Rue Andrée Viénot-Mayrisch

Rue Andrée Viénot-Mayrisch

Socialist political pioneer
Anti-colonialist combatant
Birth year
Year of death
Places of residence
Dudelange ¦ Charleville-Mézières, Rocroy-France ¦ Berlin - Germany

Who is she?

Andrée Mayrisch comes from one of the most famous families in Luxembourg. Her father, Emile Mayrisch, an engineer, was the founder of ARBED and the initiator of the International Steel Agreement. Her mother, Aline de Saint-Hubert, a pioneer of women's education in Luxembourg and founder of the Luxembourg Red Cross, entertained European literary and political circles at her castle in Colpach, including Walter Rathenau and André Gide.

Andrée Mayrisch was raised in a secular environment, without the constraints usually imposed on girls of her time. As a teenager, she took part in the activities of the guides, "the bronzed campers of Dudelange". Throughout her life, she retained this taste for supervising children, later taking on this role in the "Faucons Rouges", in holiday centres, or in her government activity. After her baccalaureate and a year of medical studies in Switzerland, she obtained a degree in political economy in 1923 at the London School of Economics. In England, she joined a socialist study circle.

Back in France, she met Pierre Viénot and married him six years later, giving up the management of ARBED's social services, which she had held since 1926, to live in Berlin.

In Germany, they witnessed the rise of Nazism and the collapse of their pacifist hopes. They returned to France, to the Ardennes department, where Pierre Viénot was elected as a republican-socialist deputy in 1932. Andrée worked as her husband's political secretary and then, in 1936, as a member of his cabinet when he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
During the war years, the Viénot-de Mayrisch couple opposed the Vichy regime and fought for the ideas of the Socialist Party. After her husband's death in London in 1944, Andrée continued their fight and began her political career. She was elected deputy for the Ardennes in 1946. Andrée Viénot was not involved in parliament but became under-secretary of state for national education, responsible for youth and sports.

She invested herself in the physical and sports training of young people and in outdoor activities, but in 1947, after the death of her mother who had assisted her until then, Andrée Viénot gave up her mandate as a member of parliament in order to be able to take on the education of her two young children, Remy and Marianne. However, she did not abandon her social and political activities. In 1953 she was elected mayor of the town of Rocroy, and remained so until her death. She continued to play a major role in the socialist federation and took part in numerous anti-colonial actions in France and abroad.

Her last notable political move was to join the Socialist Party (PS) in December 1972. She died four years later at the age of 75.

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