DMH Spotlight - André Peulevey post-war archives of the Resistance online from 5/1/18 All rights reserved. Back

This is a page for André's own archives...for documentation of him in the Archives of the French Government, including forms signed by Joël le TAc and giving his networks, see

http://www.dianamarahenry.com/AndreJosephScheinmannCartedeCombattantVolontaire.htm

For permission to reproduce and cite please email Diana Mara Henry

Above: André's id card, July1945, continuing his identity as established by the French Army

when he enlisted in1938.

Below: His Aussweiss, as interpreter for the Germans at the SNCF (French National Railroads)

headquarters in Rennes,Brittany. Issued by the Germans,states it allows him to circulate and gain access to establishments, Tag und Nacht (Night and Day)

 

Wonder what he was doing and who he was seeing on May 12, 1945 in Dachau?


Finally, the family of André Peulevey, whose birth name was Joseph Scheinmann has released that part of his records that they did not throw away to Diana Mara Henry who has been working on his memoirs for 25 years.This vast trove of some 200 plus documents is an enormous amount of material to put into page protectors, scan and organize.Here is a sample gems that have been scanned so far...These allow us to write more of the history ofthe networks with which André was involved, or directed. In these documents we see that there are several more that he was asked to "liquidate" or vet to the French government, in addition to Overcloud, for which Joël Le Tac had been considered the leader: Le Dantec,La Bande à Sidonie, Alexandre...and of course La Bête Noire, the first sabotage network he started with Turban, his boss at Rennes-all seem to be British-funded. 

DECISION # 30

 

General De Gaulle, President of the Provisional

Government of the French Republic, Department of the Armies,

 

CITES for the ORDER of the AMY CORPS

 

PEULEVEY André Maurice                                 F.F.C. Forces Françaises Combattantes / French Fighting Forces]

 

"Escaped prisoner of war, joins the AIGLE network in October 1940, creates a Sabotage network in the bosom of the S.N.C.F. that was to function for 15 months. Quickly rose to leadership, worked at the same time first as local, then regional intelligence agent. Joined the F.F. C. network in March 1941. All by himself took over the organization after the arrest of his boss, contacted numerous groups, reorganised them for greater productivity. Traveled to England, where he passed his parachute course, came back charge with two very important missions that he headed. Arrested on his return, never admitted to what he knew, despite blows and torture, endured one year in solitary confinement, deported to Germany, was liberated in April 1945, came back with perfect morale."

 

WITH THIS CITATATION IS GRANTED THE 1939 WAR CROSS WITH

 

GOLD STAR

Paris, February 25, 1946  from the Presidency of the Provisional Government of the French Republic, Ministry of War, Fighting France., Lt Captain COULBOIS Chief of the Bureau for Vetting the Networksof Fighting France.

(Copy issued 1949 certified to conform to the original)

 


We also see the many ways in which he was known to his agents: Mon Capitaine, Cher Camarade, Le Neveu ( his "pseudo" ecause he worked under Thomas Greene, as MI6 agent), Mon cher ami, Cher Monsieur, Mon cher André...

And can read his sensitive and courageous messages of consolation and reassurance to his closest cohort, leaders of networks Madame Seidel and Madame Wilborts, who poured out their troubles..

"Activity Report" of Miss Jeanne Ropers dated July 31 1945, one of the earliest of his agents' reports. Dozens of this kind of statement are to be found in André's recently revealed files. He collected them to describe the activity of the members of the resistance that he was vetting. This one is particularly poignant in its simplicity."From November 1940 to February 2, 1942, date of my arrest by the Gestapo, I engaged in some secretarial and liaison work for Mr. Turban, Chief Inspector of the SNCF in Rennes, whose secretary I was, and for Mr. Peulevey, his Interpreter to the German authorities."

Below: Madame Louis' proposal as head of Network 31 for the Legion of Honor for Louis Turban. 

She writes: "At the time of the arrest of the head of the network [herself, in October 1941- she started working for the British in August 1940, one of first women to head resistance networks in France]

sent an agent to London to take orders for the reorganization of the network" - that was André.

She gives the date of Turban's arrest as February 3, 1942, a day after his secretary's.

 

Below: Among hundreds of documents André kept from his work as "Liquidateur de Réseau" (network credentialer) is this one that is addressed to him from the "Territorial Center for Administration and Accounting" to let hiim know that "various agents of your network have not received the pension to which they were entitled, as they cannot be reached at the address given in their P/2 files." ( P2 were agents on the British payroll for their work.) This document mentions a network not yet explored where it is addressed to André as "liquidateur du réseau Alexandre,Overcloud."

 

 "No one can write a book about resistance and get it straight;

the reality is always more complex than what any author   can express."

- Vera Atkins in conversation with and as recorded by M.R.D. Foot, Resistance, xii.

 

 

We also see the many ways in which he was known to his agents: Mon Capitaine, Cher Camarade, Le Neveu ( his "pseudo" ecause he worked under Thomas Greene, as MI6 agent), Mon cher ami, Cher Monsieur, Mon cher André...

And can read his sensitive and courageous messages of consolation and reassurance to his closest cohort, leaders of networks Madame Seidel and Madame Wilborts, who poured out their troubles..

Here: "Dear Camarade, How I thank you for the beautiful moments we spent together the other day, it is always a pleasure for me to have a chat with you. We suffered the same tortures, and we can understand one another and speak as good friends. ...

 

She winds up: " I still have nothing from the British, But that would be a great help as money is dwindling, as it is for all. I leave you  dear Camarade....PS If it were possible to do an certification from the network that would go much better. Please tell me the address for the Action network Association. Several have asked for it."

 

See the list of her agents here, assembled from Groupe Le Dantec

 

André's answer of reassurance to her is below.

 

"Don't hit yourself too hard, the certificates will come one day too,

and then everyone will get what you worked so hard for.

There is no reason to be sick about it, what is happening is human and natural and,

as one must live in the present and not with the past, one must pass the eraser over it and try to find pleasant things so as to be happy to have come back [from the concentration camps.]

It would be a pleasure to chat with you, maybe you will try again to call me or more simply to stop by...

this, of course, if you have nothing more important to do.

Waiting for that, dear Madame, please accept my sincere [expression of] friendship."

[apparently a carbon copy as are many of these letters of André's-

 

Below: Letter of recommendation from André's MI6 handler, Thomas Greene (whom André called 'Uncle Tom" ) from his apartment at 69 Avenue Victor Hugo, on June 22, 1945, to the Departement General d'Etudes et de Renseignments (the post-war research agency for documenting the Resistance) and the Fighting French. It was critical for agents who had been well-concealed in their work to be acknowledged for their participation in the resistance, sohttp://www.dianamarahenry.com/ThomasGreenereferenceforAndre.jpeg that they might be protected from the vengeful mob taking vigilante action to punish collaborators.

From: Mr. T.H.Greene                                         22 June 1945  

69 Ave. Victor-Hugo, Paris

22 June 1945

                                                                      To: Offices of the Fighting French

 

I CERTIFY that PAULEVEY André Maurice, born

7/11/1915 at GUCOURT ( Pas-de-Calais) was part of

Network "31" with the id "31.A.Q." and that he arrived

in ENGLAND by clandestine maritime operation on

8/1/1942.

 

The goal of his mission was to reestablish contact

with LONDON - that contact having been broken because of

various arrest. During his stay in ENGLAND

he followed the usual courses, including parachuting.

 

He left with the necessary equipment by

maritime operation on 2/21942 with the mission of organizing

and constituting a new Network. I radio was meant to follow him

a month later. Unfortunately, he was arrested

as soon as he returned to RENNES on 4/2/1942 without being able to

accomplish said mission.

 

He returned to France on 18/5/1945 after 40 months in

prison and camp in Germany.

 

We only had reason to congratulate ourselves for Mr. PAULEVEY

who showed himself to be perfectly behaved.

 

                                                                                    Thomas Greene

That same day ( probably after he got his letter of reference) André must have taken J.E. Gentry, also of MI6, to pick up the 500,000 francs the British had sent him back with from England to conduct his work:

"I CERTIFY having received from Mr. PAULEVEY, Andre Maurice,[false place date of birth]the sum of 500,000(Five hundred thousand francs) that were entrusted to him on February 1, 1942 to accomplish a resistance mission in Occupied France. ] J.E.Gentry" with embossed stamp at top left and at signature.

`

Below: Captain Peulevey - André carrying passport #303 received permission from Gentry to travel to London for approximately six weeks....

The Anglo-French Communications Bureau (try looking that one up online!)

was located at 8 Avenue des Tilleuls, Villa Montmorency, Paris 16.

 Below: Captain Decker writing to André from Villa Montmorency (pictured above-from Wikipedia, that does not mention these occupants among many famous one its does) with "a copy of the id card filled out by Mrs. Lehmann, and the papers relating to it. It seems her husband worked with Le Dantec, Bocq and company, and also work on Evasion [helping British in France avoid the Germans] Can you do something for her?"

Follow up request from the Villa.

All these people are further described and identified along with their network, in André's files.

 

 From the founder of La Bande à Sidonie, Suzanne Wilborts, below:

 

André must have been offended by something she wrote to him and she explains:

 

KER-AVEL                                                                          19 January 1949

ILE DE BREHAT

CÔTES-DU-NORD

 

My dear Le Neveu [the nephew]

 

Allow me to tell you that you are just an old fool.

I am going to refresh your memory.

When during my interrogations, for the Germans, they talked to me of you, of your famous trip to London, I always denied it to their face: "Ah! Peulevey! but he's half-cracked. That trip to London never existed except in his imagination, he was incapable of doing something like that. Boast about it, maybe, but execute it, never."

That is simply what I was alluding to in my letter. It had no pejorative meaning, and was only a memory of a trick thus played on the Germans.

That being said, I am delighted to know that all three of you are happy, having a handsome boy.

As for me, if I had insisted on my vetting by grade it is because I have for my heart a disability pension of "sous-lieutenant" and it would have been more advantageous to have a rank of Captain, and that times are tough! As well as the British having happily scooped up their 200,000 francs.

I send you my affectionate memories and friendly regards from Yvette,

Sidonie. 

 

Below, her letter to André about her penury and the abandonment by the British, as well as her bitterness and suspicion about the head of the network Georges France / group 31, Madame Louis:

 

 More from Suzanne Wilborts about Madame Louis, in her letter to Max Eidem, here

 

 

 

 

 Below is fan excerpt of a listing of agents of the Réseau Action:

LERO: Sabotage and parachute group,in charge of liaison by car, in an emergency[!]

SOURMANT and Mr. and Mrs.BOUCHER: Sabotage and parachute

BERTHOU: Transportation of arms and explosives, abotage and parachute, liaison agent

Miss BERTHOU and Guillerm: Liaison agents

AUDIC: Head of group from Auray

ALLAIN: Inspector at the SNCF

BLANCHE: Assistant Director of station, group from Morlaix, killed in 1943 by the Germans

More names with no other inf.

Note at bottom: Nantes: members as of now unknown

 Churchill and the French: André attributed the Allies' victory to him.

 

Below a citation for a resistor said to have joined the sabotage network that André headed,

"La Bête Noire" of the SNCF in November 1940; arrested at the same time as the last sweep of the Network 31 in May 1942, deported and died in Germany in "one of the camps of slow death."

This is one of the results achieved by André's work for dozens of these men and women, and there were associated pensions for their spouses and children.

Verso of the above is below:

"Joe" Special Report( to the SOE) on La Bête Noire network and what he is going to get from André (and his MI6 networks) and give him from his SOE BCRA people in return...Thanks to Nigel Perrin for this document!

22.12.41 [December 22 1941]                            From JOE [Joël Le TAC?]

(Arrived 1/1/42)

 

SPECIAL REPORT ON LA "BÊTE NOIRE"

 

              The "Black Beast" is an important organization comprising a large number of agents of the S.N.C.F. [Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer - French National Railroads]

 

              At its head are persons who occupy important jobs in the railroads.

 

              After several meetings with the person in charge of the organization, I decided to give the same importance to this organization as to a region.

 

              I therefore gave the person in charge the responsibility of creating his own organization A R P with lietuenants corresponding to each branch. I requested he put their head of sabotage in touch with the B Bureaus. In addition, I put their head of  receiving team [in touch] with the head of "reception" service.

 

              This organization will henceforth possess its own terrain and temporary depot under the name of F E R 1. I'll give the coordinates by Radio.

 

              This organization must have available a radio for [communications with] the

A R P service. At their suggestion, the radio could operate by battery from a train in motion, and could thus rapidly transmit news from different locations.

             

              I came to agreement with this organization that it would put at our disposal a rapid transmitting system by dispatching, via code, and a system of agents via the personnel of the S.N.C.F.

 

              In the request for shipments, I included the request formulated by F. E. R. 1.

.............

 

André's Legion d'Honneur citation, translated:

DECREE

carrying the nomination for the Legion of Honor

THE PRESIDENT OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC

Upon the Report of the Minister for War,

In accordance with the ordinance of 7 January 1944, relative to the decorations awarded on the occasion of the war,

IT IS DECREED

ARTICLE 1- IS NAMED TO THE NATIONAL ORDER OF THE LEGION OF HONOR

                                          WITH THE GRADE of KNIGHT

 

PEULEVEY André - Captain F.F.C. [Forces Francaises Combattantes / French Fighting Forces]

 

                                          "Young officer of great valor and rare merit having

"an elevated concept of duty and of the honor of his responsibilities, Priso-

"ner of war 39-40, escaped end of August 1940 entered as a civilian into a

"post of the S.N.C.F. first as secretary-interpreter, then as delegate to

"the German authorities. Then created a sabotage network recognized by the services

"of the F.C. [Forces Combattantes/Fighting Forces] In the course of his activity immediately established himself as leader

" thanks to organizational skills. Never afraid to expose himself or to run

"risks, organized a whole series of sabotages that were very effective in the

"context of the S.N.C.F. against the enemy, then directed an very important

"intelligence service that in May 1941 joined the F.F.C. network. After the arrest

"of his boss regrouped the rest of the network. Left for England on January 2

"1942, then returned to France, charged with two important missions, as

"head of mission.

                                          Was arrested February 5 1942 at RENNES, succeeded in

"making all the documents in his possession disappear, thus depriving the Germans of them."

 

THIS NAMING BESTOWS THE RIGHT TO WEARING THE CROSS OF WAR WITH PALM

 

ARTICLE 2- The minister for War is charged with the execution of the                                            present decree that will not be published in the Official                                                       Journal if the French Republic.

 

By the Provisional Government                     DONE IN PARIS, March 12 1946

of the French Republic

                                                                                                  Signed: DE GAULLE

The Minister for War

Signed: DIETHELM

_____________________________________________________________

 

BUREAU  OF LIQUIDATING THE NETWORKS                                Ministry for War

OF FIGHTING FRANCE

65 Avenue Georges Mandel

PARIS XVI                                                                                              PARIS, May 21 1946

 

Refer to

334/9600/d/JC-ST

Seen as certified to be a valid copy        

that was represented to us

LE VESINET on 23-2-1949                                                                               

The Commissioner of Police                                                        

(signed) ( stamp of the Sureté Nationale  local bureau)

 

Free France and its Free French Forces (French: La France Libre and Forces françaises libres) was the government-in-exile led by Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War and its military forces that continued to fight against the Axis powers on the Allies' side after the Fall of France. It was set up in London in 1940 and also organised and supported the résistance in occupied France. De Gaulle, a French government minister who rejected the armistice concluded by Marshal Philippe Pétain and who had escaped to Britain, exhorted the French to resist in his BBC broadcast "Appeal of 18 June" (Appel du 18 juin), which had a stirring effect on morale throughout France and its colonies, although initially relatively few French forces responded to de Gaulle's call. ...From 13 July 1942, "Free France" was officially renamed France combattante ("Fighting France"), to mark that the struggle against the Axis was conducted both externally by the FFF and internally by the French Forces of the Interior (FFI). ... Exile officially ended with the capture of Paris by the 2nd Armoured Free French Division and resistance forces on 25 August 1944, ushering in the Provisional Government of the French Republic (gouvernement provisoire de la République française or GPRF). It ruled France until...1946, when the IVth Republic was established...(http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Free_France)

 

Report of Captain André Peulevey

 

Prisoner of war until the end of August 1940 I found myself facing the choice of going to England to continue the war or of staying in France in order to do so. Thinking I would be more useful here, I stayed. Entering into the Railroads ( Management District of Rennes) as secretary-interpreter I was after 4 weeks assigned to the SNCF [to deal] with the occupying forces. Being able to travel freely, having great technical resources (telephone, telegraph, car trains) at my disposal with the help of the head of the District L. Turban (arrested and died in Germany) a network of sabotage groups spread throughout Brittany. The entire management personnel of the SNCF ( Chief of PC, Division Inspector and others; station chiefs of the District all participated. Important centers in Rennes ( PC ) St. Brieux, Morlaix, Auray, Plechatel, Pouancé, Lannion, Chateaubriant, Mordelles, Montfot s/Meu, Rosporden, Paimpol, Landerneau, Lorient , Brest, Vannes, Quimper, Quimperlé and Quiberon. In almost all the other stations were members of the organization who were in direct link with the PC of Rennes via the dispatching of the [traffic] controller of Rennes. (Operators: Mevel, Jafré, Bernon, active members of the group and recognized by the F[rance] C[ombattante]. The heads of other centers are all known to the France Combattante. Starting in the month of October my first sabotage groups started to operate. I'll describe that further on. Our fist goal was sabotage. The second was the parachute group; I put Lt. A. Leroux in charge of recruiting volunteers outside of the SNCF and he acquitted himself very well. I had many parachute terrains identified that could serve at the opportune time. At that stage it was about working in silence and without making any noise; the moment for a military intervention by the ALlies could not be counted on for several years.I therefore dedicated myself to knowing as far in advance as possible the intentions and plans of the Germans ( creation of new airfields, speeding up of the movement of trainloads of raw materials for the construction of submarine bases, construction of new bases for troops,etc.) so as to delay the execution of these projects or simply torpedo them, while imputing the fault to the German authorities themselves. I was perfectly assisted by my hierarchical chiefs at the SNCF and we succeeded in blocking the rails at certain moments that were considered critical by the Germans; from Brest to Hamburg and from Lorient to Upper Silesia. Along those tracks not a single garage was free and some of their trains sometimes took 2 or more months en route. The result was a considerable slowdown in the construction of their projects, thousands of Todt workers were paid to do nothing, the rolling stock was immobilised for much longer that the German chiefs of staff foresaw it would take, etc. ...That's an example among many others, I am not mentioning all the accidental "hot boxes" , frequent machinery breakdowns; it would take too long to describe all the measures taken that were the basis of systematic and absolute sabotage and that for a stretch of 15 months, without the Germans noticing a single things, this thanks to the close and discreet collaboration of all members of the network. I will no longer give the names of my collaborators, thay having been already all recognized by la France Combattante. The orders were gerally given directly by me or my seconds in comand, either Mr. Remaud (since shot) Mr. Leroux, Mr. Lionel, Mr. Le Deuff. I myself conducted the necessary communications and which were weekly, for some centers. Starting in the month of November 1940 I conductied intelligence gathering in a continuous way. Contacted by Captain Michelet 5 Michel probably) I made detailed weekly reports on everything having to do  from close up or a distance with German military and civilian activities, railroad or not. Helped by my perfect knowledge of German and the trust that all the German services had in me; disposing of all the passes and wirecutters possible, I was able to penetrate off the military and forbidden zones in Brittany. So I visited all the coastal defense zones, naval and msubmarine bases (Lorient, Brest, St. Malo, etc.) all the airfields served by the Railroads ( St. Jacques, Lannion, St. B, Vannes, Dinard, etc.... I went to the holding pen of submarines in Lorient; I visited a new model of minesweeper at St. Malo; I was able to see everything for myself, I took photos, drew these installation that illustrated my reports. This took place usually in the presence of high military and civilian functionaries. Being the Delegate of the SNCF and the Secretary Interpreter of the District Head I had to participate in all the military and economic conferences in which we were concerned. In this way, I set up a little intelligence network which kept growing. In March 1941 I was brought to link up with Network FFC ( Forces Françaises Combattantes) 31 where I worked under the registratration 31AQ (Alias Martin) Le Neveu [The Nephew] or André (my first name) was the alias used with my agents. Starting from that time I regularly liaised between Rennes and Nantes or Rennes and Paris to receive orders from my boss and communicate them to others. When my boss was arrested in October 1941 I found myself at the head of a large organization of sabotage on the one hand and of intelligence on the other with centers identified above, plus new centers like Bréhat and Carantec. One of my agents, member of a collateral group to the SNCF, infiltrated the Gestapo in Rennes and was able to pick up for us precious information from the point of view of CE. I won't give you more ample details on my activity as an agent, which is not possible given the multiplicity of little facts forming a whole (for example emptying a German gas mask during a visit to the Feldkommandantur while the guy was out, so as to verify if the Germans had found a new antidote for a new English gas that was thought to have been known to the Germans). Having lost contact with London, but finding myself...a radio that worked well I searched for a contact. That's when I met Yves Letac who introduced me to his brother Joël. I then offered to put myself and my sabotage groups under his orders and to join his "Overcloud" network - he for his part would share some elements with me snf could find good information. During our trip to London this undertaking was ratified by the corresponding services. I will go back in time to eaplain my activity preceding my arrest. After the disappearance of my Boss I tried to retrieve the elements that I knew to have been part of the 31 line. Partial success, but it almost got me arrested in Paris when I wanted to fish out one of our best agents who was working in the headquarters of the German army air corps, and I was followed, but succeeded in getting away. At the same time I took charge of a large group in Northern France, (Déan, of Chaumont, from Lille ) having regained contact thanks to the Overcloud network and to the Jonny intelligence network ( that I also found) I extended the reach of my organizations. I started by training true intelligence agents by teaching how to operate, produce reports, etc...On January 2 1942 I accepter the offer of Commander Letac to leave with him for England. There, I got my parachute certificate at Ringway, I followed all the courses of ciphers, codes, pick-up and others. On leaving England, I was put in charge of two important missions for which I had been designated Director, one for intelligence and the other for the evacuation of fallen aviators and parachutists to be repatriated, the organization of a new network with radio operators etc. For my first ...regular communications by sea (and by air) were planned, I myself had chosen two radio operators who were to follow me 8 days later. I carried very detailed instructions and of great military import including very considerable [sums.] This was returned by me as soon as I returned to France [after the end of the war] because I was able to [hide] this money at the house of friends before my arrest... On the morrow of my return from England, that is on February 5, I was arrested in my office in Rennes. Nothing was found on me I was even able to make the two films containing my instructions disappear. The easrch conducted at my place yeileded nothing, my precautions having been taken before my departure for England. I was transferred to Fresnes via Anger. Very harsh interrogations (blows and torture) without results, In July 1942I was identified as Agnet 31 AQ after a confrontation with a radio operator for the group who had received telegrams for me. The 31 affair was judged in Novemer 42, 15 agents were shot. My dossier was separated and I did not appear in court. I was cited in January 1943 Rue de Saussaies where Captain Lindemann and Chief Adjutant Sommer notified me of my death sentence for intelligence with the enemy, sentence that appeared in my file. They told me that I was being held now to clear up my other activities. I was deported to Germany in July 1943 to the extermination camp of Natzweiler ( Struthof) where I stayed until September 1944- evacuated at the time of the Allies advance, I was sent to Dachau from where I was sent to Allach. Brought back to Dachau because NN in January 1945 I was liberated on April 29th by the American army. For two years I managed to avoid any Kommando working for German Arms production. I spent a year in solitary confinement at Fresnes and I came back  to France after 40 months of imprisonment and deportation on May 18 1945.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All images Diana Mara Henry. All rights reserved. Terms of Use