When real life stories have been kept secret for over 60 years, it’s difficult to coax them into existence.
This episode introduces eight such stories and the challenges involved in uncovering them — from the male gatekeepers I had to traverse to inviting the women to share their stories, most of whom had not previously done so.
We begin with Edie’s story, a young woman who worked for Service Zero, a large resistance cell in Belgium.
Episodes include war-related content that some listeners may find disturbing and/or traumatizing.
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Podcast Episode # 01
- Invisible Women is a podcast about eight women who worked in espionage during World War 2
- They were six different countries
- What they had in common was the opportunity to step outside societal norms while at the same time working in the shadows
- The podcast is about cultural shadow. Its also about projections, and societal expectations
- Didn’t plan to search out women in espionage
- Intrigued by image of agents being flown in behind enemy lines by the light of the full moon
- The challenge in finding these women and the men gate keepers
- All were living ordinary lives until war struck and then they were thrust into this unusual work
Introduction to Edie
- In 1939 was 16 and living at home in Ghent, Belgium
- May 1940 was on a family vacation in Ardennes when Belgium was invaded
- Harrowing trip back to Ghent, now occupied by German soldiers
- Introduced to resistance work by her brother – a cell called Service Zero
- Reported on rail , troop movement, airfields and construction to British Intelligence
- Typed up and couriered reports to wireless operators
- The every day risks and dangers of inspections at train stations and on the road
- Avoiding going to a forced labour camp
- Family has been through this kind of things before, mother was a role model
- Resistance work ended in 1943 when her brother is arrested
- Her final assignment – to warn the head of Service Zero that someone has exposed the group
- Father is arrested
- After liberation, reunited with her father and later her brother
Links and Resources
Canadians in Belgium WW 2
German Occupation of Belgium WW 2
Overview of Belgium Resistance WW 2 including Service Zero
Untold Stories of Belgium’s Female Resistance WW 1
Belgium Resistance with photos WW 2
Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis (review)
Resistance movie (2003)
Belgian resistance during World War (library talk)
Owning Your Own Shadow
Meeting the Shadow
Map of the Soul and BTS Lyrics
Romancing the Shadow
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