Wisconsin's Nazi Resistance: The Mildred Fish-Harnack Story Resources

Additional Resources
Books
In the Garden of Beasts
A vivid portrait of Berlin during Adolf Hitler’s reign, as witnessed by U.S. Ambassador William Dodd, and his daughter Martha who became good friends with Mildred Fish-Harnack.
Madison: History of A Model City
Explore the journey of Wisconsin's capital city from the center of the wilderness to the "Laboratory of Democracy." Discover Madison at a time when Mildred Fish called it her home.
The Making of Milwaukee
The evolution of Wisconsin's largest city from its origins as a Native American settlement to the present day, including the formative year's Mildred Fish spent in Milwaukee.
Red Orchestra
Red Orchestra examines the circle of friends who resisted Adolf Hitler. It chronicles the lives of Greta Kuckhoff and Mildred Fish-Harnack. Both women were University of Wisconsin students.
Resisting Hitler
The first definitive book about Mildred Fish-Harnack and the Red Orchestra. It's based on personal interviews, letters and documents from CIA, FBI, KGB and German intelligence files.
Die Rote Kapelle
(German) Rote Kapelle is a portrait of resistance fighter Helmut Roloff. The book details Roloff’s circle of friends in Berlin and their secret mission against Adolf Hitler.

 

 

German Prison
Milwaukee Street
Letters & Firsthand Information
Arvid's Letters
To Clara Harnack (Mother)
Arvid describes a 1926 trip to Devil's Lake
To Clara Harnack (Mother)
Arvid wrote home after meeting Mildred
To Clara Harnack (Mother)
Arvid describes his wedding
To John R. Commons
Arvid writes to his mentor, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Other Letters
Ambassador Dodd's Statement
U.S. Ambassador in Berlin William Dodd, a close family friend, wrote a 1937 letter of recommendation on behalf of Mildred Fish-Harnack
Grace's Letter
Grace Carlsruh, Mildred's closest childhood friend from Milwaukee, responds to the outcome of the trial
Inga's Letter to Clara
Arvid's sister writes to her mother about the verdicts in the trials
Mildred's Letter from Prison
Mildred was able to get one letter to her family while in prison in 1942
Firsthand Accounts
Bob Fish's Recollections
Mildred's nephew describes life with the Fish family in Wisconsin
Dr. Irmgard Kamlah's Recollections
Another female resister, Kamlah shares her account of her time in prison with Mildred
Egmont Zechlin's Recollections
Arvid's best friend writes about the day of the Harnacks' arrest
Fish Family Interview
Mildred's Sister, Hariette, and her two daughters, Jane and Marion, talk about their childhood and family life
Gertrud's Recollections
After attempting to commit suicide, Mildred was assigned a cellmate, Gertrud Lichtenstein, who writes about their time in prison
1940s Street Scene
Primary Documents
Collections
Eric Carlson Personal Collection
A great-nephew of Mildred's digitized collection of original documents
Personal Documents
Arvid's Thesis Introduction
Completed in 1931 at the University of Wisconsin, Arvid's thesis focused on the pre-labor Marxist movement in the United States
Mildred's Birth Certificate
Mildred was born on October 31, 1902. Because her parents didn't name her immediately, the certificate reads "Matie" - a detail that would cause trouble overseas years later
Mildred's Degree
The doctorate degree awarded to Mildred in 1941
Mildred's Resume
1939 resume showing academic and professional accomplishments
German Documents
Execution Costs
The Nazis billed the Harnack family for each day Mildred and Arvid Harnack were in prison. The bill includes cost for food, lodging, execution and the stamp on the letter
Final Gestapo Report
Obtained by the CIA in 1946, this Nazi report details the Berlin Resistance Movement
Prison Certificate
An official entry record for Mildred at Ploetzensee Prison, where she was executed
Prison Questionnaire
Given to Mildred the night before her execution, the questionnaire was filled out by all new prisoners
Stasi Secret Police Medal
Soviets and East Germans retrofitted the Harnack legacy, painting them as Communist heroes - even using Arvid's image on a medal to award informants and spies
Trial Code & Communication
In order to communicate details of the trial, Mildred and Arvid used a secret code with family
Trial Summary
Nazi "Reason for Judgement," listing the charges brought against Mildred and Arvid
American Documents
CIC Files
The Counter Intelligence Corps, predecessor to the CIA, started an investigation into the Rote Kapelle in 1946
FBI Files
During the McCarthy era and the related search for communists in America, an article in the UW Alumni Magazine triggered a 1949 investigation of Mildred Fish-Harnack
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article
This May 16, 1943 article was the first news Mildred's family received about what was happening in Berlin; At this point, they were still unaware that she had been executed
State Recognition
This 1986 bill officially recognizes Mildred's accomplishments, declaring a state-wide day of recognition in public schools
U.S. Treasury Documents
Visa approval from the U.S. Treasury Department for Arvid Harnack in 1938

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