By Sarah Helm
From an award-winning journalist comes this real-life cloak-and-dagger story of Vera Atkins, one among Britain’s most excellent mystery brokers in the course of international battle II.
As the pinnacle of the French portion of the British certain Operations government, Vera Atkins recruited, knowledgeable, and mentored designated operatives whose activity used to be to arrange and arm the resistance in Nazi-occupied France. After the battle, Atkins courageously dedicated herself to a perilous look for twelve of her such a lot loved ladies spies who had long gone lacking in motion. Drawing on formerly unavailable assets, Sarah Helm chronicles Atkins’s outstanding lifestyles and her singular trip throughout the chaos of post-war Europe. Brimming with intrigue, heroics, honor, and the horrors of battle, A lifestyles in Secrets is the tale of a grand, elusive girl and a travel de strength of investigative journalism.
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Additional resources for A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII
TO MY PARENTS CONTENTS Acknowledgements List of Characters Prologue PART I: ENGLAND 1 Nora 2 Disaster 3 Thanks from the Gestapo 4 Traces 5 “Need to Know” 6 “Buchenwald Boys” 7 Euston Station 8 “Gestapo Boys” PART II: ROMANIA 9 Confidantes 10 The Danube Delta 11 Crasna 12 A Mountain Picnic 13 Spy Gents PART III: GERMANY 14 A Woman in Blue 15 Following Tracks 16 Into the Wilderness 17 The Villa Degler 18 Natzweiler 19 “Freely on Foot” 20 Dr. Goetz 21 Ravensbrück 22 “A Very Fine Manner” 23 Kieffer PART IV: ENGLAND 24 Conspiracies 25 Belgian Ladies 26 Heroine 27 Secrets That Don't Die Epilogue Sources Bibliography ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My meeting with Vera Atkins at Winchelsea in 1998 was the inspiration for this book.
Now ushering me inside, she stooped somewhat and leant heavily on a stick. As she turned to lead the way, I found myself staring at a perfect roll of white-grey hair, tucked under at the nape of her long neck. Vera Atkins was a woman who had preserved her good looks remarkably well, and at nearly ninety she was still almost pretty. Tall despite the stoop and poised despite the wobble, she led the way into the large entrance hall, where a portrait of her hung on the wall. It showed Vera in old age, with the fingers of both hands brought together under her chin, to produce a thoughtful pose.
So when the door had closed behind them and they were alone, and when Miss Atkins began to talk a little about why they had been chosen from so many others for this special work, things started to make more sense. Those recruits who had clandestine experience, such as working on resistance escape lines in France, felt that Vera had some direct knowledge of what they had been through. The less experienced felt flattered that somebody as impressive and courteous as Miss Atkins was now taking time with them.
A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII by Sarah Helm