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Audrey Hepburn’s Secret Past

SHE NEARLY STARVED TO DEATH AND RISKED HER LI FE TO HELP THE RESISTANCE: THE AMAZING STORY OF HOW THE STAR SURVIVED WWII
Forever Haunted “My mother always used to say she was lucky,” says her son Luca Dotti of Hepburn (in 1955). “Reading Dutch Girl you understand why.”

She was one of the world’s most glamorous and beloved movie stars. Yet as Audrey Hepburn’s son Luca Dotti, 49, remembers, “When my mother told us about her life, she never talked about Hollywood or her films. She spoke about the war, about good and evil. I knew from her eyes, her shaky hands that there was more to the story.” The Breakfast at Tiffany’s star, who died in 1993 at age 63 from abdominal cancer, had suffered lasting trauma from her experiences during World War II. But she rarely spoke about the details—in part, no doubt, because her British father, who abandoned the family when she was 6, was an agent for the Germans, and her Dutch baroness mother, Ella van Heemstra, was initially a Nazi sympathizer. Now a new biography, Dutch Girl, excerpted exclusively here, tells the full harrowing story of the future actress who barely survived Germany’s five-year occupation of Holland—and who risked her life working for the Dutch resistance. Author Robert Matzen, who gained access to secret police files and classified archives and interviewed Dutch survivors who

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