WWII hero Nancy Wake

Nancy Wake

“I hate wars and violence but if they come then I don’t see why we women should just wave our men a proud goodbye and then knit them balaclavas.”

Nancy Wake was once the most wanted person by the Gestapo. They had a bounty of 5-million-francs on her head. But she was always able to elude capture. A skill which earned her the nickname of “White Mouse” by the Gestapo.

Nancy became a resistance fighter during WWII after living in Vienna in the late 1930s and seeing “roving Nazi gangs randomly beating Jewish men and women in the streets.” She vowed to do anything she could to stop the Nazi movement. In her words, “my hatred of the Nazis was very, very deep.”

She became a courier and an escort for Allied soldiers and refugees looking to leave France. “It was much easier for us, you know, to travel all over France. A woman could get out of a lot of trouble that a man could not.”

And she would do anything necessary to aid the resistance movement.

“By her own account she once killed a German sentry with her bare hands, and ordered the execution of a woman she believed to be a German spy.”

And in “April 1944, when she was 31, she was among 39 women and 430 men who were parachuted into France to help with preparations for D-Day.”

Nancy became one of the most decorated servicewomen of the war by the Allies. Looking back she would remark, “I was never afraid. I was too busy to be afraid.”

Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/world/europe/14wake.html & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Wake