Evelyn Sullerot was raised in a family very much concerned with what was fair and what was morally right. Her parents were opinionated French socialists but they were also Christians. Sullerot’s mother was an outspoken advocate for women’s suffrage (as women in France did not get the right to vote until after the war). Sullerot’s family initially grew up in Compiegne but after the initial German invasion, they moved to the town of Uzes in the Midi Province, which became part of Vichy France where they were still subject to draconian government policies. Despite this, most residents of Midi supported Marshall Petain and his policies. Despite the fact that Midi was not occupied by the Germans, speaking out was still dangerous. Young Evelyn distinctly remembers the first time she was arrested even before she joined the Resistance movement.
Evelyn was eventually released from a prison in which she had been held alongside common criminals. Following her release, her family moved back north to Paris where Evelyn was reunited with old friends from Compiegne.
While in the North, Sullerot’s mother passed away from illness and Evelyn herself was later struck with pleurisy. Her father ran a clinic where they hid Jews, disguising them as psychiatric patients. Sullerot’s brother and father were heavily involved in the Resistance movement to the point at which six of his false identities were marked for death if captured by the Germans.
Sullerot continued to do liason work for the Resistance despite her debilitating illness. Eventually after several more trials by fire and narrow escapes, the American army arrived and Sullerot’s home was liberated.
Sullerot became a sociologist after the war. Despite herself receiving the Legion of Honor for her role during the war, she later came to criticize the overall lack of recognition women such as herself received.