Ever since reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah I've been fascinated with WWII stories involving female heroines and Andree de Jongh, who helped inspire the book is one of those brave females. At the age of 25 she found herself in a the worn torn country of Belgium. The Nazi's had invaded, wreaking havoc all over Europe. She moved to Brussels and became a Red Cross volunteer helping aid the captured Allied troops. Her volunteer work allowed her to make acquaintances with people who were helping and hiding British soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. She and her father set up a network of people and safe houses to help the soldiers return to Britain. This undercover operation became known as the Comet Line. She provided them with false ID papers, train tickets for the 1400 mile journey and even trekked on foot across the cold Pyrenees mountains to Spain with the soldiers. With the help of MI9 (famous British Military Intelligence) providing financial resources, she was instrumental in returning over 118 soldiers to the British Military herself and the Comet Line over 700! Sadly, during one of the trips to Spain she was discovered and arrested. After enduring grueling and painful interrogations, only giving up her own identity as the mastermind behind it all, which they did not believe because she was a woman, she was sent to a women's only concentration camp. She was able to endure the camp, barely staying alive until the war was over. Her health was permanently damaged from the camp but she still dedicated her life to helping others and later moved to the Belgium Congo to treat and help lepers. She was an outstanding, selfless woman who deserves to be remembered with one of our pieces.
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