Revolutionary and Martyr

Fernando Morais,

Olga: Revolutionary and Martyr
This “heartbreaking biography” of the Communist revolutionary “is filled with high drama,” daring escapes, and eventual imprisonment in Nazi Germany (Publishers Weekly).

A German-born Jew, Olga Benario was one of the most remarkable Communist activists of the twentieth century. With a genius for organization and an unwavering devotion, she crisscrossed the globe educating and activating legions to combat the worldwide plagues of Nazism and fascism. At the age of nineteen, she masterminded a daring prison raid to free her lover, the Communist intellectual Otto Braun. Together they escaped to Moscow, where they quickly rose in the ranks of the international Communist movement.

At twenty-six, Benario was chosen to serve as bodyguard to the legendary Brazilian guerrilla leader Luis Carlos Prestes, who had been brought to Moscow for training and would soon become her new lover. Traveling under assumed names, they crossed Europe and North America to reach Brazil, where Prestes would launch a revolution against the fascist regime. But tragically, within months, they were seized by police.

From Brazil, Olga, then seven months pregnant, was deported to Nazi Germany. She was subsequently sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp, and in February 1942 she was sent to her death in the gas chambers at Bernburg.

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