A Daily Telegraph History Book of the Year
‘An astonishing story… brilliantly told’ Antony Beevor
‘Gripping… Will appeal to anyone who relishes Ben Macintyre’s tales of wartime espionage and cryptic codes.’ Sunday Telegraph
Summertime, 1935. On a lake near Berlin, a young man is out sailing when he glimpses a woman reclining in the prow of a passing boat. Their eyes meet – and one of history’s greatest conspiracies is born.
Harro Schulze-Boysen had already shed blood in the fight against Nazism by the time he and Libertas Haas-Heye began their whirlwind romance. She joined the cause, and soon the two lovers were leading a network of antifascists that stretched across Berlin’s bohemian underworld. Harro himself infiltrated German intelligence and began funnelling Nazi battle plans to the Allies, including the details of Hitler’s surprise attack on the Soviet Union. But nothing could prepare Harro and Libertas for the betrayals they would suffer in this war of secrets – a struggle in which friend could be indistinguishable from foe.
Drawing on unpublished diaries, letters and Gestapo files, Norman Ohler spins an unforgettable tale of love, heroism and sacrifice.
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, bestselling author of THE SECOND WORLD WAR Deeply engaging, enticingly written and extremely affecting... Original and fascinating... This is a remarkable story, powerfully told, of love and courage and of the balance in the relationship between a couple... A timely reminder of what some citizens are willing to do in the face of autocracy and oppression that once again haunts our times. -- Philippe Sands * Spectator * Gripping... Will appeal to anyone who relishes Ben Macintyre's tales of wartime espionage and cryptic codes, underpinned by terrifying risk, desperate courage, and double dealing... Moving at a cracking pace through a succession of snapshot cross-cut chapters, it is ripe for transformation into a film or television series. But great heroism is properly honoured here: Ohler has done his research diligently and he has an enthralling story to tell. * Sunday Telegraph * The Infiltrators describes an idealistic young German couple, Harro Schulze-Boysen and Libertas Haas-Heye who set up an anti-fascist network that burrowed deep into Nazi society and leaked to the Allies. With depressing inevitability, betrayal and merciless punishment intervened - but this is nonetheless an uplifting tale of heroism. * Simon Heffer, 'History Books of the Year', Daily Telegraph * Ohler masterfully establishes his trustworthiness as a narrator, which is crucial as we travel with him back to the 1930s and then on through the war. He weaves a detailed and meticulously researched tale about a pair of young German resisters that reads like a thriller. * New York Times * Lively... Ohler has given vim to the historical narrative, restored humanity and a genuine love story to the communist canonisation of Schulze-Boysen. * The Times * An unforgettable portrait of two young lovers and their circle of friends in the anti-Hitler resistance, The Infiltrators 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, bestselling author of LEAVING BERLIN A thrilling and urgent true story. Inside Nazi Germany, as tyranny spreads, a few friends decide to resist, and a secret circle of anti-fascists starts to grow. They are not mythic heroes but instead flawed humans struggling for meaning in a time of terror: writers, artists, a fashion designer, a dentist. With skill and passion, Norman Ohler brings these remarkable men and women back to life. The Infiltrators is a gift of a book - one I feel a little stronger, a little braver, after reading. -- Jason Fagone, bestselling author of THE WOMAN WHO SMASHED CODES Ohler creates a taut, absorbing tale of anti-Nazi resistance. Told in the present tense, the narrative conveys a sense of immediacy and encroaching terror... Sharply drawn characters enliven a tragic history. * Kirkus Reviews * The fascinating and tragic tale of a ragtag, idealistic crew of nonconformists hiding in plain sight while secretly working to fight the Nazis from within... This unbelievable yet true story is richly detailed thanks to the participation of descendants of these courageous resistance fighters; with their help, Ohler succeeds in vividly thwarting the Nazis' attempts to erase these heroes from history. * Booklist * This deeply researched and stylishly written account unearths an appealing yet overlooked chapter in WWII history. Espionage enthusiasts will be riveted. * Publishers Weekly * The Infiltrators paints a picture of a marriage of intellectual equals who are driven by a single shared cause: to bring down the Nazis from within. In telling this story the book draws on diaries, letters and Gestapo files, many of which are previously unpublished, bringing much greater detail to an otherwise known but under-reported story... Gripping. * All About History * Remarkable... Vivid and engaging * TLS *
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