On Sep 13, 1944, a princess from India lay dead at Dachau concentration camp. She had been tortured by the Nazis, then shot in the head. Her name was Noor Inayat Khan. The Germans knew her only as Nora Baker, a British spy who had gone into occupied France using the code name Madeline. She carried her transmitter from safe house to safe house with the Gestapo trailing her, providing communications for her Resistance unit.
Oh my God, yes. Let’s talk about Noor Inayat Khan.
- Wireless operators in France had a life expectancy of six weeks. Noor was actively transmitting for over three times as long.
- While she was in France, every other wireless operator in her network was slowly picked off until she was the last radio link between London and Paris. It was “the most dangerous and important post in France”.
- She was offered a way back to Britain and refused.
- In fact, in her transmissions to London, she once said that she was having the time of her life, and thanked them for giving her the opportunity to do this.
- She was captured by the Gestapo, but never gave up: she made three attempt escapes. One involved asking to take a bath, insisting on being allowed to close the door to preserve her modesty, and then clambering onto the roof of the Gestapo HQ in Paris.
- Her last word before being shot was, “Liberté!”