• Grace Notes: Resistance Women

  • Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini is a novel based on true events occurring in the rise of Hitler – involving an American woman.

    “After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist, Arvid Harnack, she happily accompanies him to his homeland, where a promising future awaits.  In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work – but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.

    As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist.  Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the U.S. ambassador.  Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckhoff and literature student Sara Weitz, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.

    For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within.  But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.  Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

    In part the author notes “the parallels to our own time were harrowingly evident as she found and uncovered the story of Mildred Fish Harnack.”  Jacket cover

    This riveting “spy novel” touches deeply about the rise of right wing fascism in our own country and the efforts of ordinary people to resist.  It challenges one to think about, “What am I doing to promote and preserve democracy?”  “To what lengths would I go to resist?”

    c)Grace Harlow Klein 2020