María Anatol Arístegui also know as Maritxu was born in Spain and exiled with her family to France during the Spanish Civil War. (See this newsletter for an article about her – scroll down to the section “Women of Courage”)
Like thousands of women in WW 2, she joined the French resistance and like many, helped with the escape lines out of occupied territory. Maritxu became involved with the smuggling of downed Allied airmen and Jewish people out of France to Spain. Being in charge of a specific border area, she was responsible for their wellbeing and the organisation of the journey across the Pyrenees. Although arrested by the Gestapo, her determined and calm attitude under interrogation led to her release. However, the Maritxu team was picked up again and sent to Germany.
She did survive the war and although excellent at her spy craft having helped over 150 people escape occupied France, like most women resistors, she was not acknowledged for her courage and contributions. Read more about the WW 2 Comète Line.