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All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days

The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Mildred Harnack was 26 when she enrolled in a PhD program in Germany and witnessed the meteoric rise of the Nazi party. In 1932, she began holding secret meetings in her apartment; by 1940, it had grown into the largest underground resistance group in Berlin. She recruited working-class Germans into the resistance, helped Jews escape, plotted acts of sabotage, and when the first shots of the Second World War were fired, she became a spy for the Allies. On the eve of her escape to Sweden, she was ambushed by the Gestapo. A panel of five judges sentenced her to prison camp, but Hitler overruled the decision and ordered her execution. On February 16, 1943, she was strapped to a guillotine and beheaded.

Historians identify Mildred Harnack as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance, yet her remarkable story has remained almost unknown. Harnack’s great-great-niece Rebecca Donner draws on her extensive research in Germany, Russia, England, and the U.S. and newly uncovered documents in her family archive to produce this astonishing work of narrative nonfiction. Fusing elements of biography, real-life political thriller, and scholarly detective story, Donner brilliantly interweaves her sources into a powerful, epic story, reconstructing the moral courage of an enigmatic woman nearly erased by history.

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Product Details

Recommended Age Adults
Author Rebecca Donner
ISBN 031656169X
Publication Date Aug 3, 2021
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Language English