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CANCELLED-VIRTUAL TALK: “All the Frequent Trouble of Our Days” with Rebecca Donner
January 26, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm$10.00
ALL THE FREQUENT TROUBLES OF OUR DAYS
The True Story of The American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
In 1932, Mildred Harnack began holding secret meetings in her apartment. Together, this small band of political activists wrote leaflets that denounced Hitler and called for revolution. Under the cover of night, they slipped the leaflets into mailboxes, public restrooms, and phone booths around Berlin. Mildred also began helping Jews escape, plotting acts of sabotage, and recruiting more and more working class Germans to the cause. By 1940, hers was the largest underground resistance group in Berlin. When the first shots of the Second World War were fired, Mildred became a spy, couriering top-secret intelligence to the Allies. But, on the eve of her escape to Sweden, the Gestapo ambushed her. At a Nazi military court, a panel of five judges sentenced her to six years at a prison camp, but Hitler overruled the decision and ordered her execution. On February 16, 1943, she was strapped to a guillotine and beheaded. Mildred Harnack was born and raised in Milwaukee. At twenty-six, she was enrolled in a PhD program in Germany and witnessed the meteoric rise of the Nazi party firsthand. Historians identify her as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance, yet her remarkable story has remained almost unknown—until now. Harnack’s great-great-niece Rebecca Donner draws on extensive archival research across four countries and brilliantly interweaves letters, diary entries, notes smuggled out of a Berlin prison, survivors’ testimony, and a trove of declassified intelligence documents into a powerful, epic story of this courageous woman.
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