In the last post I talked about Commander Lecatre, as we’ll call him, of the GMR, who was using his position as a Vichy border patrol to sneak resisters and others into and out of Spain. He and his daughter were arrested in May 1943.

Why was his 20-year-old daughter arrested? She did not work for the GMR, but she did work at the prefecture as a secretary. And she did work with her father in the resistance. For example, she altered the files of young men who were being drafted for labor by putting a false application for the GMR in their folders.

The documents do not have much to say about Mademoiselle Lecatre, but other women with similar jobs had the means to make “true-false documents,” meaning false documents that had enough basis in the local population registers that they would appear true if anyone tried to verify them. That could be done by putting names into the official registers or using names from the official registers. It seems likely that given how many foreigners her father helped to get out of occupied territory, Mademoiselle Lecatre did something similar to provide false documents for those foreigners.

Apparently, though, the Gestapo couldn’t prove any of that. They released Mademoiselle Lecatre from prison after three and a half months. Interestingly, they never arrested her mother, who was also involved in Lecatre’s resistance. Perhaps they did not think that a 50-year-old mother of five would break the law. Or maybe she convinced them that as a mother of five she had no time for anything but housework.  We are unlikely to ever know, but it was fortunate for that resistance group as well as the children that the police did not arrest Madame Lecatre.