A Guest of the Reich

Peter Finn
In a discussion of his new book A Guest of the Reich: The Story of American Heiress Gertrude Legendre's Dramatic Captivity and Escape from Nazi Germany, The Washington Post’s Peter Finn recounts the extraordinary story of the American heiress who joined the Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) and was seized behind enemy lines during World War II.
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Program: 
6:30 pm
Event AudioEvent Videos

An heiress who preferred big-game hunting to debutante balls, Gertrude “Gertie” Legendre was interesting enough to be an inspiration for a 1928 Broadway play (Holiday) that was twice adapted into movies. And that was before she joined the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the CIA, and was captured behind enemy lines during World War II.

The Washington Post’s Peter Finn examines this extraordinary woman and little-known chapter of the war in a discussion of his new book A Guest of the Reich: The Story of American Heiress Gertrude Legendre's Dramatic Captivity and Escape from Nazi Germany. Legendre was treated as a “special prisoner” and moved from city to city in Germany, where she witnessed the collapse of the Third Reich firsthand. After six months, she escaped into Switzerland.

Finn is the national security editor at The Post.