A Secret Life. Volunteer and Special Agent

Sigrun Slapgard

NORLA Selected Title

Eit hemmelig liv. Spesialagent og Spania-frivillig
Samlaget 2020
Non-Fiction / Biography, history
97200 Words
English sample chapters available

Product sheet (PDF)


Selected title by NORLA — extensive translation grants available.

A man haunted by his losses and hunted by his enemies
When the Spanish Civil War broke out, the Norwegian businessman Wilhelm Holst lived in Paris. Shortly after he turned up as a casket-bearer and a volunteer for the republicans at the frontline in Spain. After the fascists had declared victory in Spain, Holst helped refugees escape across the French border. When Hitler’s troops invaded Norway, two of his sons, were shot and killed at their home. From that moment on Wilhelm Holst risked his life daily through his work for the French Resistance Movement.
Shortlisted for The Brage Award, best Non-Fiction Book 2020:
A captivating story about the unknown Norwegian resistance fighter Wilhelm Holst. He worked for both the British Secret Intelligence and the French Resistance Movement during the 2nd WW, and he helped smuggle hundreds of refugees and saboteurs out of France. For his efforts he was decorated with the Medaille de Resistance and invited to lunch with General de Gaulle. The fact that the protagonist lived a secret life, makes the story exciting itself. Several times Holst was close to being discovered by the Nazis. The reader is taken on a journey of exploration in search of sources and historical leads in several countries.

Meticulously researched and highly intriguing

Anne Merethe Prinos, Aftenposten

Real life beats fantasy in this sovereignly thrilling and interesting story
(Six of six stars).

Sindre Hovdenakk, VG