Noor Inayat Khan
James Bond. But a Girl. And Muslim.
1. Her code name was Madeleine (or Nora Baker or Jeanne-Marie Rennier) and she was an enemy of the Reich
2. She was a British secret agent of Indian and American origin (can I get a woot woot for diversity?)
3. As an SOE agent, she became the first female radio operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance
4. But before WWII broke out, she studied child psychology at the Sorbonne and music at the Paris Conservatory under Nadia Boulanger, composing for harp and piano. She began a career writing poetry and children’s stories, and became a regular contributor to children’s magazines and French radio.
5. She wrote Twenty Jataka Tales, inspired by the Jataka tales of Buddhist tradition.
6. After joining the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, she was recruited to join F (France) Section of the Special Operations Executive.
7. She was betrayed to the Germans, either by Henri Déricourt or by Renée Garry, and then arrested and interrogated. There is no evidence of her being tortured, but her interrogation lasted over a month. During that time, she attempted escape twice. Hans Kieffer, the former head of the SD in Paris, testified after the war that she did not give the Gestapo a single piece of information, but lied consistently.
8. On November 25, 1943, Inayat Khan escaped from the SD Headquarters, along with fellow SOE Agents, but was captured in the vicinity. She was shackled at hands and feet for ten months and was classified as “highly dangerous.”
9. On September 11, 1944, Inayat Khan and three other SOE agents were moved to the Dachau Concentration Camp and executed 2 days later. Her last words were recorded to be, “Liberté”