By Sarah Helm
In the course of global conflict the unique Operation Executive's French part despatched greater than four hundred brokers into Occupied France -- not less than a hundred by no means again and have been mentioned 'Missing Believed Dead' after the warfare. Twelve of those have been ladies who died in German focus camps -- a few have been tortured, a few have been shot, and a few died within the fuel chambers. Vera Atkins had helped organize those girls for his or her missions, and whilst the battle used to be over she went out to Germany to determine what occurred to them and the opposite brokers misplaced in the back of enemy lines.
But whereas the girl who conducted this striking challenge seemed quintessentially English, she used to be not anything of the type. Vera Atkins, who by no means married, lined her lifestyles in secret in order that even her closest kin knew virtually not anything of her earlier. In A lifestyles IN secrets and techniques Sarah Helm has stripped away Vera's many veils and -- with extraordinary entry to reliable and personal papers, and the cooperation of Vera's family -- vividly reconstructed a unprecedented existence.
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Additional resources for A Life In Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE
The judge at Grosse’s trial, Mr (later Lord) Justice Darling, who tried a number of official secrets cases, found several opportunities amid the bizarre evidence produced in court for displays of his celebrated judicial wit, each greeted by sycophantic courtroom laughter. Like Lord Chief Justice Alverstone in the Schultz trial, Darling disliked the whole idea of intelligence-gathering. ’60 The next German spy brought to trial, Armgaard Karl Graves, displayed once again the NachrichtenAbteilung’s penchant for recruiting criminals whose operational skills could, it believed, be adapted to intelligence-gathering.
91 The last German spy convicted before the outbreak of war was also probably the most successful. Frederick Adolphus Schroeder, alias Gould, had been born in Germany of an English mother and German father, and after service in the German army had settled in England. Following the failure of various business ventures, he began dabbling in part-time espionage early in the twentieth century. 92 His most productive period, however, began in 1908 when he became licensee of the Queen Charlotte public house in Rochester, frequented by naval personnel from Chatham.
A Man of Mystery. 53 On at least one occasion intelligence from the ‘letter checks’ almost led to Steinhauer’s capture. In December 1911 intercepted correspondence revealed that a German officer was travelling through Britain. By the time sufficient evidence had been assembled to justify his arrest, however, he had left the country. 54 The first case investigated by Kell of a spy working for Steinhauer which led to prosecution was that of Dr Max Schultz, the first doctor of philosophy ever to be jailed for espionage in Britain.
A Life In Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE by Sarah Helm