Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, the new BBC Radio 4 podcast History’s Secret Heroes recounts the extraordinary stories of some of the most fascinating unsung heroes from the Second World War. They may not have always made the headlines or the history books, but their acts of resistance, deception and courage changed the course of the war.
In each episode of History’s Secret Heroes, Helena shines a light on ordinary people with extraordinary stories. Listeners will hear tales of people like Major Charity Adams, the first African American woman to be an officer in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, and Bela Hazan, a young Jewish woman who went undercover at the Gestapo headquarters to fight against the Nazis. Other episodes include Virginia Hall, an American woman who helped organise the French resistance, and masterminded one of the war’s most successful prison breaks.
Helena also explores the remarkable story of American actor George Takei (Star Trek) who, at just five years old, was removed from his home in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbour attack. He and his family were imprisoned without trial along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans.
Helena Bonham Carter says: “Both sets of my grandparents were unconventional war heroes, so I was thrilled to be involved with this fascinating new series and help tell these lesser known, but extraordinary, stories from World War II. The risks these people took and the number of lives they saved was nothing short of heroic and it’s a privilege to shine a light on their acts of courage.”
History’s Secret Heroes is available as a boxset on BBC Sounds first from 31 May and broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 at 11:30 from 31 May.
History’s Secret Heroes is a BBC Studios production for BBC Radio 4. It was commissioned for BBC Radio 4 by Rhian Roberts.
BBC Radio 4