Carve Her name with Pride - Violet Szabo - How accurate?

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by BuggerAll, Apr 17, 2008.

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  1. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I've just watched Carve Her name with Pride on daytime TV. Does anyone know how accurate the film is?

    It seemed to me that there was an awful lot they did not put into it.

    I'm guessing that her GC was for 'conduct after capture' otherwise it should have been a VC. I'm also guessing that the Germans were an awful lot more frightful than the film suggests.
  2. I always for some reason, thought she got the GC because she was female. Her CaC was by all accounts, exemplary , and the Germans really did go to town on her.
  3. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    I would imagine given that the film was made in 1956 and her daughter would have been 16 (plus her parents may well have been alive)the film makers would have been very sensitive concerning what had happened
    Also censorship of the day would have made things difficult
    What I remember of the film and the story it's fairly accurate (as in better than most)

    From Wiki
    [After her capture]
    She was transferred to the custody of the SD in Limoges where she was interrogated under torture, enduring rape and brutal assaults. Then she was moved eight times between different locations which included Fresnes prison in Paris, Limoges prison and then in late August 1944 was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp, where over 92,000 women died. An SOE rescue mission to retrieve her by breaking into lightly guarded Limoges prison was planned but a mere two hours before the rescue attempt, she was moved to Ravensbruck. There she was forced into hard labour and suffered terribly from malnutrition and exhaustion. She also endured three months at Konigsburg on the Russian Front. Violette Szabo was executed on or about February 5, 1945 and her body disposed of in the crematorium. She was just 23 years old.

    Three other women members of the SOE were also executed at Ravensbrück: Denise Bloch, Cecily Lefort, and Lilian Rolfe. Of the SOE's 55 women agents 13 were to be killed in action or die in the camps
  4. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer


    I imagine the FANY are rightly proud of being associated with her although I gather her and other SOE ladies where using FANY as cover.

    I suppose her daughter could well still be alive today. She would be in her mid 60's.
  5. they (the ones still alive anyway) still come to our annual reunion. Once a fany always a fany :D
  6. The book is very good, and worth a read.

    However reading it as an adult, and knowing what the Germans did to her mother, it is almost unbearingly moving to read of her 4 year old daughter collecting her mother's GC from the King, and what she had to say at the time "Its for my mother, I'll keep it for her till she gets home".
  7. There is a particularly good book called The Women Who Lived for Danger which covers the women agents of the SOE. There are chapters on 10 of them, one of which is Violette
  8. My understanding was that she did not get a VC as she was female. A lot of the other women agents had their awards downgraded as well. The one who died a few weeks ago was put in for a DSO but got an MBE which she threatened to return unless it was military instead of civilian.

    Its probably all abit late and would stink of gesture politics but if I was part time S of S for defence I would have someone review all that.

  9. I'd vote for you :D
  10. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    It would be a gesture worth making. I believe the recent award of wings to some lady vets was appreciated.

    That said my Grandfather's brother got a GC for his activities as a PW in Korea. As I understand it, it was not a VC because he was not in action against the enemy as such. Which is why I presumed that Ensign Szabo was awarded the the GC for her conduct after capture rather than her activities prior to that. So in her case it would be unlikely to change.

    Despite public perception a GC is not a downgraded VC it is awarded for different things.

    In other cases it is probably high time the 'gesture' is made.
  11. As I understand it it was for the way she and her unit held up an armoured brigade for most of an afternoon just after D day.