Getting refugees out of WWII Europe

Belle_91

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Hello,

My WIP is about a group of American nurses who get trapped behind Nazi lines in Albania (based on the 807th Medical Evacuation Transport Squadron or MAETS. Anyway, one of the local women agrees to help them with an agreement that they try to help her get to America.

I know this would not be historically accurate, which is why, unfortunately, they don't succeed. However, I want the nurses to try to come up with a plan about how they MIGHT pursue this. They're being taken to the coast and waiting a British transport to take them to Sicily. At one point they even try to get an air rescue from both Americans and British (all real things that happened). Anyways, I feel like I need them to have some sort of plan to get the Albanian woman over besides just shoving her onto the boat or rushing onto the airplane and hoping for the best. Would there be something they could do after the war?
 

Tocotin

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Hi Belle,

I think that a lot would depend on the woman's family situation and her political affiliation. If she or her family had any connections to the Balli Kombëtar or the monarchists (I guess not), she would have to get out of the country as soon as the Communists began to take over, depending on where the story is set – is it southern Albania? Because the Communists were very strong in the south already before 1944, I think.

The later after the war, the more difficult it would become for her to leave. Communist Albania was one of the most isolated countries in the world, comparable to North Korea.

Good luck!

:troll
 

Belle_91

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It’s 1943, and I would have to consult my map about where in Albania she is. Her mother abandoned her and her father was killed by the Nazis. She’s not going to make the rescue because I am going to kill her off, so I guess I’m wondering what resources the nurses might think of to get her out, not knowing what would happen to Albania soon or the character’s fate.

My character works for the communists but only as a way to get by since she is an unmarried woman. She’s not really loyal to either side. So I guess what I’m asking is what would a nurse in 1943 think of. Would the Red Cross be a way to go?

Even if it’s a plan that wouldn’t actually work but is maybe conceivable someone in ‘43 would think of (not knowing what we know now, of course).
 
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CMBright

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A few random ideas...

Bribery. Doesn't have to be cash.
Forged documents.
Blackmail.
Disguise.
Hiding. Either in cargo transported across for reasons or disguised as an enemy soldier, march out, hope she doesn't get shot as a deserter or as a spy, depending on how it goes wrong.
Striking out across country. Active fronts would have heavy patrols. Random stretches of forest with no strategic value are less likely to be patrolled. Even if not true, a nurse might think it was plausible reasoning.
 

Tocotin

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If she is a nurse, why wouldn’t the American nurses just take her with them? She knows the local language, she knows the terrain, plus she has medical knowledge. She would be a valuable asset. It’s not that she is supposed to be a spy, even if she is with the Communists, she is still an ally.

I do have some doubts about the premise, based on what I know about the Albanian society, but I don’t know the whole story, plus it seems she’s a secondary character anyway. I think you can do whatever you like here, from the most straightforward way in which she is allowed to join the American nurses, to the most outrageously romantic & stealthy way to help smuggle her out of the country. It’s war, anything goes.

:troll
 

frimble3

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Hello,

My WIP is about a group of American nurses who get trapped behind Nazi lines in Albania (based on the 807th Medical Evacuation Transport Squadron or MAETS. Anyway, one of the local women agrees to help them with an agreement that they try to help her get to America.

I know this would not be historically accurate, which is why, unfortunately, they don't succeed. However, I want the nurses to try to come up with a plan about how they MIGHT pursue this. They're being taken to the coast and waiting a British transport to take them to Sicily. At one point they even try to get an air rescue from both Americans and British (all real things that happened). Anyways, I feel like I need them to have some sort of plan to get the Albanian woman over besides just shoving her onto the boat or rushing onto the airplane and hoping for the best. Would there be something they could do after the war?
A lot of Europeans speak another language (aside from their own) ;) .
I don't know whether this is the case in Albania, but perhaps, as a first step, get her out of Albania to a more Western country where she could mix in with all the other refugees, displaced people, etc.
From there, at the end of the war, vast numbers of people were in refugee camps, and then on to America, or, as in my mother's case, Canada.
I would think that being nurses, they might have an 'in' with the Red Cross to speed her on her way.
 
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