for the Mouvements Unis de Résistance (MUR).

On March 24, 1944 she and her assistant were arrested by the Gestapo and taken to the prison at Fort Montluc in Lyon. From there she was taken to Romainville before being shipped to Ravensbrück concentration camp near Berlin, Germany. There, sStripped of her religious garments, she was forced into hard labor. With the end of the War in sight, the Germans began a massive amount of killings in the gas chamber including a weakened and starving Mother Elise Rivet, on March 30,1945 only weeks before the war ended.

In 1961, the government of France honored her with her portrait on a postage stamp and a street bearing her name in Brignais (Lyon) was inaugurated on December 2, 1979. In 1997, she was posthumously awarded the Médaille des Justes and in 1999 the "Salle Elise Rivet" was named for her at the Institut des Sciences de l'Homme in Lyon.


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