Maria Gulovich, OSS Heroine of World War II

The Schoolteacher Who Saved American Lives in Slovakia


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About the Book

This book tells the story of Slovak underground member Maria Gulovich’s unlikely heroism, focusing on the former elementary schoolteacher’s courageous actions in saving American OSS agents. It describes how, while trapped with the agents behind enemy lines, she forayed into enemy occupied villages to find scarce food for the starving men, spied out enemy troop strength, and occasionally obtained shelter from blizzards with terrified but kind citizens. For her heroism, the U.S. government presented her with a Bronze Star. The work includes an extensive bibliography, a map of the area held by insurrectionists, and several photographs offering a glimpse of World War II seldom seen.

About the Author(s)

The late Sonya N. Jason lived in San Clemente, California. This was her fifth book.

Bibliographic Details

Sonya N. Jason

Foreword by Paul Robert Magocsi

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 298
Bibliographic Info: 28 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3832-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5242-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Foreword by Paul Robert Magocsi      1
Preface      3
Introduction      7
Prologue      9

1. The Simmering Slovakian Revolt Erupts      15
2. The OSS Mission Arrives on the Scene      34
3. As the Uprising Collapses, the OSS Is Trapped      52
4. A Resourceful Maria Joins the Team      68
5. Maria’s American Serenade      78
6. Division, Debate, Departure      94
7. Love Blossoms, Even in Hell      106
8. A Real Thanksgiving      119
9. Maria’s Love Is Captured      131
10. Waiting for Help in Vain      143
11. A Christmas of Hope      154
12. Betrayal: Attack and Capture      165
13. Unlikely Shelter from the Storm      176
14. Ultimate Horror at the Hands of the Nazis      186
15. Maria and Company: Caught in the Crosshairs      201
16. Desperate “Hail Mary” Escape Plan Works      209
17. Freedom’s High Price      218
18. Maria Departs for the United States      227
19. A Bronze Medal for Maria      237

Epilogue      248
Chapter Notes      265
Bibliography      275
Index      277

Book Reviews & Awards

“what a story this is! It would be ‘interesting’ if it were fiction, but it is more—much more. It is ‘fascinating’ and true…skillfully written, historically accurate and well-researched…a riveting, detailed wartime biography…a near-cinematic experience…Jason has done an excellent job of bringing this often-marginalized story—and its major players—to life in an unforgettable way”—Bookpleasures