March 18, 1995 in Nation/World

Survivor Of Gestapo Torture Is Dead At 82

Associated Press
 

Odette Hallowes, a British agent tortured by the Gestapo in World War II and the first woman awarded the George Cross, has died at 82.

Hallowes, born Odette Brailly in France, died Monday at her home in Walton-on-Thames.

She was awarded the George Cross - Britain’s second-highest honor - in 1946 and France’s Legion of Honor in 1950. Her story was made into a 1950 film, “Odette.”

In 1931, she married Englishman Roy Sansom, and in 1940, volunteered for Britain’s First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. She soon came to the attention of the Special Operations Executive, which was working with the French Resistance.

In November 1942, she landed by boat in the south of France on a mission to set up a Resistance network.

As German and Italian forces swept through the Cote d’Azur, Hallowes and Capt. Peter Churchill were betrayed and arrested.

Hallowes endured 14 sessions of interrogation at Fresnes prison in Paris, where her back was burned with a hot iron and her toenails wrenched out. She refused, however, to identify two agents sought by the Gestapo.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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