Jersey / Landmark
During the German Occupation, La Rocquaise was the home of French half-sisters Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe. They were avant garde Surrealist artists and life partners also known by their pseudonyms Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore.
Friend and Occupation veteran Joe Mière remembered how a young Ukrainian slave worker named Pyotr Bokatenko, who had previously escaped from labour camps in Jersey, was given refuge at their home where the two sisters fed and looked after him very well. They did this at grave risk to themselves.
Suzanne and Lucy also sought to inspire discontent in the German ranks by hiding propaganda in uniform pockets, briefcases or parked cars – purporting to be the work of ‘the solider without name’.
The women were apprehended in July 1944 and sentenced to death. Alexander Coutanche, the Bailiff of Jersey, and the French Consul appealed and they were eventually released from Jersey’s prison on 8 May 1945. If these events had taken place before the D-Day period, when the Islands were cut off from France, Lucy and Suzanne would undoubtedly have perished in a German prison or camp.