Malou: French Resistance Fighter, Michele Huppert

Ruth Kneppel was pregnant with her daughter Michele when war broke out in Europe in 1939. As the German army and French police closed in on Ruth and her family, they hid in various homes throughout Paris before fleeing south to France’s free zone. A woman of incredible courage and defiance, Ruth joined the Resistance and engaged in perilous undercover operations, posing as an Algerian Christian with the nom de guerre ‘Malou’.

In Malou: French Resistance Fighter, Michele Huppert details the role her mother played in the liberation of France, including transporting coded messages to operatives hiding in the forest, smuggling revolvers to Resistance assassins, and preparing political prisoners for jailbreak. At just three years of age, Michele accompanied her mother during many secret operations, providing the perfect ruse for SS officers and enemy collaborators searching for Resistance fighters.

In the years following liberation, the family returned to Paris where Ruth assisted in the care of orphaned Jewish children through her work with the humanitarian organisation OSE. Eventually, Ruth and Michele made their way to Australia where they built a new life in a peaceful country.