Saturday, July 14, 2012
Fortunately -- since in-your-face women are easily bored -- that was only several years before Hitler invaded Holland. So Parsons dismissed all her servants and turned their quarters into a hiding place for downed British and American airmen. No one knows exactly how many airmen she hid and safely returned to their units during the eighteen months she ran her clandestine operation, but in September of 1941, she was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced first to be executed and then to spend her life at hard labor.
For more than three years, Parsons slaved for the Nazis in one prison camp or another, denied the "privileges" of reading, writing or even speaking. Then, on March 24, 1945, Parsons and a Dutch baroness escaped and walked 78 miles in freezing winter weather without either shoes or coats. Though she knew German, Parsons didn't want any German soldiers to pick up on her Canadian accent, so she used her old acting skills to pretend to be mentally challenged. It worked and within a few weeks, she reached safety where she enjoyed another twenty-five years of life after an ordeal only an in-your-face woman could survive. Just because a woman is beautiful doesn't mean she isn't tough.