cover image Solidarity and Treason: Resistance and Exile, 1933-40

Solidarity and Treason: Resistance and Exile, 1933-40

Lisa Fittko, Lisa Fittiko. Northwestern University Press, $27 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-8101-1129-5

In Escape Through the Pyrenees Fittko described her underground efforts to smuggle refugees out of occupied France into Spain. Her new, equally absorbing memoir reveals how she came to be in France at that dark moment in history. The story begins in 1933 when Lisa Ekstein was threatened during a torchlight parade in Berlin for not giving the stiff-armed Hitler salute. An anti-Nazi activist, she was dismissed from her job and declared ``illegal.'' Fleeing to Czechoslovakia, she met and eventually married another Resistance activist from Berlin, Hans Fittko. Together they published and distributed anti-Nazi literature and organized escape routes for refugees until they themselves were expelled by the Czech government ``for jeopardizing the good relations between Czechoslovakia and the German Reich.'' After brief stays in Switzerland and Holland, the couple settled in Paris, only to be trapped there by the invading Wehrmacht . Fittko's memoir conveys vividly what it was like to exist on the run without income or papers. In 1986 the author, who now lives in Chicago, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Bonn government for her work in the wartime Resistance. Photos. (Dec.)