Escape from Hitler’s Europe: The Comet Line and Its Helpers

Speaker: Linda De Roche

Suitable for Schools · Grades 9–12

In 1941, an increasing number of Allied aircraft were being shot down in Nazi-occupied Europe. Although most downed airmen were killed or taken prisoner, some evaded capture and were sheltered by Allied sympathizers and the emerging resistance movement to German rule. The road of safety–and to fight again–for these airmen was a treacherous journey by train, by bicycle, and on foot that stretched hundreds of miles from Belgium, across occupied France, to the Pyrenees Mountains at the Spanish border. My presentation will focus primarily on the brave and selfless resistance women, especially the 24-year-old Belgian Andree de Jongh and the American Virginia d’Albert- Lake, who organized and conducted these journeys on this underground railroad, known as the Comet Line, who helped to save nearly 800 airmen.