According to some accounts, Baker joined the Maquis, a group of guerilla freedom fighters who reportedly trained her to shoot in the sewers under Paris. (She could snuff a candle at twenty yards, it is said.) But her primary roles were those of a seductress who enticed diplomats and generals to confide in her, and an envoy who carried concealed notes to Gen. Charles de Gaulle’s agents in Lisbon.
She’d write the information on her sheet music in invisible ink, or on pieces of paper pinned to her underwear, or along the insides of her arms, and carry it across borders under the auspices of touring—with Capt. Abtey by her side, posing as her theatrical agent.
Some who knew warned her that she risked her life with these activities, but Josephine only laughed. “Who would dare strip-search Josephine Baker?” she scoffed. She was right: the border patrols fawned over her, asking only for her autograph.
She lived in constant danger. She was nearly arrested several times, including when Nazis came to her castle for an impromptu search. She charmed them with her flirtatious chatter, making them forget all about the basement where several members of the Resistance were hiding.
Q: If Josephine Baker had been caught, the repercussions would have been imprisonment, concentration camps or worse because of a lesser-known fact about her life. Can you guess what it is?