Monday, April 28, 2008

Germaine Tillion - Anthropologist

Saturday saw the passing of noted anthropologist, Germaine Tillion.

From Yahoo News:
"French Feminist Anthropologist Germaine Tillion Dies Aged 100":
"Born to a prosperous family in mountainous central France on May 30, 1907, Tillion trained as an anthropologist in the 1930s and cultivated a life-long interest in Algeria. Between 1934 and 1940, she made four trips to Algeria, travelling on horseback and camping with Berber nomads as she gathered her firsthand observations. But it was her wartime experiences that first brought her to wider public attention as a founding member of the "Museum of Mankind" intellectual resistance network at the start of German Occupation during World War II. In 1942 she was betrayed by a priest working for the Gestapo and arrested at the Paris' Gare de Lyon station.

At the same time her mother -- also in the group -- was picked up for hiding a British airman, and the two were sent to the all-woman concentration camp of Ravensbruck in late 1943. Tillion used her academic training as a tool for survival, treating the camp as a case-study for observation -- and after the war bringing out two definitive books on Ravensbruck. Tillion was one of France's most decorated people, being one of just five women awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion d'honneur. She was also honoured with her country's croix de guerre and Resistance medals, and Germany granted her the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic in 2004."


Georgie Lee said...

Great posts. I really enjoyed your profiles of these extraordinary women.

Melisende said...

Thanks for your kind words and taking the time out to drop by.

~~~ Melisende