Madeline: Noor-un Nisa
Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1944) was SOE s first woman wireless transmitter in German Occupied Paris during World War II. Posthumously awarded the George Cross MBE and Croix de Guerre with Gold Star for her outstanding wartime service and heroism on behalf of the Allied cause, Noor s remarkable and inspiring life have been commemorated in numerous war memorials, WWII histories, and several films.
Born to an American mother, Ora Ray Baker, and an Indian Sufi father, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Noor was raised in France, studying music under Nadia Boulanger and child psychology at the Sorbonne. Her children s stories appeared in Le Figaro and were broadcast over Radiodiffusion Francaise, and her book "Twenty Jataka Tales" was published in London. Her writing career was interrupted by the German invasion of France in 1940. The Inayat Khan family fled to England, and Noor enlisted in the WAAF where she trained as a wireless transmitter. Her Parisian background and wireless skills led to her recruitment by the SOE (Special Operations Executive). In 1943 she was secretly flown back to France where she began her undercover work under the code name Madeleine. Constantly on the move between multiple locations and using false identities, Noor transmitted messages for the SOE s French and RF (République Française) sections, and for De Gaulle s Free French network. Betrayed by an acquaintance, she was captured by the Gestapo and held for interrogation in Paris. After repeated escape attempts, she was deemed a dangerous prisoner and transferred to Pforzheim prison in Germany, where she was held in maximum security and solitary confinement. As the war drew to an end in the fall of 1944, Noor was transported to Dachau, where she was executed. Her last word before being shot was Liberté!
This new edition of Noor-un-nisa: Madeleine includes previously unpublished material including a retrospective by Noor s brother Vilayat Inayat Khan, Noor friendship with the author, and further research on Noor s life and the SOE.