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Flames in the field
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Flames in the field
While searching for a book by George Millar "Road to Resistance" in my local library, I came across a book by Rita Kramer called "Flames in the Field"
Having read this with great interest and great sadness, I was drawn to the heroic bravery of the four women who so young left the safety of their families, their homes, and their country, to courageously face the might of an evil enemy, not knowing when or if they would ever return……I was so moved by the story I decided to
visit the only extermination camp in France, and to leave my own tribute to those four very brave S.O.E. agents and those loyal members of the Resistance that were murdered there.
Fields in the Field
The four women agents after spending many months on active duty in enemy occupied France fighting and evading the Germans, were all eventually captured by the Gestapo and taken to the dreaded Avenue Foch (Gestapo HQ) in Paris for interrogation. There they waited, feeling a certain dread as to what fate lay before them. Later they were transfered to the notorious Fresnes prison and discovered that four other female agents had also been imprisoned there.
Vera Leigh (Simone)  - Andree Borrel (Denise) - Sonia Olschanezky (Tania)  - Diana Rowden (Paulette)
Vera Leigh (Simone) - Andree Borrel (Denise) - Sonia Olschanezky (Suzanne) - Diana Rowden (Paulette)
While there the women managed to communicate with each other although this was almost impossible as they were all being held in solitary confinement.
The instructions came direct from Berlin that four of the agents from Fresnes, were to be delivered to Struthof for "special treatment" via the prison at Karlsruhe.
On the 6th July 1944 four of the women were awakened and ordered to get ready for transportation. With very few possessions they boarded a truck and were driven sixty miles through Strasbourg to Struthof, they arrived at about three in the afternoon, and were immediately marched between SS guards down the steps in the middle of the camp to a block of cells next to the crematorium, and locked up separately.
The four other S.O.E. agents who had been with Andree, Sonia, Diana and Vera in Karlsruhe prison had also been transferred, one was sent to Ravensbruck the other three to Dachau, where they were to meet another S.O.E. agent who was imprisoned there. These four were soon to become victims of the Nazi regime, early one morning in September 1944 they were taken to an execution spot in the Dachau camp and ordered to kneel down in pairs, and holding hands an SS guard came forward and callously shot them all in the back of the head, with great courage and dignity they all died "heroines".

The fate of the women prisoners that were brought to Struthof-Natzweiler, was soon to become evident, and on that most terrifying night of July 6th 1944 they were to face the wrath of the S.S camp doctor who finally subjected them to a most horrendous, brutal death, with a deadly injection of a caustic disinfectant. Then, three of the bodies were burnt in the oven, and the fourth girl partly regained consciousness, and was pushed into the oven alive, and horrifically burnt to death.
These eight most brave S.O.E.agents, had given the supreme sacrifice..........Their own lives!!!
 
Heroines
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