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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Arrested for Treason

by Richard Vettese

After the arrest of Charles Bedaux for treason in 1942, Fern Lombard Bedaux and her sister, Eve Duez, were interned briefly in Paris during the war. They were soon released through their connections to the Nazi government and with the help of Otto Abetz, the Nazi Ambassador in France. Fern was later held under house arrest at the Chateau, and she never saw Charles again. Soon after the liberation of Paris, Fern married a United States Colonel; the marriage did not last, and she returned to the name of Bedaux.

The Chateau was virtually abandoned by Fern in the 1950’s, but she took on the revitalization of the Bedaux business name and business methods. Fern passed away suddenly at her home in Tours, France in July 1972. Surviving her were two nieces and one nephew, Miss Elizabeth Hanley of London, Mrs. Richard Martin of Grand Rapids, Charles Hext of California, and her stepson Charles E. Bedaux Jr. She left the Chateau to the French Republic, which reassigned it to the Council of Indre-et-Loire in 1974. Both Charles and Fern are buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

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