Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story
In June 1940, France fell to Adolf Hitler’s Germany, joining the ranks of many European countries already subservient to Nazi rule. The highly-modernised German war machine looked invincible and Britain and its Commonwealth stood alone, a time Winston Churchill described as ‘the Darkest Hour’.
Desperate to strike back at the Germans, on 22 July 1940 the British officially formed a secret organisation called the Special Operations Executive, (SOE). Its task was to ‘set Europe ablaze’: carry out sabotage, blow up trains, canals, railroads and contact resistance groups in mainland Europe that the British could supply. It was a new kind of warfare, aimed to subvert and hinder Nazi Germany in any way they could. This radical new style of covert fighting presented an opportunity for women to join the SOEs ranks and be deployed in the field as agents. One such agent was Noor Khan.
Noor Inuyat Khan was the daughter of an Indian mother and an American father. She had come to Britain as a refugee from German-occupied France. Having grown up in a home that fostered faith and hope, Noor found her calling in the SOE in her desire to play an active part in the war effort and help give the allies a new chance of victory.
After overcoming opposition inside the SOE, Noor’s exceptional ability as a radio operator meant she was soon sent to Nazi-occupied Paris to serve the critical, but highly-dangerous job of transmitting messages to London, the vital link between the French Resistance and the London War Office. Facing danger at almost every turn, this is her story.
This TV documentary, directed by Robert Gardner and narrated by Dame Helen Mirren, was first broadcast in 2014. It uncovers the fascinating untold story of British Muslim war heroine Noor Khan during the Second World War.Duration: 55 Min