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A remarkable, fascinating, and harrowing insight into the leaders of a doomed network of antifascists based in Germany during the Second World War. Although written in the present tense this is not a fictional account. Norman Ohler has combined his: “skills as a storyteller with the responsibility of the historian” to create this powerful book which has been translated by Tim Mohr and Marshall Yarbrough. There is a Memorial to the German Resistance in Berlin, with a room housing information found over decades of research by a descendent of one of the group; it is full of letters, photos, files, diaries, and interrogation transcripts which have been used here. In the summer of 1935 Harro Schulze-Boyson and Libertas Haas-Heye met, they went on to lead a resistance group and a jigsaw of their backgrounds, history, beliefs, and what made them so willing to put their lives at risk, begins to piece together. The photos added even more of an emotional connection, I found myself drawn in, trying to see into the minds of this remarkable pair. I want to thank Norman Ohler, The Infiltrators is an important burning slice of history that must never be forgotten. Chosen as a Liz Robinson pick of the month, all I can say is that I truly believe you should read this book.
Summertime, 1935. On a lake near Berlin, a young man is out sailing when he glimpses a woman reclining in the prow of a passing boat. Their eyes meet - and one of history's greatest conspiracies is born.
Harro Schulze-Boysen had already shed blood in the fight against Nazism by the time he and Libertas Haas-Heye began their whirlwind romance. She joined the cause, and soon the two lovers were leading a network of antifascists that stretched across Berlin's bohemian underworld. Harro himself infiltrated German intelligence and began funnelling Nazi battle plans to the Allies, including the details of Hitler's surprise attack on the Soviet Union. But nothing could prepare Harro and Libertas for the betrayals they would suffer in this war of secrets - a struggle in which friend could be indistinguishable from foe.
Drawing on unpublished diaries, letters and Gestapo files, Norman Ohler spins an unforgettable tale of love, heroism and sacrifice.
This deeply researched and stylishly written account unearths an appealing yet overlooked chapter in WWII history. Espionage enthusiasts will be riveted. - Publishers Weekly
The fascinating and tragic tale of a ragtag, idealistic crew of nonconformists hiding in plain sight while secretly working to fight the Nazis from within... This unbelievable yet true story is richly detailed thanks to the participation of descendants of these courageous resistance fighters; with their help, Ohler succeeds in vividly thwarting the Nazis' attempts to erase these heroes from history. - Booklist
Ohler creates a taut, absorbing tale of anti-Nazi resistance. Told in the present tense, the narrative conveys a sense of immediacy and encroaching terror... Sharply drawn characters enliven a tragic history. - Kirkus Reviews
A thrilling and urgent true story. Inside Nazi Germany, as tyranny spreads, a few friends decide to resist, and a secret circle of anti-fascists starts to grow. They are not mythic heroes but instead flawed humans struggling for meaning in a time of terror: writers, artists, a fashion designer, a dentist. With skill and passion, Norman Ohler brings these remarkable men and women back to life. The Infiltrators is a gift of a book - one I feel a little stronger, a little braver, after reading. -- Jason Fagone, bestselling author of THE WOMAN WHO SMASHED CODES
An unforgettable portrait of two young lovers and their circle of friends in the anti-Hitler resistance, The Infiltrators offers a fascinating glimpse of life in Nazi Germany, where the simple self-assertion of youth was a political act, and daily life was a minefield where missteps could have fatal consequences. -- Joseph Kanon, bestselling author of LEAVING BERLIN
The Infiltrators is an astonishing story of the anti-Nazi resistance - a story of love, incredible bravery and self-sacrifice, which could end only in death - and it is brilliantly told. -- Antony Beevor, bestselling author of THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Publication date: 06/08/2020
|Publication date:||6th August 2020|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Diverse Voices,|
|Categories:||Second World War, True war & combat stories, Fascism & Nazism,|
Norman Ohler was born in Zweibrucken in 1970. He is the author of three novels, Die Quotenmaschine (the world's first hypertext novel), Mitte and Stadt des Goldes as well as two novellas. He was co-writer of the script for Wim Wenders' film Palermo Shooting. He researched Blitzed in numerous archives across Germany and the United States. Shaun Whiteside has translated widely in both French and German, including Sybille Steinbacher's Auschwitz: A History.More About Norman Ohler