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All the frequent troubles of our days : the American woman at the heart of the German resistance to Hitler  Cover Image Book Book

All the frequent troubles of our days : the American woman at the heart of the German resistance to Hitler / Rebecca Donner.

Donner, Rebecca, (author.).

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780316561693
  • Physical Description: xi, 560 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 28 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2021.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary, etc.:
Born in Milwaukee, Mildred Harnack was twenty-six when she enrolled in a PhD program in Germany and witnessed the rise of the Nazi party. In 1932, she began secret resistance meetings in her apartment, then became a spy. When the Gestapo caught her, she was beheaded. Historians identify Mildred Harnack as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance, yet her remarkable story has remained almost unknown. Here, Harnack's great-great-niece Rebecca Donner recreates her story from family documents.
Subject: Harnack-Fish, Mildred, 1902-1943.
Rote Kapelle (Reistance group)
Anti-Nazi movement > Germany > Berlin > Biography.
World War, 1939-1945 > Underground movements > Germany > Berlin.
Espionage > Germany > Berlin > History > 20th century.
Executions and executioners > Germany > Berlin > History > 20th century.
Americans > Germany > Biography.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Town of Orford Libraries.

Holds

  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Orford Social Library 943.15 34190000114636 New items Available -

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9780316561693
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
by Donner, Rebecca
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Publishers Weekly Review

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Novelist Donner (Sunset Terrace) brings her heroic great-great-aunt Mildred Harnack (née Fish) to life in this stunning biography. Born in 1902 in Milwaukee, Mildred met her future husband, German native Arvid Harnack, while attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. The couple settled in Germany in 1929, where they viewed the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party with alarm. In 1933, they began holding secret meetings with a loose network of "like-minded people" and distributing anti-Nazi literature to workers and students. As Germany prepared for war, the couple and other members of "the Circle" took greater risks: Arvid funneled military secrets to the Soviets; Mildred used her job as a literary scout to meet with anti-fascists across Europe. In 1942, after Germany cracked the cipher code used by Soviet intelligence, revealing the names and addresses of group members, the Harnacks fled for Sweden but were captured, tortured, and tried for treason. Arvid was sentenced to death by hanging; Mildred's six-year prison sentence was overruled by Hitler and she was executed by guillotine in February 1943. Donner's research is impeccable, and her fluid prose and vivid character sketches keep the pages turning as the story moves toward its inevitable, tragic conclusion. This standout history isn't to be missed. Illus. Agent: Jim Rutman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Aug.)

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9780316561693
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
by Donner, Rebecca
Rate this title:
vote data
Click an element below to view details:

Kirkus Review

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Historical biography of an American woman who led resistance groups against the Nazis before Hitler personally ordered her execution in 1943. Donner's subject is Mildred Harnack (1902-1943), who traveled to Germany in 1929 to obtain a doctorate in literature. She opposed Hitler even before he came to power in 1933 and spent 10 years in the resistance before her arrest and execution. Specific facts about the lives of people who aim to leave no evidence are hard to come by ("her aim was self-erasure"), but Donner has clearly worked hard in East German, Soviet, and recently released American archives to tell an impressive story. Living mostly in Berlin, Harnack earned money by lecturing, translating, and teaching English. In the first years of Nazi rule, when public opposition was possible, she made no secret of her beliefs and organized informal meetings in her apartment to "discuss Germany's political climate." After several years, her group moved underground and began active resistance, largely by printing and distributing leaflets. Many urged readers to sabotage military production. Harnack's group came to be known as the Red Orchestra, but this was a name given by German intelligence. Orchestra described any enemy network, and Red labeled it as communist. Although sympathetic to the Soviet Union, Harnack may not have engaged directly in espionage. Others did, however, and it was an intercepted transmission from Moscow that provided information that led to her 1942 arrest. Harnack was a brave idealist, and she died for her beliefs, but Donner--like many historians of civilians who opposed Hitler--largely passes over the painful fact their efforts did not significantly inconvenience the Nazis. Mostly novelistic, the narrative contains some manufactured tension, melodrama, and passages of purple prose and paragraphs broken apart or clipped short to create a dramatic effect that feels forced. Despite the breathless delivery, this is a welcome contribution to the history of the anti-Nazi underground. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9780316561693
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
by Donner, Rebecca
Rate this title:
vote data
Click an element below to view details:

Library Journal Review

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days : The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In her first nonfiction book, novelist and essayist Donner (Sunset Terrace) tells the astounding life story of her great-great-aunt Mildred Fish-Harnack (1902--43). Fish-Harnack was born in Milwaukee, got a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and fell in love with Arvid Harnack (1901--42), a German studying in Madison on a Rockefeller fellowship. They married and moved to Germany in 1929 and settled in Berlin, where Fish-Harnack studied for a PhD in literature. As an academic, an American émigré, and now a member of the prominent Harnack family, Mildred had a front row view of the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazi Germany. Like Arvid's cousins the Bonhoeffers, the Harnacks started an anti-Nazi resistance cell. They passed credible information about Hitler's plans to whoever they thought might listen, but they were often ignored. On the eve of their planned escape to Sweden, the Harnacks were caught, subjected to a show trial, and executed by the Nazis. VERDICT Donner's meticulous research and novelist's sensibility make for a riveting biography of a remarkable and brave woman; there's also good insight into the German Resistance. Readers of Erik Larson's biography In the Garden of Beasts will appreciate Donner's different perspective on the same historical events and figures. Recommended to all who enjoy engaging narrative nonfiction.--Laurie Unger Skinner, Highland Park P.L., IL


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