On Saint Valentine’s Day, I want to pay homage to Margaret Kelly 'Miss Bluebell' (1910-2004) an Irish dancer who founded the Parisian ‘Bluebell Girls’ Lido dance troupe and so much more...
In Lara Marlowe's article for the Irish Times you can read all about her life. Lara says it all, but today, on Saint Valentine's Day, I just want to comment on how Margaret Kelly, at the risk of her own life, managed to keep her Jewish husband Marcel Leibovici (1904–1961), alive and hidden in a Paris attic for 2 1/2 years, until the liberation. Marcel was a pianist and composer and Margaret met him when they were both working at the Folies Bergère.
In 1942, Marcel was arrested and deported to an internment camp in Gurs, in southwestern France. The French Resistance helped him escape and return to Paris, where he was hidden by Margaret in a building right opposite a Police Station! She brought him food and fresh laundry daily and bribed the concierge of the building the right amount, in the right way, to keep her from denouncing him to the Nazis. The same concierge denounced others hidden in the same building when their protectors didn't get it right!
François Truffaut's film “Le Dernier Métro” is inspired by the life of Margaret Kelly and her husband. She was suspected of hiding him and was interrogated by the Gestapo, but in spite of intense questioning, she succeeded in not divulging his whereabouts.
Margaret was an amazing woman, full of talent and love and about her many achievements and awards she said: "I was born in Ireland and I was abandoned and I did all this on my own."
We remember you, Margaret, we celebrate you and will dance in your honor!
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