Lise Meyer, born in Eich in 1868, daughter of the industrial chemist Aloyse Meyer, is a wealthy and respected Luxembourger. In 1900, Lise Meyer married the doctor Camille Rischard. The couple lives in a villa in Luxembourg City at 20, Boulevard Royal.
In the summer of 1916, in the middle of the First World War, the 49-year-old Lise Rischard goes to Paris to visit her son Marcel Pelletier, from her first marriage, before he is drafted into the war. After receiving permission from the German authorities to enter Switzerland, she secretly leaves for Paris. When Lise Rischard then wants to return to Switzerland, however, a visa requirement introduced at short notice prevents her from doing so and she is stranded in Paris. Seeking help, she turns to an acquaintance who introduces her to Captain George Bruce, head of the Paris branch of the British secret service. He makes her a proposal: if she agrees to work for the English secret service, she will be allowed to return to Luxembourg. After initial hesitation, careful consideration and several meetings, Lise Rischard finally agrees. The Luxembourgish housewife is trained as an agent in Paris. She turns out to be a woman of extraordinary intelligence and courage, able to memorize a Byzantine complicated code and use it to transmit detailed messages about troop movements from the heart of enemy territory.
Lise Rischard spends nearly a year in Paris preparing for her new assignment. Through the interventions of the French and British intelligence services, she is issued a visa by the Swiss authorities. After eight grueling months in Switzerland, Lise Rischard returns to Luxembourg in early February 1918. But how are the coded messages to be transmitted securely? The solution is Der Landwirt, a modest journal published by Paul Schroell and his wife Jeannette Schmit in Diekirch. The coded messages from Lise Rischard are processed into articles. The newspaper then makes its way to Paris by diplomatic courier.
Lise sets up the spy network in Luxembourg with her husband Dr. Camille Rischard, consulting physician for the railroad company. The information from Luxembourg, which is very regular and precise, allows the British and French military authorities to determine more precisely the deployment of German troops and is therefore of great importance to the Allies. Thanks to the information provided by the Luxembourg network, the general staffs of the Allied armies recognize where the German army is planning the last major offensive in the fall of 1918, which can thus be prevented.
After the war, the members of Lise Rischard's network are honored by Great Britain and France for their extraordinary services. Lise Rischard receives the French Croix de guerre avec palmes and is appointed Commander of the British Empire.
Lise Rischard dies in 1940 in the city of Luxembourg.
- Ons Stad _118_2018_36-39.pdf – Jean Reitz, Nadine Geisler: Lise Rischard, eine luxemburgische Spionin im Ersten Weltkrieg
- The Observer (8.08.2004): Jane Stevenson: Spies with attitude
- Janet Morgan - The Secrets of Rue St Roch, Edition Allen Lane, 2004