Barbara Lauwers of Operation Sauerkraut fame died on 16 August 2009. The CIA have posted an orbituary here:
Lauwers was born in 1914 in Božena Hauserová in what was then Czechoslovakia. She was a bright young woman and attended Masaryk University located in Brno to study law. After earning a doctorate in law, she became a practicing junior lawyer.
Lauwers soon married and moved to America with her husband in 1941. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Lauwers’ husband joined the U.S. Army. Lauwers followed in 1943.
“The truth was, I hoped the service would be a great adventure and I did not want to miss it,” she said.
On June 1, 1943, Lauwers became an American citizen. A few hours later, she joined the U.S. Army and was sent to Florida to begin training. After completing basic training, she was sent to the Women’s Army Corps officers’ school in Georgia. It was there that she was singled out for special service. Lauwers and two other women left immediately for Washington, D.C.
“Only upon arrival [in Washington] were we told that we were assigned to the OSS,” she said. “Immediately we were put through intensive indoctrination—work and keep quiet about it, mind your own business and don’t ask questions, be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Lauwers’ first overseas station was in Algiers, Algeria.
After the Allied armies entered Rome on June 5, 1944, Lauwers was transferred to Italy. It was there that she became involved with Operation Sauerkraut. In the summer of 1944, Count Claus von Stauffenberg and some disillusioned German military officers attempted to assassinate Hitler. Hours after the attempt failed, the MO Unit initiated Operation Sauerkraut. Its goal was to attack the morale of the German army by circulating rumors, fake orders and leaflets about growing unrest among German military leaders.
Shortly after the assassination attempt, Lauwers found herself in a jeep headed toward a prisoners’ camp south of Naples. Lauwers’ role was to interview German prisoners, selecting a group to infiltrate the front lines and distribute the propaganda. She was chosen to interview the prisoners because she was fluent in German, English, Czech, Slovak, and French...
For more details on Operation Sauerkraut see: http://www.psywar.org/sauerkraut.php