VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Dame Mary Barraco was a native of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and a resident of Virginia Beach since 1950. She died peacefully in her home on December 6 at the age of 96.
Barraco was a teenager living in Belgium when the Nazis occupied her hometown. She and her mother were forced to report three times a day to Nazi authorities.
Eventually, Barraco began working with the Belgium resistance.
She was eventually imprisoned and tortured.
Barraco survived the torture and returned to work for the resistance after being released from prison.
“Her mission in life was to speak out about the tyranny of war,” according to her obituary.
She spoke to thousands of schools and college students, numerous military groups, service and community organizations, church groups and political organizations.
In 2004, the Belgian king knighted Barraco for her service to the resistance during the war.
In 2014, filmmakers interviewed Dame Mary Barraco to include her story in the What We Carry library.
Memorial donations can be made to The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Barraco’s honor.
Find additional information on Damy Mary Barraco at this link.