The Last Boat Out
By the time Fry arrives in Marseille in August 1940, the German troops have already occupied most of France. His mission is to facilitate passage to America for 200 persecuted artists on behalf of the Emergency Rescue Committee. The assignment is illegal and dangerous in the extreme, as the Vichy regime has pledged to deliver Nazi opponents to the Gestapo. Fry’s office is beleaguered by desperate refugees, for whom he organizes funding and overseas passages, buys up forged passports and plans escape routes. With audacity, ingenuity and the assistance of his dedicated and supportive staff, he manages to save the lives of Hannah Arendt, Heinrich and Golo Mann, Lisa Fittko, Max Ernst, Lion Feuchtwanger, Franz and Alma Werfel and Walter Mehring, to name but a few. At the same time, two Swiss Red Cross sisters in Fry’s entourage save the inmates of a children’s home from deportation – in direct contravention of explicit Swiss government orders.