ParisFlash 90

Colette Brull-Ulmann, a Jewish resistance fighter who rescued Jewish children at the Rothschild Hospital in Paris during World War II, has died at the age of 101, according to a statement from the European Jewish Congress.

“She was a great lady, I remember her with a memory of steel on everything she lived, even if she spoke very little, by modesty,” said Jacques JP Martin, mayor of Nogent-sur-Marne, where Brull-Ulmann had lived since 1985.

Brull-Ulmann was a medical intern at Rothschild Hospital in Paris in 1941. At the time, it was the only hospital that did not ban Jewish doctors.

The “Vel' d'Hiv' Roundup” mass arrest of Jewish families in Paris in 1942 led to sick women and children being treated at the hospital transformed Brull-Ulmann.

“According to Colette, the round-up was a turning point. From that moment on, she did everything to save Jewish children from the hell of Drancy and the camps,” said Jean-Christophe Portes, a journalist who co-wrote her autobiographical book, Les Enfants du dernier salut, in 2017.

A “network” at the hospital was set up to save the children by transferring them to mutual aid networks. False death certificates were created.

“It is a rather unknown story but a hundred children would have been saved within this hospital,” said Portes.

In 1943, Brull-Ulmann had to escape the hospital. She joined the Central Intelligence and Action Bureau, working as an intelligence officer until the end of the war in 1945.

After, she became a paediatrician in Noisy-le-Sec where she lived with her husband, also a doctor, and their three children.

In 2019, Brull-Ulmann was awarded the Legion of Honour, the highest French order of merit.