Hélène Fournelle was born on 21 January 1901 in Holzem and grew up in the Häregaass. Together with her parents Jean Fournelle and Marie-Josée Thill and her large siblings, she spent a happy youth there. Her best-known book, Die Sieben aus der Häregâs, is dedicated to her childhood. The book, which existed in manuscript form from 1940, was not published until after the war. It is written in German and Luxembourgish.
Hélène Fournelle followed in the footsteps of two of her sisters and trained at the École normale des institutrices. In 1921, the young woman was first appointed as a teacher in Dippach. In 1928, she received her post-school teaching certificate and taught at the Cours complémentaires in Luxembourg for 38 years. Hélène distinguished herself not only by her passion for teaching and her dedication to young people but also by her frank, friendly and uncompromising character. It was her refusal to Germanise her surname that led to her being transferred to Germany during the Second World War as a punishment. This sentence was all the more tragic because her mother, with whom she lived together, died during her absence. The teacher received an honorary mention for her patriotic attitude during the enemy occupation.
Hélène Fournelle considered herself a Catholic educator and writer, and primarily wrote stories for children and adolescents. She also contributed to the periodicals Morgenglocken, Letzeburger Kanner and Luxemburger Marienkalender. Her most important work is the illustrated religious book Mein Weg zum Himmel for primary school pupils. This was a collaboration over several years with Professor H. Wester.
After her retirement in 1966, the teacher continued to work with the boarders at the Fieldgen.
Hélène Fournelle died in a clinic in Frankfurt am Main in 1967.
● Germaine Goetzinger und Claude D. Conter: Hélène Fournelle, in: Luxemburger Autorenlexikon, Centre National de Littérature Mersch, 2007, pp.43-44. Hélène Fournelle
● Luxemburger Wort vom 13.05.1967, S. 5
● 200 Joer Par Holzem - Holzem d'Duerf p. 41-42