Jeannie Rousseau (1939 or 1940 photo)
|Died||23 August 2017 98) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Henri de Clarens|
Jeannie Yvonne Ghislaine Rousseau, married name Jeannie de Clarens, (1 April 1919 – 23 August 2017) was an Allied intelligence agent in occupied France during World War II, a member of the "Druids" network led by Georges Lamarque . Codenamed Amniarix, she evaded Gestapo agents while gathering crucial information on the Germans' emerging rocket weapons programs from behind enemy lines. Her intelligence reports, forwarded to London, led directly to the British raid on Peenemünde and to delays and disruptions in the V-1 and V-2 programs, saving many thousands of lives in the West. Rousseau was captured twice and spent time in three concentration camps. After the war, she worked as a freelance interpreter.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The bombing of Peenemünde in World War II was carried out on several occasions as part of the overall Operation Crossbow to disrupt German secret weapon development. The first raid on Peenemünde was Operation Hydra of the night of 17/18 August 1943, involving 596 heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force. Subsequent attacks were carried out in daylight raids by the US Army Air Force's Eighth Air Force.
The V-1 flying bomb —also known to the Allies as the buzz bomb, or doodlebug, and in Germany as Kirschkern (cherrystone) or Maikäfer (maybug)—was an early cruise missile and the only production aircraft to use a pulsejet for power.
Born on 1 April 1919 in Saint-Brieuc, Jeannie Yvonne Ghislaine Rousseau was the daughter of Jean Rousseau, a World War I veteran and a French foreign ministry official, and his wife Marie, née Le Charpentier. A brilliant linguist, she graduated in languages from Sciences Po in 1939. After the outbreak of World War II, she moved with her family to Dinard where she became an interpreter for the occupying German forces.
Saint-Brieuc is a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in Brittany in northwestern France.
The Paris Institute of Political Studies, commonly referred to as Sciences Po, is the primary institution of higher learning for French political and administrative elite, and one of the most prestigious and selective European schools in the social sciences. It was founded in 1872 to promote a new class of French politicians in the aftermath of the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, and has since educated, among others, 32 heads of state or government, 7 of the past 8 French Presidents, 3 past heads of the International Monetary Fund, heads of international organizations, and 6 of sitting CAC 40 CEOs. The school is also the alma mater of numerous intellectual and cultural figures, such as Marcel Proust, René Rémond, Paul Claudel, and Raymond Aron. In 2018, it was ranked as the world's 4th best school for politics and international relations.
Dinard is a commune in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany in northwestern France.
Rousseau began gathering intelligence on German operations even before she made contact with Allied intelligence. She took a job at the French national chamber of commerce as a translator and soon became the organization's top staffer, meeting regularly with the German military commander's staff. She was a frequent visitor with the Germans, discussing commercial issues, such as complaints about Nazi commandeering or offers to sell them goods, such as steel and rubber. "I was storing my nuts, but I had no way to pass them on."She was arrested by the Gestapo in January 1941, but was later released and prohibited from staying in the coastal area.
In 1941 she moved to Paris where she began working for a Parisian company that supplied materials to the German war effort, thus positioning herself as a source of valuable information for the Allied forces.
Her formal career as a spy began in 1941, with a chance meeting with Georges Lamarque on a night train from Paris to Vichy.Lamarque remembered Rousseau from the University of Paris, where she had shown talent in languages, including German, and finished first in her class, in 1939. He asked her to work for him, and she immediately agreed.
During 1943, she filed, among other reports two particularly remarkable ones about Peenemünde. These reports led R.V. Jones, and ultimately, the rest of the British government and the rest of the Allies, directly to the missile and rocket development work going on there. Her collection and forwarding of this intelligence under very difficult circumstances led, through Jones' analysis and persuasive abilities in London, to the British raid on Peenemünde.R.V. Jones relates that when he first inquired about the source of the extraordinary report that had originally tipped off the British government to what was going on at Peenemünde, all he learned was that it came from "one of the most remarkable young women of her generation," part of a small espionage network reporting from occupied France.
Reginald Victor Jones, FRSE, LLD was a British physicist and scientific military intelligence expert who played an important role in the defence of Britain in World War II.
The Peenemünde Army Research Centre was founded in 1937 as one of five military proving grounds under the German Army Weapons Office (Heereswaffenamt).
Shortly before D-Day, a plan to evacuate her and two other agents was foiled by the Gestapo. She was the first to be caught. But even as she was being captured, she warned her comrades and one escaped. As Jones put it: "AMNIARIX's reports stand brilliantly in the history of intelligence, and three concentration camps — Ravensbruck, Königsberg (a punishment camp), and Torgau could not break her." She was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross shortly before the end of the war.
While recovering in Sweden from tuberculosis contracted during her imprisonment, she met Henri de Clarens, who had been in the Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps. The two married and had two children. De Clarens died in 1995.
Rousseau worked as a freelance interpreter after the war, for the United Nations and other agencies.Avoiding interviews with reporters and historians, her story remained largely untold. In 1993, then as Madame Jeannie de Clarens, she agreed to accept the Central Intelligence Agency's Agency Seal Medal. She revealed more details of her story to journalist David Ignatius in 1998. Other awards included the Legion of Honour in 1955, supplemented by the grand officer medal in 2009. She also received the Resistance Medal and the Croix de guerre.
She died on 23 August 2017 in Montaigu, Vendée, aged 98.)
The V-2, technical name Aggregat 4 (A4), was the world's first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile, powered by a liquid-propellant rocket engine, was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a "vengeance weapon", assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first man-made object to travel into space by crossing the Kármán line with the vertical launch of MW 18014 on 20 June 1944.
Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun was a German-American aerospace engineer and space architect. He was the leading figure in the development of rocket technology in Germany and a pioneer of rocket technology and space science in the United States.
Operation Paperclip was a secret program of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) largely carried out by Special Agents of Army CIC, in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians, such as Wernher von Braun and his V-2 rocket team, were taken from Germany to America for U.S. government employment, primarily between 1945 and 1959. Many were former members, and some were former leaders, of the Nazi Party.
Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek, OBE, GM, Croix de guerre, also known as Christine Granville, was a Polish agent of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War. She became celebrated especially for her daring exploits in intelligence and irregular-warfare missions in Nazi-occupied Poland and France.
Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, GC, aka Nora Inayat-Khan, was a British heroine of World War II renowned for her service in the Special Operations Executive.
Major-General Dr. Walter Robert Dornberger was a German Army artillery officer whose career spanned World War I and World War II. He was a leader of Nazi Germany's V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Center.
Virginia Hall Goillot was an American spy with the British Special Operations Executive during World War II and later with the American Office of Strategic Services and the Special Activities Division of the Central Intelligence Agency. She was known by many aliases, including "Marie Monin", "Germaine", "Diane", "Marie of Lyon", "Camille", and "Nicolas". The Germans gave her the nickname Artemis. The Gestapo reportedly considered her "the most dangerous of all Allied spies".
During World War II, the Polish resistance Home Army, which conducted military operations against occupying German forces, was also heavily involved in intelligence work. This included operations investigating the German Wunderwaffe: the V-1 flying bomb and the V-2 rocket. British intelligence received their first Polish report regarding the development of these weapons at Peenemünde in 1943.
Major Joseph Antoine France Antelme OBE, no. 239255, was one of 14 Franco-Mauritians who served in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a World War II British secret service that sent espionage agents, saboteurs and guerrilla fighters into enemy-occupied territory.
Wilhelm Josef Ritter von Thoma was a German officer who served in World War I, in the Spanish Civil War, and as a general in World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
Operation Hydra was an attack RAF Bomber Command on a German scientific research centre at Peenemünde on the night of 17/18 August 1943. Group Captain John Searby, CO of 83 Squadron, commanded the operation, the first time that Bomber Command used a master bomber to direct the attack of the main force. Hydra began Operation Crossbow, a campaign against the German V-weapon programme. The British lost 215 aircrew, 40 bombers and killed several hundred slaves in the nearby Trassenheide labour camp. The Luftwaffe lost twelve night-fighters and about 170 German civilians were killed, including two V-2 rocket scientists. Prototype V-2 rocket launches were delayed for about two months, testing and production was dispersed and the morale of the German survivors was severely affected.
Sverre Bergh was a Norwegian engineer who served as a spy in Nazi Germany during World War II.
Rousseau is a French surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Constance Babington Smith MBE Legion of Merit FRSL was a journalist and writer, but is probably best known for her wartime work in imagery intelligence.
Die gefrorenen Blitze is a two-part 1967 East-German film. The plot revolves around the history of the resistance movement in Peenemünde during the Second World War and its attempt to sabotage the V-2 program.
Augustyn Träger, codenames Sęk (Knot) and Tragarz (Porter), was a Polish-Austrian soldier during World War I and an intelligence officer in interwar and German-occupied Poland. Along with his son, Roman Träger, he played an important role in obtaining intelligence on the German V-1 and V-2 missiles which were being tested on the island of Usedom in Pomerania. He passed the information along to the Polish resistance organization Home Army, which then passed it on to the Allies in London. This led to the Allied bombing of Peenemünde in Operation Hydra in 1943.
The Peenemünde Historical Technical Museum, former "Peenemünde Information Centre for History and Technology" is a museum, founded in 1991, in the observation bunker and site of the former power station in Peenemünde on the island of Usedom in eastern Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany. The museum is dedicated to the history of the Peenemünde Army Research Centre and the Luftwaffe test site of "Peenemünde-West", especially the rockets and missiles developed there between 1936 and 1945. Since January 2007 the information centre has become an anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH), a Europe-wide network of industrial monuments, and a part of the ERIH themed routes for Energy and Transport & Communication.
The V-2 missile launch site, Blizna was the site of a World War II German V-2 missile firing range. Today there is a small museum located in the Park Historyczny Blizna in Blizna, Poland. After the RAF strategic bombing of the V-2 rocket launch site in Peenemünde, Germany, in August 1943, some of the test and launch facilities were relocated to Blizna in November 1943. The first of 139 V-2 launches was carried out from the Blizna launch site on 5 November 1943.
Yvette Lundy is a French centenarian who was a member of the French Resistance during the Second World War. She provided the inspiration for the character of "Mademoiselle Lise Lundi" in Tony Gatlif's 2009 film, Korkoro.