Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week, it’s that of Nancy Wake, the fearless Australian who worked with the French Resistance during World War II. Though not Jewish, Wake’s actions against the Nazis during World War II grant her honorary admittance to the ranks of Shivah Stars.
The beautiful and daring Wake, who died Sunday at the age of 98, ran away from home at 16 and never returned. She would go on to grace the Gestapo’s most wanted list—nicknamed the white mouse for her ability to elude their grasp.
She may have used charm to navigate dangerous situations, but she was frighteningly tough (she reportedly killed an SS officer with her bare hands) and in possession of a wild temper. After the war, the U.S. awarded Wake the Congressional Medal of Freedom, and Charlotte Gray, the 2001 film starring Cate Blanchett, is said to be largely based on Wake’s own experiences.
The white mouse who roared [Sydney Morning Herald]
Farewell to Nancy Wake, the mouse who ran rings around the Nazis [Guardian]
September exhibit in Russia without art as Chabad dispute intensifies