When Arlette and about a hundred other students were arrested at the university on November 25, 1943, they were taken into several weeks of captivity at the Clermont Ferrand military barracks. They lost touch with the outside world. They lost their freedom. But a few days later, Arlette and her fellow prisoner were able to tell their families and friends where they were. Two young French soldiers in German uniform had decided to help Arlette and the other women so they could write letters. The two soldiers handed over their letters in a small café near the military base, where family and friends could then pick them up.

Arlette wrote 21 letters in captivity in Clermont Ferrand, which her mother subsequently saved. Three days after the arrest, Arlette wrote the following to her parents, among other things: “Morale is good, my dear parents, and it is especially you who I am thinking of. I want you to be calm ..., tell everyone at home that I am thinking of them, and hope to see them soon ..., a lovely smile from your little Nany, who sends you big hugs and many kisses. .., see you soon. ”