Friday, February 16, 2007

Wisconsin War Hero

I regularly visit Lance Burri to check out his sidebar offering of
'On This Day in Wisconsin History'
to see what has happened on this day in Wisconsin's illustrious history. It's a very nice feature. I will occasionally read what Lance has to say as well.

1943 - Mildred Harnack Guillotined in Berlin

On this date Mildred Harnack was guillotined in Berlin, Germany. Harnack was born in Milwaukee and studied and lectured at the University of Wisconsin. She and her husband, Arvid Harnack, were key members of a German resistance group which assisted German Jews and political dissidents, circulated illegal literature, met secretly with prisoners of war, and worked to document Nazi atrocities in Europe. Known by the Nazis as the "Red Orchestra," Harnack's companions were arrested, tortured, and tried for their activities. Mildred Harnack was guillotined in Berlin on the personal orders of Adolf Hitler. [Source: UW - Madison Archives and Records Management Services]

I always like to read about the heroic history of Badgers whether it be from the Civil War, World War I, WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, or Iraq. In this case a Wisconsin-born woman stood against the Hitler regime and paid with her life. However, there is one little phrase in this article that troubled me; 'Red Orchestra'. After some further research, I was able to determine that Mildred and her husband Arvid opposed Hitler on behalf of Stalin's Communists. Some of the luster has been tarnished from my Badger pride.

2 comments:

Al said...

If Wisconsinites are red, Minnesotans must be infrared.

This thing I have to type below this box is not a real word.

Steve said...

I thought it was Norwegian.