Last Hope Island Characters
These are some of the real historical characters featured in the Last Hope Island. Move your mouse over the photos to learn more.
King Haakon — After Nazi Germany’s invasion of Norway in April 1940, King Haakon rejected the Reich’s demands to surrender and accept German occupation. An infuriated Hitler ordered his forces to track down and kill the king, but he and his government escaped from their pursuers and were spirited out of Norway to London. There, Haakon became the focal point of Norway’s wartime resistance movement.
Queen Wilhelmina — During the war, the strong-willed queen of the Netherlands fulfilled her childhood dream of performing “great deeds” like her illustrious royal forbears. From her base in London, Queen Wilhelmina stopped her defeatist government from capitulating, kept her country in the fight, and inspired and united her people through her fiery anti-German broadcasts over the BBC.
King Leopold — Unlike King Haakon and Queen Wilhelmina, the young king of Belgium made the agonizing decision to stay in his country and share the ordeal of German occupation with his people. In doing so, he was following the example of his beloved father, King Albert, who had remained in Belgium during World War I. But many criticized Leopold’s decision, saying it was his duty to continue Belgium’s resistance in exile.
Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle —An obscure brigadier general before France’s defeat, de Gaulle was the only French official willing to leave his homeland and cross the English Channel to continue the fight against Hitler. Ignoring anti-de Gaulle sentiment in his own government, Winston Churchill warmly welcomed the prickly de Gaulle, as he launched his “magnificently absurd” mission to reclaim France.
Earl of Suffolk
Earl of Suffolk — As France was falling to the Nazis in June 1940, the Earl of Suffolk, a swashbuckling British aristocrat, staged a daring rescue of some of France’s most distinguished scientists, including two eminent physicists working on nuclear fission experiments. The French physicists would later play a key role in the successful Allied effort to build an atomic bomb.
Marie-Madeleine Fourcade — An elegant 30-year-old mother of two, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was in charge of one of the largest and most important wartime spy networks in France, providing the Allies with a flood of top-level intelligence about German forces that proved crucial to the success of D-Day.
Marian Rejewski — In the early 1930s, Marian Rejewski, a brilliant young Polish cryptographer, joined with two colleagues in cracking Germany’s Enigma code. Shortly before the war began, the Poles gave the British an Enigma machine and instructions on how to use it. Without those gifts, the fabled code-breaking operation of Bletchley Park and Alan Turing would have never gotten off the ground.
Andrée de Jongh
Andrée de Jongh — Described as “something of a beauty and physically hard as nails,” Andrée de Jongh was arguably the most fearless and best-known resistance heroine of the war. At the age of 24, she set up an escape network that smuggled hundreds of downed British and American airmen out of her native Belgium, through France, and into neutral Spain and freedom.
Jan Masaryk — The son of the founder of modern Czechoslovakia, Jan Masaryk served as foreign minister in the Czech government in exile. In his wildly popular broadcasts to his homeland over the BBC, Masaryk combined wit, irreverence, and pugnacity to inspire his countrymen. After a visit by Reich propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels to a Prague theater, Masaryk urged Czechs to light scented candles in the theater “to fumigate the place” after Goebbels left.
Jeannie Rousseau — Working as a German-speaking translator for a French firm, 24-year-old Jeannie Rousseau flirted with German officers in Paris to tease out their secrets about Germany’s secret new weapons — the V1 flying bomb and V2 rocket. The intelligence that the pretty Parisienne sent to London helped the British thwart Hitler in his plan to use these terror weapons to destroy London and prevent the D-Day landings.
Audrey Hepburn — As a young girl, the future movie star worked as a courier for the Dutch resistance and, along with her mother, provided help for British paratroopers who were hidden by Dutch civilians after the crushing Allied defeat at Arnhem.
Madeleine Albright — As a young girl during the Blitz, the future U.S. secretary of state curled up nightly on a bunk bed in the basement shelter of her parents’ apartment building, as German bombs exploded nearby. Her father, Josef Korbel, was head of broadcasting for the Czech government-in-exile in London.
Jean Moulin — A boyishly handsome French civil servant, Jean Moulin was the greatest figure in France’s wartime resistance. More than anyone else, he was responsible for bringing together a wide array of fragmented resistance movements and uniting them under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle.
Paul-Henri Spaak — Paul-Henri Spaak, a top official in Belgium’s government in exile, was a modern-day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. During the war, he was confrontational and divisive in his own nation, going so far as to accuse King Leopold of treason. Yet after the war, Spaak became one of the founding fathers of the European unification movement, working tirelessly to heal the divisions among the countries of Europe and bring them together.