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Defiant Courage: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance Paperback – September 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Astrid Karlsen Scott first became acquainted with Jan Baalsrud’s story in 1970. In 1997, she began serious investigation of the details of the story. Scott has returned to Norway eight times in a period of three years in her efforts to find the truth. She met Dr. Tore Haug in 1997; they decided to combine their work and made many joint and separate trips to the Troms District to research this book. To gain a complete understanding of this magnificent drama, the coauthors explored the sites where the events took place, hiking up mountains and examining landmarks. Scott and Dr. Haug also met and interviewed all the survivors who helped Jan or who were indirectly involved and had knowledge of his story. Astrid, a native of Norway, is internationally known for her books on Norwegian culture. Her award-winning video, Christmas in Norway, has been shown on television in the United States and in Europe. She is also president of Nordic Adventure, a company dedicated to the promotion of Norwegian culture. She and her husband, Melvin McCabe Scott, Jr., live in Olympia, Washington. They have three children and thirteen grandchildren.

Dr. Tore Haug is a second cousin of Jan Baalsrud. He has been fascinated with Baalsrud's escape story since meeting Jan once as a boy in 1956. In 1995, after much research, he traveled with his family to the Troms District in northern Norway to further investigate Jan’s story. He found many people whose efforts on Jan’s behalf had not been acknowledged in previous accounts. Dr. Haug wanted to accurately tell the entire story of Jan and his incredible escape from the Gestapo, and of the undaunted courage of his many benefactors. Today, he is the person who knows the story better than anyone else in Norway. Haug is an M.D., a specialized general practitioner with a private practice in Norway. He studied and received his medical degree from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He has practiced medicine in Germany and Norway, and is fluent in German, Norwegian, and English. In 1976, Dr. Haug obtained his professional pilot’s license in the United States and Norway and flew as an executive pilot for five years. He and his wife, Wenche, live in Jessheim, Norway, with their daughter, Carolin.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616081600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616081607
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Well written and amazing story.
Bonnie Neely
This book tells his story of amazing courage and also of all those who helped him and their bravery....Outstanding!
Arnold Tolley Slater
You couldn't make anything up better than this, and the awesome thing about this book, is that it's true.
Dursmis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Neely on August 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
Defiant Courage by Astrid Karlsen Scott & Dr. Tore Haug is a World War II Epic of escape and endurance. This book, written so long after the book We Die Alone by David Howarth just ten years after World War II, is the revised and authenticated story of the facts about the real-life Norwegian hero Jan Baalstrud, who along with three other men in a fishing boat were sent to Toftefjord to establish a secret base to saboutage German Nazi occupation of Norway. They were betrayed and the Germans attacked their boat in a beautiful, tranquil fjord and killed the other men. Baalstrud's harrowing escape forced him to swim through icy waters, hike high icy peaks, go blind in snow storms, get frost bite so severely that he amputated his own toes when gangrene threatened his life. His unbelievable tale of man's will to survive would not have been possible if not for the 60 men and women who lived along his treacherous route had not bravely put their own lives at perilous risk to aid him. This new book is the result of many years of researching the true facts to set the record straight from the former book and to honor the hero and promote Norwegian culture. Well written and amazing story.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian C Kerr on March 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a beautiful story of courage, but i found it tedious to read. The authors deemed it necessary to include every minute detail, possibly because they wanted all facts to be unforgotten. I would have preferred the story be told as a tale of intrigue...with a timeline of facts written at the end. Its hard to be critical, since this is a story of horrendous endurance where many lost their lives to save the One. I always ask myself, would i have had the courage to risk my life for a stranger? I hope the answer would be yes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Irene Gardner on July 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The hero of this true story is almost too heroic, tenacious, persistent and patient to be real. I cried out loud while reading of the consistent courage and endurance of this young Norwegian man during World War II. Those who helped Jan through his ordeals also deserve kudos. There would have been no other way to escape the insane grasp of the German Gestapo through the gripping, life-sapping cold of Norway.

Who's to say whether we might be tempted to save our own lives and that of our loved ones by revealing the whereabouts of Jan to the Gestapo. Everyone was in need of food, clothing, shelter and warmth. The gripping events in this revealing book will break your heart.

We can't afford to go through events like this--ever again!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay Inhof on January 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book. Interesting to read about the true story. Shared it with a friend whose family is from that region in Norway.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's amazing how this young man survived? You couldn't make anything up better than this, and the awesome thing about this book, is that it's true.
You couldn't add to this book, or elaborate more on this, it's a gut wrenching,
nerve racking book. I had to put it down a few times to be able to continue reading it. He was being hunted by the Gestapo,had to climb mountains and survive in horrible, freezing conditions!
He had terrific survivor skills.
While reading it, I was hoping this young man survived. The people that ended up
helping him were amazing! Can't say enough about this book. If you like true stories and particularly survival stories,this is the one for you.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A story of overrun Norway’s persistent iron will for unshackled freedom: I found this book to be hauntingly captivating, well researched, and laced with interesting photos.
This is a true life saga from the Viking nation that keeps suspense moving at a breathtaking pace from beginning to end.
Excerpt:
“If there is anyone who still wonders why this war is being fought—let him look to Norway. If there is anyone who has any delusions that this war could have been averted—let him look to Norway. And, if there is anyone who doubts of the democratic will to win, again I say, let him look to Norway.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, September 16, 1942.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. How someone could survive such odds is just unbelievable. The authors put much research into retelling this amazing story and based on eye witness accounts of Norweigians that put not only their own lives at risk.....but those of their own families to assist Jan in his escape. In the shadows of Nazi control, the theme of "doing the right thing" shines through in the heroes that put so much at risk to assist a dying man in getting to freedom. This book must be made into a movie!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read "We Die Alone" by David Howarth some years ago and loved it -I was glad to see this book with its meticulous research on Jan Baalsrud's incredible journey and the people in each area who helped him accomplish (well, and the few folks that were not helpful).
All the anxiety and thrills of Howarth's book, with a heck of a lot more background. Very glad to have found this narrative.
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