Saturday, October 10, 2015

What Courage Looks Like

Meet Clare Hollingworth, who broke the story of World War II:
After elbowing her way into an industry in which she had few connections and little experience, she landed a job as a journalist for the Daily Telegraph. But determined to prove her capabilities and worth, Hollingworth persuaded her editor to send her to Poland to report on the build-up to war in August 1939.

In the city of Gleiwitz, on the Polish border, she spotted something unusual: hundreds of German tanks lined up, passing through a valley. She stood in front of what appeared to be Germany invading Poland, with the tanks waiting for the whistle blow that would order advance. Hollingworth ran to a nearby building and picked up the phone to call her friend Robin Hankey, who worked at the British Embassy.

“Robin,” she said. “The war’s begun!”

Hankey dismissed her claim. It couldn’t be true, he insisted, as the governments were still in negotiations. To prove she was telling the truth, Hollingworth stuck the phone out of the window so he could hear the tanks moving past. Convinced, he swiftly alerted authorities, who then had the unusual task of telling the Polish government that their country was about to be invaded.

Hollingworth had just alerted the world that World War II had started.
She had an amazing long career:
Here is a short highlights reel of Hollingworth’s incredible career: She was accused of being an MI6 spy by the Polish secret police; became one of the first western correspondents to be accredited in China after the cultural revolution; she covered the Desert War in North Africa, civil wars in Algeria and Aden, and the India-Pakistan wars; she broke the story of the disappearance and defection of Kim Philby to the Soviet Union; she single-handedly secured the release of kidnapped Daily Telegraph journalist John Wallis by insisting to the hostage takers that she and a group of other reporters were coming to be taken prisoner too.
The bell hooks brand of feminism, the one most often on display anymore, magnifies every conceivable slight into a legal tort, and blames men for all female failings, while demanding nothing of its proponents. For those of us opposed to this calumny, it's vital we look for women who have lived exceptional lives and put them and their work center stage from time to time, as role models. Hollingworth is worthy.

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