I Worked Alone: Diary of a Double Agent in World War II Europe
By Lily Sergueiew
Why this book?
As the title of this book indicates, Lily Sergueiew was a double agent during World War II. She volunteered to become a spy for the Germans although she never intended to fulfill that role. She was determined to fight the Germans in her own way – as a double agent in the employ of the British. Sergueiew kept a diary of her activities from when she first approached the Germans until she quit working for the British in late June 1944. After the war, Sergueiew used her diaries to write a memoir in French. Before her death in 1950, she translated her memoir into English, and most of it was published posthumously in France in 1966 and in England in 1968. I recommend this book because it provides insight into why a young woman would choose to fight against the Germans who occupied her beloved France, the training that she underwent, and how she ultimately joined, and then was fired from, the British Intelligence Service. In addition, while there were women who fought in France for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), or the French Resistance, Lily Sergueiew was one of a few (mostly male) Europeans who actively sought out the job of a double agent to fight against the Germans. Sergueiew’s memoir shines a light on a strong woman, who wanted to fight for a just cause in her own way.
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