The young man that the Nazis focused on was the obvious entrance to the university. George Mathieu was, among other things, the man who provided the young resistance fighters with fake identity cards, cigarettes and money. He knew where they lived in the mountain areas, and he knew how all the teaching at the university was organized. George Mathieu had a great deal of knowledge about when there would be as many students and teachers at the university as possible - meaning when arrests could be made as many people as possible at once.     

A large military force consisting of about 200 soldiers from the Gestapo and Luftwaffe surrounded the University of Clermont Ferrand on the morning of November 25, forced armed men into the buildings and forced everyone outside. More than 1,000 students and teachers were detained in the university courtyard during the day, and at the end of the day, well over 100 people were arrested and taken away to a week-long captivity at the city's military base. Among them was Arlette.