Books

Harro & Libertas (The Infiltrators)

Harro & Libertas (The Infiltrators) Norman Ohler
Pub date 12th September 2019
Original publisher Kiepenheuer & Witsch (Germany)
International publishers Social Sciences Academic Press (China), Editions Actes Sud (France), Rizzoli Libri Spa (Italy), Uitgeveri Luitingh-Sijthoff (The Netherlands), 20 | 20 Editora (Portugal), Critica (Spain)
Publisher (UK) Atlantic Books, 2020
Publisher (US) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020

 

Norman Ohler, author of the international bestseller Blitzed, returns to the subject of Nazi Germany to tell the story of Harro and Libertas, the young couple at the heart of the largest German resistance group ever to oppose Hitler. Few today have heard of Harro Schulze-Boysen, who worked in the intelligence service of the Reich Air Ministry, and his wife Libertas Haas-Heye, a family friend of Hermann Göring, and yet their tragic story offers a unique insight into the world of young, liberal-minded Berliners whose lifestyles were increasingly under threat as the Nazis tightened their grip on power. Despite outwardly conforming to the dictatorship’s demands, they and their widespread network of friends and allies were determined to resist the spread of Nazism, and prepared to risk everything in their struggle – but they were doomed to fail.

Ohler has been granted access to ground-breaking archival material never before seen by historians, including the Schulze-Boysen family’s personal collection and copies of Russian documents held in the KGB’s notorious Lubyanka archive, opened briefly in the 1990s but long since sealed. This material has allowed him to construct a portrait not just of Harro and Libertas, the forgotten idealists who chose to defy Hitler, but also of the Berlin for which they fought, and died.

 

Praise for The Infiltrators:

‘An unforgettable portrait of two young lovers and their circle of friends in the anti-Hitler resistance, The Bohemians offers a fascinating glimpse of life in Nazi Germany, where the simple self-assertion of youth was a political act, and daily life was a minefield where missteps could have fatal consequences.’ — Joseph Kanon

The Infiltrators is an astonishing story of the anti-Nazi resistance – a story of love, incredible bravery and self-sacrifice, which could end only in death – and it is brilliantly told’ — Antony Beevor

‘A taut, absorbing tale of anti-Nazi resistance … Sharply drawn characters enliven a tragic history.’ — Kirkus

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