Meet Guy, the infant in Lilac Girls who survived Ravensbruck, now all grown up.

If you’ve read Lilac Girls you know about little Guy Poirot, the baby who is lifted up into one of the Swedish Red Cross’ rescue busses, to be reunited with his mother and escape the camp. It is based on a true story, of how Ravensbruck prisoner Raymonde Poirot gave birth to a child at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp and escaped with him.

Pregnant when she arrived at the camp, Raymonde worked in the prison laundry and on Sunday, March 11, 1945  she gave birth to her child in the corner of the room. Her fellow prisoners brought her rags to wrap the child in and she called him Mon petit chiffon, my little rag bundle. She named him Guy. Others called him Lumpi– rag bundle.

Raymonde’s friends smuggled Guy and his mother to the mother and child barrack, where they were somewhat safer. Soon the war ended and Raymonde knew she would be able to take Guy home to France, but she could not be seen with her secret child.

The Ravensbruck prisoners gathered and worked out a strategy to save Guy. The moment Raymonde had passed the guard on her way to the waiting Swedish rescue bus and had taken her first step up, another prisoner came running. “Raymonde, you have forgotten your rag bundle,” she said and tossed the bundle up to her. The bus drove off and the camp authorities never knew mother and child left that day, with the help of so many brave conspirators.

Guy is still called Lumpi today.

This week I found the lovely photo above, of Guy and his mother. I had heard Guy was a teacher in France, but that was all I knew about his life after Ravensbruck until I saw this picture. I also just found out this week Lilac Girls will soon be published in France.

Perhaps Guy will reach out to me here. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

 

12 thoughts on “Meet Guy, the infant in Lilac Girls who survived Ravensbruck, now all grown up.”

  1. Lilac Girls is a gift that keeps on giving… it gives hope to the world to find stories unreveiled, and once revealed those stories become priceless artifacts. When I read the book I wondered if the baby Guy was based on fact or fiction, what a miracle it was for him to survive!

    1. I so agree, Monica. So many babies didn’t make it out of Ravensbruck, it truly is a miracle little Guy did.I think his mother must be an incredibly strong woman.

  2. I’m grateful for this wonderful posting. I can’t wait to share it at our Book Club tomorrow morning. I’m moderated for our discussion on, Lilac Girls.
    Looking forward to your sequels. Especially the book on the Woolsey women. Wondering if there is a link with my husband’s family?

    1. I hope your book club enjoyed it! That would be wonderful if you were related, since the Wolsey women were incredible. Ancestry.com would be a great way to find out.

  3. My book club is meeting at my home tomorrow night …..was wondering if we could get you to call and help us with the discussion of your book. Just loved your book …. it moved me very deeply! Live in Frankfort, Illinois so there is probably a time change. Club starts at 7:30…..hope to hear from you! 708-653-7007 (Monday night) Know you are extremely busy but figured it would not hurt to ask! Can not wait to read your next book!

    1. So sorry, Margaret but I am traveling and have an engagement tonight. Hope you have a wonderful discussion!
      All the best,
      Martha

  4. My book club of 20 successful women is reading Lilac Girls for our book club on June 15, in Cheshire CT. We have been in the club for over 20 years. We have all been through marriages, babies, deaths, heartbreak, and now grandchildren. I saw on you calendar that you are going to be near us that night in CT. Please come. I promise you great German food. My presentation includes things I have made for each member of our group, a headscarf, a striped apron, an arm number, patch for the apron, prison ID cards, a shoe box full of items from the book for discussion purposes, and a diorama of Ravensbruk. We all loved the book and hope you will come. My book club said it is impossible, but I said there is always hope. Please help me prove them wrong.

    1. Hi Valerie,
      As much as I would LOVE to come see that incredible presentation (maybe the most creative book group ever!) I can’t make it that night. My manuscript for book #2 is due the next day and I will be madly editing away. But thank you for the lovely invitation. I really do hate to miss it.
      xx
      Martha
      p.s. If you take some pictures would you mind sending some along? I would love to post them!

  5. I just finished Lilac Girls
    It was so good. I love these women and hope and pray they have had happiness in their later years. A book based on real events in history is my favorite kind of book. Thank you for taking on this endeavor Martha. My favorite line is, “How easy it is to get tangled up in your own fishing net.” Great life lesson.

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