MURIEL’S WAR: An American Heiress in the Nazi Resistance
The captivating story of a courageous woman who left a life of privilege for a world of danger and international intrigue.
Born into a wealthy meatpacking dynasty in Chicago and educated at Wellesley, raven-haired beauty Muriel Gardiner renounced her family’s materialistic lifestyle and as a young woman left the United States. First studying at Oxford, then attending the University of Vienna medical school, Muriel befriended Anna Freud and studied the fledgling science of psychoanalysis just as the dark clouds of Hitler’s war were moving across Europe. During this tumultuous time, she married twice, had a daughter and, in Vienna, fell in love with a leader of the Austrian underground.. When Germany finally annexed Austria in March of 1938, Muriel began to help Jews and anti-fascists escape, smuggling forged documents across borders and risking her own life. Eventually, she left Europe for New York—but using her wealth and vast network of connections, continued to rescue many still trapped behind enemy lines.
Here, for the first time this electrifying woman who impressed everyone she met with her intelligence and powerful personality, receives her due. An American heiress turned resistance hero, Muriel went on to become an eminent psychoanalyst, and was a founder of the International Rescue Committee. Drawing from Gardiner’s unpublished writings and interviews with those who knew her best, Sheila Isenberg offers Muriel’s astonishing story of moral courage and humanistic zeal. With all its twists and turns, this inspiring account reveals a heroic woman who lives on as a legend of her time.
Sheila Isenberg is the author of A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry, named a Notable Book of the Year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and featured by the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the groundbreaking Women Who Love Men Who Kill. With William Kunstler, she wrote My Life As a Radical Lawyer. An adjunct professor of English at Marist College, Sheila has appeared nationally and internationally in documentaries and on multiple media platforms, including NPR, CNN, “20/20,” “The Today Show,” and “Good Morning America.” She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Visit her at http://www.sheilaisenberg.com.