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The Mystery of Olga Chekhova by Anthony Beevor

"On Hitler's fiftieth birthday, Goebbels gave him 120 movies, and the pair indulged their love of cinema by holding lavish parties for their favorite stars. One of these was Olga Chekhova, a Russian emigre living in Berlin who was the niece of Anton Chekhov, and whose acting the Fuhrer greatly admired. But her biggest fans were the Soviet secret police, who, seeing her closeness to the Nazi elite, recruited her as a sleeper agent. The closest she came to active duty was a 1941 plot to assassinate Hitler, but Stalin decided that keeping him around was a better idea. Beevor presents a documentary account of the large and complicated Chekhov clan. His painstaking work clears away historical gossip and shows how ingeniously Olga played powerful figures off against each other to survive the revolution, the War, and Stalin's purges."
- New Yorker magazine

"The award-winning author of Stalingrad (1998) has turned his attention to the well-known Nazi-era actress and her links with the Soviet government before, during, and after World War II. Chekhova (1897-1980) was born Olga Knipper in Russia. In the early 1920s Chekhova emigrated to Germany to escape the poverty and atmosphere of the Soviet Union. She quickly established herself in the German film industry, where she made more than 100 films. There is also some evidence that by the 1930s she was a spy or at the very least a mole in place to possibly aid and abet in Hitler's assassination. Beevor crafts a good story."
- Booklist (US)

Paperback, 2005, 300pages, very good condition
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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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