As intriguing and compelling as a work of fiction, the memoirs of ‘André’ Joseph Scheinmann, mesmerize and enthrall the reader. His true-life story of derring-do starts as a Jewish youth in Munich, then as an escapee by forgery from a prisoner-of war camp after the bitterly brief fight for France in the summer of 1940.
Undercover as a translator for the Nazis at the Brittany headquarters of the French National Railroads, for a year and a half he was a spy and saboteur for the British and Free French under his disguise as André Maurice Peulevey. Summoned by the British, he crossed the Chanel by moonlight in kayak and motor-torpedo boat on a clandestine trip, underwent initiation and training as an MI6 agent in England, and was betrayed and arrested on his return to mainland Europe.
André then began an even more perilous trip through Gestapo prisons to the little-known Natzweiler concentration camp. With clarity of vision, he maintained dignity and morale among his bunkmates and ferociously dedicated himself to the continued sabotage of the German war machine from inside that camp. Later at Dachau and Allach, he organized theatrical events and continued to pull the wool over the eyes of his tormentors.
From youthful activism in the heart of Germany to the French Resistance, SIS, Gestapo prisons and concentration camps, André's story is an action-packed saga. A debonair young man in a broken world who remade himself as a cunning fighter for freedom, his insights and example give us a whole new perspective on espionage, the French Resistance, British Secret Intelligence Service, and surviving the Nazi war machine.