Sunday, April 24, 2011

from the German intro of "Women Heroes": Mildred Harnack

Mildred Harnack in 1938. German Resistance Memorial Center.

Rote Kapelle (Red Orchestra) was the name the Gestapo gave to several Resistance organizations in different countries. The Red Orchestra in Berlin was composed of a small group of people with Nazi affiliations who worked to overthrow the Nazi government from the inside by passing top-secret and high-level information to the Soviets. They also recruited Resistance members and helped hide Jews.

One of the women involved in the Berlin-based Red Orchestra was an American named Mildred Fish Harnack, a scholar, translator, and professor of the German language. After she was caught and tried, she received a prison sentence. But Hitler specifically ordered a new trial for her, which resulted in the death sentence. Just before she was beheaded, she was reported to have said, "And I have loved Germany so much."

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