July 6th 2018 – A ceremony in honor of Diana ROWDEN, a British secret agent executed at the Natzweiler-Struthof camp.

On the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the death of Diana Rowden, her Britain family and her french family where she hide before she was arrested, wish to give her a tribute at the european center on resistance and deportation, in the place where she died.

Born in Chelsea in 1915, Diana Rowden spent her childhood living in the south of France. After a spell at a Surrey boarding school she moved to Paris and studied at the sorbonne. When war broke out, she joined the red cross but in 1941 she returned to England and joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air force. Her bilangual skills meant she was soon recruited by the SOE* and in 1943 she was sent to France, working as a courier in the Jura region. She lived on a french family in the village of Clairvaux-le-lacs .

Five months after her arrival, she was betrayed. Diana Rowden was caught and taken for interrogation by the SS in Paris. On July 5 1944 she was transferred along with three other female agents (Andree BORREL, Vera LEIGH and Sonya OLSCHANEZKY to Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in Alsace. That night the women were given lethal injections after what she was put on a furnace.

*SOE, The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a British World War II organisation. It was officially formed in July 1940 under Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton, from the amalgamation of three existing secret organisations. Its purpose was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe (and later, also in occupied Southeast Asia) against the Axis powers, and to aid local resistance movements.

In april 2017, a biography about de life of Diana writen by Gabrielle ROTHWELL was published. In this instance, the Diana’s Britain family and her French family where she hide before she was arrested, their was found themselves for the first time since the Orlando War II. At this event, their decided to organise a tribute at the Natzweiler-Struthof where Diana perish.

 After an emotional ceremony with french and english hymns and speeches, the French family gave to the European center two objects belonging to Diana.