Nathalie Marie Heffenisch was born on 14 October 1902 in Colmar-Berg to the parents Theodore Heffenisch and Susanne Berens. The couple opened the Heffenisch café, which has only recently closed its doors.
At the age of 20, Marie married Sebastian Carmes and lived in Ettelbruck. Three years later her daughter Olga was born. The first hard blow of fate was the death of her husband in 1932. Marie moved to Dudelange and took over the Hengesch Hotel in Rue de la Libération.
In 1941, Marie joined the local section of the "Luxemburger Fräiheetsbond" - (LFB) The section was founded at her hotel. The hotel was used as a hiding place for illegal newspapers and leaflets and as a shelter for 7 draft dodgers. Marie also deals with false papers.
Unfortunately, the hotel was one of many hiding places discovered by the occupying forces in 1944. Marie Heffenisch was arrested and imprisoned in Luxembourg-Grund. There she met Marie Brix-Kopp from Esch/Alzette who wrote about it in her diary.
But the ordeal had only just begun. In July 1944 Marie was deported to the women's prison in Flußbach, then to Wittlich. Marie met two young resistance fighters, Madeleine Bauler and Marie-Thérèse Wagener. Madeleine Bauler wrote in her memoirs that Mammy Carmes was with them. "(...) Mammy Carmes was very bitter about the loss of her only son, who was also very active in the resistance and was blown up by a mine in a prison camp at the age of 18.
Following an incident caused by a statement made by a guard, Marie Carmes was deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp - a camp which in 1944 contained more than 41,000 women. At Christmas of the same year, Madeleine Bauler saw Marie Carmes again in Ravensbrück. She wrote in her diary: "Here we saw Madame Carmes again. She was unrecognisable. Marie Carmes gives her food to the girls, arguing that young people have to survive this hell and that she herself was old.
Marie Carmes survived the ordeal and returned to Luxembourg in June 1945. She was awarded the medal of the Order of the Resistance in 1968.
She died in 1985 in Niedercorn.