Sunday, April 24, 2011

Maria von Maltzan: The German Countess Who Hid Jews

Maria von Maltzan, German Resistance Memorial Center

. . . Although Maria sensed that the refugees were on their way to safety, as she retraced her steps she had a bad feeling that something was about to go wrong. If she were stopped by a German patrol, she would have a very hard time explaining what she was doing in the woods in the middle of the night.

When Maria was nearly out of the woods, she heard dogs barking. Just 100 yards ahead of her, she saw a beam of light. Then another beam of light appeared behind her. She was trapped! the dogs were barking because they had picked up her scent. What could she do?

There was a brook nearby. If she could get there before the dogs found her, they would lose her scent. It was her only chance of escape . . .

She waited there for hours, exhausted and freezing. She knew that the patrollers with the dogs were probably still looking for her, waiting just outside of the woods. Her only hope was an Allied bombing, a frequent occurrence in Germany at this time. During the confusion following a bombing, there was a good chance that her pursuers would stop looking for her . . .

Taken from "Maria von Maltzan: The Countess Who Hid Jews" from Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue.

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