A woman just sentenced to death by firing squad was expected to sob and
plead for mercy, but not Mona Parsons. Found guilty of treason in
Amsterdam, Holland on December 22, 1941, for hiding Allied soldiers in her
safe house, Mona then turned and walked to the prison van.
The judge was taken by the beautiful 41-year-old woman’s dignified demeanour. On her way
out of the room, he suggested that Mona should enter an appeal and that he would
recommend it. Her sentence was commuted. How on earth did a Canadian find herself in
such a state?
From a Nova Scotian childhood, Mona Louise Parsons became a 1920s New York chorus girl,
a Depression-era nurse, the wife of a Dutch millionaire, an underground worker in the
resistance, a prisoner of the Nazis, and an emaciated fugitive who walked across Nazi
Germany in the dying months of World War II. This book traces the author's journey as she
follows clues about Parsons' life, leaping oceans and decades with imagination and grace.
Author and actor Andria Hill is a graduate of Acadia University's Theatre Studies program.
Co-founder of SarAndipity Theatre, she co-wrote The Bitterest Time, a play based on
Parsons' life, and prepared a documentary on Parsons for History Television's The Canadians.
Originally from Toronto, she now lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
An unlikely war hero, Mona Parsons was
sentenced to a Nazi prison camp for
helping dozens of downed Allied airmen
escape (courtesy Andria Hill).
Mona Parsons Sentenced to Death
“Meine Herren. Guten Morgen.” The calm,
steady voice took the German judge and
the Nazi court by surprise.