Mona Louise Parsons, a young Canadian woman from Nova Scotia was imprisoned by the Nazis in WW 2 for four years.
Before the war, she was an independent woman living in New York City and worked as a Ziegfeld dancer and later, a nurse. She married a Dutch businessman in 1937, took up residence in the Netherlands but within two years it was invaded by the Nazi. From 1940 to 1941, Mona Parsons, was part of a Dutch resistance network. She and her husband hid downed Allied airmen in their home until the resistance cell was infiltrated and she was taken prisoner.
She became the only Canadian female civilian to be imprisoned by the Nazis in WW 2. In addition, although convicted of treason and sentenced to death by firing squad, the chief judge permitted her to appeal due to her composure at sentencing. She appealed and her sentence was reduced to hard labour.
Although she almost died of starvation and brutality in the German camps, during a bombing raid in 1945 she escaped with another innate. They made their way across 125 km of Germany to the Dutch border. It was extremely dangerous and arriving at a Dutch farm she asked to be taken to the British forces. The Nova Scotia Highlanders were in the area and her story held up when an old friend, Harry Foster recognised her. Mona Parsons biography was written by Andria Hill-Lehr and her story is featured on a Canadian Heritage Moment.
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