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The Female Spies of WWII

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The Female Spies of WWII

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0560
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
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The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was established during World War II to be America’s first modern spy service. At its peak in late 1944, the agency had nearly 13,000 members and one out of every three was a woman. Much more than clerks or nurses, they were engaged in every department of the OSS, from running guerilla operations behind enemy lines, to conducting classic espionage, coding and decoding messages, creating propaganda, analyzing incoming messages, and producing intelligence reports that informed policymakers. A few, like Virginia Hall, have become the subjects of books and films, but most have stayed out of the public spotlight. 

Brent Geary, a career officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Analysis and Randy Burkett, career officer in the Directorate of Operations, share the stories of some of these remarkable professionals who fought both the Nazis and the gender stereotypes of the time to help win the war and create the foundation for the modern CIA and U.S. military special forces. 

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Learn more about one of the subjects of the recent film A Call to Spy, Virginia Hall. Labeled by Germany as the most dangerous of all Allied spies, nabbing the “lady with a limp” became an obsession for the Gestapo.