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Elisabeth de Rothschild (March 9, 1902 - March 23, 1945) was a member by marriage of the wine-making branch of the Rothschild family.

Born in Paris as Elisabeth Pelletier de Chambure and known as Lili, she was a daughter of Auguste Pelletier de Chambure, mayor of Escrignelles, a member of a Catholic family whose roots were in the Burgundy region.

In 1934, immediately after her divorce from her first husband, Jonkeer Marc Edouard Marie de Becker-Rémy, a Belgian aristocrat, she married her lover, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, a member of the prominent Rothschild family and the owner of one of France's most famous vineyards, Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillacmarker in the Médocmarker. Rothschild also was a cousin by marriage of her previous husband.

Lili and Philippe de Rothschild had two children:



Philippe de Rothschild's late-in-life memoirs ("Milady Vine," written in collaboration with his companion, the British director Joan Littlewood) described his marriage to Lili as one of great passion but also enormous tempestuousness and despair. The couple's difficulties increased when their only son was born tragically deformed and died soon after birth. They eventually separated, and the baron's wife reverted to her maiden name.

Following the German occupation of France in World War II, she and her then-estranged husband were arrested by the Vichy government and the vineyard property seized. Philippe de Rothschild escaped and made his way to Englandmarker where he joined the Free French Forces of General Charles de Gaulle. However, in 1941, the Gestapomarker arrested Rothschild's wife on charges of attempting to cross the line of demarcation with a forged permit and sent her to Ravensbrückmarker, a German concentration camp located about 50 miles north of Berlinmarker.

Elisabeth de Rothschild reportedly died of epidemic typhus on March 23, 1945, at Ravensbrück. Her second husband's memoir, however, states that she was thrown into a concentration-camp oven alive. She was the only Rothschild to die in the Holocaust.

References

  • Joseph Valynseele & Henri-Claude Mars, Le Sang des Rothschild, L’Intermédiaire des Chercheurs et Curieux, Paris, 2004.
  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Milady Vine, Jonathan Cape, London, 1984.



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