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Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra

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Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This gripping and heartbreaking narrative is the first full account of an American woman who gave her life in the struggle against the Nazi regime. As members of a key resistance group, Mildred and her husband, Arvid Harnack, assisted in the escape of German Jews and political dissidents, and for years provided vital economic and military intelligence to both Washington and Moscow. But in 1942, following a Soviet blunder, the Gestapo arrested, tortured and tried some four score members of the Harnack's group, which the Nazis dubbed the Red Orchestra.

Mildred Fish-Harnack was guillotined in Berlin on February 16, 1943, on the personal instruction of Adolf Hitler--the only American woman executed as an underground conspirator. Yet as World War II ended and the Cold War began, her courage, idealism and self-sacrifice went largely unacknowledged in America and the democratic West, and were distorted and sanitized in the Communist East. Only now, with the opening of long-sealed archives, can the full story be told.

Resisting Hitler is based on extensive interviews with Fish-Harnack family, friends and associates; it draws on personal correspondence and formerly classified German and Soviet KGB files and recently released CIA and FBI dossiers. It describes the life of a Wisconsin girl whose intelligence and beauty captivated a visiting scholar, Arvid Harnack, a member of a distinguished German academic family. It explores for the first time the complex familial connections of the Harnacks, Delbrücks and Bonhoeffers, twelve of whom were executed for resistance acts. And it details Mildred's friendship with Martha Dodd, daughter of FDR's ambassador to the Third Reich, whose affair with a Soviet diplomat led to his death.

Moments before her death, Mildred said, "I have loved Germany so much." In this superblytold life of an unjustly forgotten woman, Shareen Blair Brysac depicts the human side of a controversial resistance group that for too long has been portrayed as merely a Soviet espionage network. The extraordinary story of Mildred Fish-Harnack's ten dramatic years of resisting the Nazi regime also reminds today's readers of the hard moral choices that beset opponents of a ruthless totalitarian dictatorship.

Synopsis:

This gripping and heartbreaking narrative is the first full account of an American woman who gave her life in the struggle against the Nazi regime. As members of a key resistance group, Mildred Harnack and her husband, Arvid, assisted in the escape of German Jews and political dissidents, and for years provided vital economic and military intelligence to both Washington and Moscow. But in 1942, following a Soviet blunder, the Gestapo arrested, tortured, and tried some four score members of the Harnacks' group, which the Nazis dubbed the Red Orchestra. Mildred Fish-Harnack was guillotined in Berlin on February 16, 1943, on the personal instruction of Adolf Hitler--she was the only American woman to be executed as an underground conspirator during World War II. Yet as the war ended and the Cold War began, her courage, idealism, and self-sacrifice went largely unacknowledged in America and the democratic West, and were distorted and sanitized in the Communist East. Only now, with the opening of long-sealed archives from Germany, the KGB, the CIA, and the FBI, can the full story be told.

In this superbly told life of an unjustly forgotten woman, Shareen Blair Brysac depicts the human side of a controversial resistance group that for too long has been portrayed as merely a Soviet espionage network.

About the Author

Shareen Blair Brysac is co-author with her husband, Karl E. Meyer, of the acclaimed Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia. A former producer for CBS News, she is the recipient of several Emmys and the Peabody Award. Currently, she is a contributing editor for Archaeology Magazine.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195152401
Author:
Brysac, Shareen Blair
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Shareen Blair
Subject:
Women
Subject:
History, World | European | Germany
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Espionage
Subject:
Biography-Political
Publication Date:
20020531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 halftones and maps
Pages:
516
Dimensions:
8.9 x 5.6 x 1.3 in 1.46 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Political
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra New Trade Paper
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$26.25 In Stock
Product details 516 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195152401 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This gripping and heartbreaking narrative is the first full account of an American woman who gave her life in the struggle against the Nazi regime. As members of a key resistance group, Mildred Harnack and her husband, Arvid, assisted in the escape of German Jews and political dissidents, and for years provided vital economic and military intelligence to both Washington and Moscow. But in 1942, following a Soviet blunder, the Gestapo arrested, tortured, and tried some four score members of the Harnacks' group, which the Nazis dubbed the Red Orchestra. Mildred Fish-Harnack was guillotined in Berlin on February 16, 1943, on the personal instruction of Adolf Hitler--she was the only American woman to be executed as an underground conspirator during World War II. Yet as the war ended and the Cold War began, her courage, idealism, and self-sacrifice went largely unacknowledged in America and the democratic West, and were distorted and sanitized in the Communist East. Only now, with the opening of long-sealed archives from Germany, the KGB, the CIA, and the FBI, can the full story be told.

In this superbly told life of an unjustly forgotten woman, Shareen Blair Brysac depicts the human side of a controversial resistance group that for too long has been portrayed as merely a Soviet espionage network.

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