Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Violette Szabo

Violette Szabo of the SOE, London
Photo courtesy: Jim Hooper
Violette Szabo 1921 - 1945
Happy Birthday Violette Szabo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violette_Szabo)!  She would be 92 years old today, had she survived the war.  Violette Szabo (nee Bushell)  was born on this day, June 26th, in 1921.  She was eighteen years old at the start of World War II -- the daughter of a British taxi driver and a Frenchwoman.  She was working at a department store when the war began.  She met, fell in love with and married a French officer of Hungarian descent named Etienne Szabo. Etienne was killed at the battle of El Alamein in 1942.  It was after this death that Violette Szabo volunteered to work for the SOE or Special Operations Executive.  Winston Churchill had directed the SOE to "set Europe ablaze."

Violette Szabo
Violette Szabo had movie star good looks.  She was a young single mother.  Fluent in French, she volunteered for hazardous missions in occupied France.  She parachuted not once, but twice into Nazi-occupied France.  She was reputed to be "the best shot in the SOE." The Special Operations Executive, MRD Foot, 1984. (http:/www.amzn.com/0563201932)

She became involved in a firefight with the Gestapo and was captured giving covering fire to other resistance members who managed to escape.

She was interrogated by the Gestapo and tortured but did not reveal anything.  She was sent to Ravensburg extermination camp where she was subject to sexual abuse, torture and, eventually, killed by firing squad.  She was 23 years old.

Here is the unforgettable poem, written by Leo Marks that Szabo used in the field for enciphering purposes that became her theme song...

Violette and Etienne Szabo
The Life That I Have

"The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours."

Violette Szabo won posthumously the George Cross, the Croix de Guerre, and the Medaille de la Resistiance.  They were given to her daughter Tania.

SOE Plaque, Baker Street

The Conservative tour of London stops by the SOE Headquarters on Baker Street in London to pay our respects.  Here you will find a plaque commemorating the organization.  The plaque is located near a lighting store whose current mission is presumably to "set London living rooms ablaze" with light.
Setting Europe Ablaze!

Commander Kelly says, "Thank God for Violette Szabo and others like her 
who sacrificed everything for our freedom."


Anonymous said...

I doubt you'll find your morale improving till you come to the realization your movement is now dominated by the same thinking as deluded American Nazis before WWII, and clean them from your ranks, anti-democracy, anti-racial equality. Face the truth, then maybe some honor may be restored to conservatism.

Commander Kelly said...

Thanks for reading. I share some of your concerns. I am pro-democracy, pro racial equality and pro limited government. I am proud to march in the tradition/movement of Lincoln, Thadeus Stevens, Churchill, Reagan and Thatcher.

Conservatives may be in the wilderness now in the USA, but our time will come.

Commander Kelly said...
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