Finished A LIFE IN SECRETS: Not Everything Is As It Seems

It is just before 7 p.m., and self has just watered the garden.

She only has three pages to go of her book, A Life in Secrets:  Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WW II.  And it’s positively stomach-churning.

Self can’t decide if the subject of the biography, Vera Atkins, was crazy.

That is, she seemed normal, but she was more “stiff upper lip” than her British colleagues. Which is saying a lot. For a woman. In those times.

Dear blog readers, do not read the rest of this post if you have a propensity to bad dreams.

Ms. Atkins apparently chose very good-looking women to send over behind enemy lines.  The women were to be used mainly as “couriers.”  (But she must have known very well they would use other wiles –!  Or why would she have gravitated towards the good-looking ones?)

One of the women scarcely looked French.  In fact, she was half-Indian, and was a (real) Princess to boot.

She naturally did not “blend” into the Parisian population, was soon captured, and then kept alive for over a year, while she was systematically abused.  Then chained outside a crematorium half naked, abused some more, and then finally shot.

So, self is thinking, what the hell was Ms. Atkins thinking, sending a dark-skinned woman to Nazi-occupied Europe?  Even one who could speak fluent French?  Self means:  wouldn’t this person naturally stick out?  Especially in a Paris that was (by mid-1943, when the Princess was sent over) supposedly cleansed of all Jews and other undesirables?

Afterwards, Ms. Vera Atkins pushed and pushed until the British government finally granted the Indian princess  a post-humous George Cross (which according to Wikipedia is “the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom”)  But —  hello?  If self were the family of the Indian woman, she would almost feel like throwing that George Cross back in Ms. Atkins’ face!

Self finishes the book angry.  No, not just angry —  infuriated!

This is one post self promises never, ever to remove. Yes, even if it gets zero views, from now until eternity.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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