Monica Beresford Wichfeld lived life on her terms and without apology. As a young woman, she socialized with some of the most famous people of her era—Noel Coward, Tallulah Bankhead, Coco Chanel—using her connections to build a business that would save her husband’s familial estate from bankruptcy. Born in Great Britain, she married a Danish aristocrat and landowner and moved to his lavish estate on the island of Lolland, south of Copenhagen. Shortly after settling there, she began a nine-year affair with a neighbor (with the sanction of her husband) and raised three children. But Monica’s most defiant act came when she was in her forties and the Nazis invaded her adopted homeland. A woman without fear, she made the estate available as a haven for the Resistance and as a drop point for the weapons and supplies meant to arm them for their fight. In 1944, at the age of fifty, she was betrayed by a fellow resistor—codename ‘Jacob’--and was sentenced to death by hanging. When Danes protested, her sentence was commuted to life in prison and she died in a prison hospital just weeks before the war ended.
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