Oorlogsvrouwen Deel 3: Berthie Albrecht – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: History
Written by: Régis Hautière, Francis Laboutique
Illustrations: Ullcer
Coloring: DOMNOK
Publisher: Casterman

Oorlogsvrouwen Deel 3: Berthie Albrecht – Comic Book Review

Site Score
Good: Very historically correct
Bad: Backgrounds aren't very detailed
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Stories set during the Second World War often solely concern men fighting for their homeland. Nonetheless, the role of women during this war is something we still know little about. Some of them played a vital role, but of course the war was mostly men’s business. In the comic book series ‘Oorlogsvrouwen’ we meet four women who played a very deserving role during the war. In part three, it’s Berthie Albrecht’s time to stand in the spotlight.


We meet Berthie Albrecht in 1943, who is in her fifties, peacefully reading the newspaper on a bench in the park, when suddenly she gets arrested by the Gestapo. She gets tortured and interrogated, but doesn’t move a muscle. She will be executed soon, and the Gestapo’s last hope to get her to talk, is to have her interrogated by a female agent, Gerda. This agent Gerda seems to be more human than her male colleagues, and Berthie slowly starts to tell her life story.

Berthie grew up in Marseille. She didn’t have a good relationship with her mother, but luckily found a friend in Frédéric Albrecht, who was a student of her father’s. Later she became a nurse and visited Frédéric in London. Albrecht became a banker in the City and soon after, they were to be wed. She lived a life in the London high society, but this didn’t truly make her happy. She started to stand up for the rights of women and for the poorest in society. Soon after, she left her husband and moved to France. There she met Henri Frenay. After she met him, she became more and more involved in fighting for freedom, women’s rights etc. Soon after, the Germans occupied Paris and the war broke loose. Berthie became involved in the French resistance, together with Frenay. They were two of the key figures in the resistance, but unfortunately, unlike Frenay, she couldn’t stay out of the hands of the Gestapo.

The story is told within three different time frames. The first one, which is set in the present, tells us the story of a woman who found a notebook of agent Gerda, and found Berthie’s name in it. She now wants to find out more about Berthie’s life and thus looks for answers in the Musée de la Résistance. On the other hand we also see Berthie herself, while being interrogated by agent Gerda. While she tells her story, we also see illustrations of her life prior to her capture. The frames often switch between these three times, without warning. Thus the stories are really woven together and the line between what Berthie really tells and what the woman with the notebook finds out is blurred, which makes the overall story quite attractive.

Each album in this series is illustrated by someone different. For this third issue, Ullcer took it upon himself to make fitting illustrations to Berthie’s story. The lines are thick and focus on facial expressions and emotions, while backgrounds are not that detailed. DOMNOK’s coloring, using muted colors, adds greatly to the dreariness that the war entails.

At the end of the issue, there are four pages of extra information about Berthie Albrecht, proving that Régis Hautière and Francis Laboutique, with the help of Emanuelle Polack really did their research and stayed very close to reality while writing the scenario for this comic book. This can only add to the value of this series, which is not only beautiful in its concept, but also in its working-out.


Oorlogsvrouwen Deel 3: Berthie Albrecht tells the story of a strong woman who fought for the rights of all who needed it. Her role in the French resistance is beautifully depicted and kept interesting by weaving three stories in three different periods in time together. The illustrations only add to her confident, strong character. This is a series to keep an eye out for. We’re definitely looking forward to the fourth -and unfortunately last- issue.

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Oorlogsvrouwen Deel 3: Berthie Albrecht - Comic Book Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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