This week in the War, 24–30 April 1944: Gold medal athlete and collaborator, Violette Morris, is gunned down by the French Resistance

Violette Morris, Paris 1920 [Public domain]

Violette Morris, Paris 1920 [Public domain]

This week in the war, on 26 April 1944, French gold-medal-winning athlete, Violette Morris, was ambushed by the Resistance. Morris and everyone else in her car, including two small children, died in a hail of bullets.

Between the wars, Morris had excelled in a wide range of sports, from soccer to shot putting to swimming. She was an accomplished cyclist, race car driver and boxer.

France’s Women’s Athletic Federation objected to her ‘morals’ and subsequently barred her from competing in the 1928 Olympics. She was gay.

Morris was later courted by the Nazis and invited to the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. She began working secretly for the German security service (SD) and, during the Second World War, she actively worked against Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE).

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