Toto Koopman was remarkable; she was a high society socialite who risked her life wining and dining with Italian blackshirts in order to gather information for the Dutch intelligence service in WWII. When she refused to work as a spy for the Italians, she was thrown in a detention camp. She escaped and hid in the mountains. When she was captured again she was taken to Ravensbrück concentration camp. There, got a role at the hospital by pretending she was a nurse; she risked her own life forging documents to save the lives of women destined for the gas chamber. She was truly unapologetic about who she was, individualistic and brave. Before the war, she'd defied society's expectations as a Vogue cover model working with Coco Chanel by having high-profile relationships with both men and women - including Hollywood star Talulah Bankhead and newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook. So why have most of us never heard of her?
In this episode, author and historical novelist Maryka Biaggio gives a roaring account of the incredible life, achievements and character of Toto Koopman, a story we should all know.