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"I think we had a harder time competing against [the F.B.I.] than we did against the Germans." (Video interview, Tape 1, 18:25)

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   Rafael D. Hirtz
Image of Rafael D. Hirtz
Rafael Hirtz
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: Army Signal Corp; Operational Forces, Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
Service Location: European Theater; North Africa; China
Rank: Captain
Place of Birth: **
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With his privileged upbringing - he was born to a wealthy French family, educated by private tutors, and grew up as a teenager around 1930s Hollywood-- Rafael Hirtz might have found a way to coast through World War II. Instead, he volunteered for the fledgling Office of Strategic Services, even after he was told that field operatives had only a fifty percent chance of survival. Hirtz worked on three intelligence missions abroad, using his ability to speak fluent French in service to his adopted country.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (12 clips)
»Complete Interview  (65 min.)
»Photo Album (8 photos)
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»On a Mission
»Voices of War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (12 items)
Working undercover; knowing his fate if captured. (07:13) The decency of the old OSS; turning down a mission. (03:21) Training in Canada under the British. (01:26)
The beginnings of the OSS. (07:30) Troubles with readjustment; meeting his future wife. (03:44) Contemporary terrorism's ability to disrupt. (01:33)
How the contemporary CIA differs from the OSS. (04:01) Barely making it out of China; the morality of wartime. (01:46) Difficult living conditions in China. (01:49)
Second mission in France as a liaison with Underground. (03:30) Mission in China; training paratroopers. (02:43) The French Catholic Church and the Nazis. (02:21)
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  October 26, 2011
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