Several weeks ago a blog I follow, Pacific Paratrooper, published a post that linked to an article in Military.com that discussed Josephine Baker’s career as a superstar entertainer and intelligence agent for Free France during World War II.
GP Cox blogs about action in the Pacific Theater during WWII. His blog is very popular because of the historical accuracy and first-hand accounts some of which come from perceptive and often humorous letters his dad wrote during his service in the Pacific. Visit Pacific Paratrooper if you have an interest in military history or just enjoy reading a great blog.
The Josephine Baker story I found particularly interesting because I recall my parents and other adults praising her as one of their favorite entertainers. She was a mystery to me because I never saw or heard her perform on the radio, TV or in the movies.
Go to GP’s post and click on the link to the Military.com article by Blake Stilwell to read a very interesting account of Josephine Baker’s struggles with racism during her career as an entertainer and her exploits behind the lines in Axis-controlled Europe. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
At the outset of World War II, Baker was recruited by French intelligence. She was so popular in World War II Europe that even the Nazis wouldn’t harm her as she moved to perform and perform her secret trade — spycraft. She used her star power to gain access to high-level events, gather information at Axis embassies and take secret photos of Nazi bases.
March is Women’s History Month and Black History Month was last month. Much of that history has never received the attention it deserves. As one who has recently discovered some of my previously unknow family history, my belief is that we should all know our history. The benefit to having this knowledge may be more intangible than it is quantifiable but is still very important.
Have you heard of Josephine Baker and her career as a famous entertainer and World War II secret agent for the Allies?
All photos are from Military.com