Thursday, April 12, 2012

Raymond Aubrac, 1914-2012

Raymond Aubrac, whose name is synonymous with the French resistance, died yesterday at 98. What I didn't know about him is that he spent a year at my alma mater, MIT.

Mr. Aubrac was born Raymond Samuel on July 31, 1914, to shopkeepers in Vesoul, France. He studied engineering and law in France and received a scholarship to continue his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard for a year.
One should also be aware of the "counter-myth" concerning Aubrac's role in the Resistance and its aftermath. I will probably be dead before the true story of the high politics of the Resistance is fully sorted out, but there are many points that remain murky. Younger readers may also be interested to learn of Raymond Aubrac's role in the Vietnam War peace negotiations, in which he served as a "back channel" between Henry Kissinger and Ho Chi Minh.

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