She was Dutch/English/Australian, her name was Molly Oliver Sasson. Her ancestry is as clocked in subterfuge as her life. Some say she was born in England; others report the Netherlands. Some say she was educated in the Netherlands some say otherwise. Some say at the beginning of World War II she joined ‘the Royal Air Force’ but the RAF did not ‘recruit’ women, the Women’s Royal Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) did. The only clear fact is that Molly Sasson was a remarkable woman.

She was Dutch because in WWII she was recruited because she was fluent in European languages. She certainly wore WAAF uniform when she was trained in England as part of a secret intelligence group. Dressed in civilian clothes she parachuted into occupied Holland to work with the Dutch resistance.
As the NAZI war machine collapsed Sasson was tasked to travel north of Hamburg to be involved in the interrogation of a captured German official. There was no comfortable transport available so she road her motorbike over roads all but destroyed by aerial bombardment. On arrival American officials took her into the room in which sat Albert Speer and asked her to act as an interpreter.

Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, an architect was a trusted member of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. He had joined the Nazi Party in 1931 and was appointed Minister of Armaments and War Production during WWII. His architectural prowess was soon highlighted in the Reich Chancellery and Nazi party rally grounds. By 1937 Hitler had appointed him General Building Inspector. In this position he was responsible for the ‘Central Department of Resettlement’ which evicted Jewish tenants from their Berlin homes. He promoted himself as an armament expert responsible for furthering the German war effort and was instrumental in increasing fighter aircraft production by exploiting slave labour. Some Allied authorities believed Speer extended the war by 18 months. Speer nonetheless attempted to assure Allied authorities that he was the ‘good Nazi’ just an architect with no knowledge of the crimes being committed against the Jewish people. It was left to interrogators and Molly Sasson to extract the truth.

Speer was one of the 24 Nazi officials charged before the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal. Molly Sasson spent many weeks involved in the Nuremberg trials acting as an interpreter during cross examination of Speer, Rudoph Hess as well as Arthur Seyss-Inquart a vicious man who had overseen the exportation of Dutch Jews. Speer was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity but avoided the death sentence instead spending 20 years in prison. He died in England in 1981. Seyss-Inquart was found guilty and hanged.

Molly Sasson returned to England and was recruited by M16. She was then employed by the Australian Embassy in The Hague on more secret work. In 1969 the head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Charles Spry, convinced Sasson to migrate to Australia. In Canberra her daily task was to compile intelligence reports on Soviet Union embassy officials. She was asked to intercept reports and monitor diplomats believed to be operatives for Soviet military intelligence. She was involved in surveillance. One Russian agent she had been tracking fled Australia in haste. More ASIO counter espionage operations were compromised. One Soviet she was monitoring was due to meet an Australian contact in a Canberra Park. She was waiting in her office in direct contact with the surveillance team only to find that the Russian had hastily flown out of Australia. It seemed the Soviets were one step ahead. Sasson believed there was a mole inside ASIO. She never allowed to discover how accurate her belief was and retired.

Molly Sasson moved to Melbourne and in her 90s is believed to still be alive, or is she? What a life, what a woman.