Lesser-Known Women Who Were World War II Heroes


Sophie Scholl

As the daughter of a progressive politician and an outspoken critic of the Nazi regime, Sophie Scholl followed in her father's footsteps. In high school, she and her brother, Hans, formed a secret club of anti-Nazi ideologues who called themselves the White Rose. He created anti-Nazi pamphlets and began distributing them around the nearby Ludwig Maximilian University in the summer of 1942.

While many at the school became interested in White Rose's goals, one of the maintenance workers on campus, a Nazi sympathizer named Jakob Schmidt, alerted the Gestapo to the girl's activities. He was quickly arrested and assumed full responsibility, declaring that "After all, someone had to start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many other people. They were just trying to express themselves." Don't dare do as we did." He and other identified members of the White Rose were sentenced to death, and he and his brother were hanged on February 2, 1943, hours after their sentence.

Freddy and Truss Overstegen

This dynamic duo, born in Schochten, Netherlands, joined the Dutch Resistance when they were only in their early teens. His mother began providing asylum to fleeing Jews in early 1939, but when the Nazis invaded their homeland, the teen decided to take things up a notch and distributed anti-fascist flyers and posters throughout the city. Began to distribute secretly. He played the games of his youth to avoid attention, tying his hair in a ponytail and moving entirely on foot or by bike. It worked, so they leveled it again by blowing up the rail lines with dynamite, damaging the Nazi war effort. He even started luring Nazi soldiers into the woods with romantic pretenses and then shot them. His bravery was kept out of the limelight for several decades, but in 2014 the Dutch government finally thanked him by awarding him the War Mobilization Cross.

Lee Miller

Elizabeth "Lee" Miller's career began in earnest after she was saved by Vogue editor Condé Nast from nearly being hit by a car after walking down the street without looking one day in Paris, where she found work as a model. was expected to do. Nast liked her looks and attitude, but soon, she found herself drawn behind the camera, eventually setting up her own studio and showing in renowned art galleries. He worked with such greats as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Jean Cacteau.

But as in the rest of Europe, Lee had to shift gears when World War II began and instead took up photojournalism in the European theatre, becoming one of Vogue's official photographers, focusing primarily on the Blitz, which England was devastated from 1940 to 1941. He then teamed up with Life magazine photojournalist David Sherman to undertake long trips across Europe documenting the violence of the Battle of Alsace and the conquest of Paris. He was particularly notable for capturing the first use and effects of napalm during the Battle of Saint Malo, but his greatest triumph was Miller taking a bath in Hitler's own bathtub in his Munich apartment after visiting the Dachau concentration camp. Miller had pictures. Dachau's filth got into his tub.

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