Former OSS Spy Recounts His Experiences Behind Enemy Lines in New Book

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Helias Doundoulakis reflects upon his extraordinary adventures as undercover spy during World War II.

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On a seemingly ordinary day in May, 1941, a boy from a tiny village in Crete faced an unexpected threat — the invasion of German troops. He ran for cover — his first escape in a series of encounters with destiny. In his newest book, “Trained to be an OSS Spy” (published by Xlibris), he looks back on his training in one of the key intelligence agencies in World War II, his experience in espionage, and his remarkable metamorphosis from boy to man, man to soldier, and soldier to spy.

That boy, Helias Doundoulakis, had just begun his perilous, but ultimately triumphant, adventures. He and his brother joined an underground resistance movement, working for the English Intelligence Service (“SOE”), befriending the likes of Patrick Leigh Fermor. When the movement’s existence was revealed, they quickly escaped through the mountains of Crete, hiding from the enemy in broad daylight. Far from home, they lived from moment to moment, in a state of apprehension and uncertainty.

Doundoulakis then joined the American Army and was trained to be a spy with the Office of Strategic Services (“OSS”). His training took place in an opulent palace – of which only dreams are made – but an ominous reality loomed large. He learned extraordinary skills, such as how to blend into strange environments, crack safes, transmit ciphered messages, and annihilate the enemy. As he undertook his nine-month mission in Salonica, he risked his life at every turn – operating his wireless radio in plain view – while having numerous close encounters with the Gestapo. Working undercover in an abandoned factory once owned by a prominent Greek Jew, he never knew whether he would be discovered at any time, on any given day. Doundoulakis decided that, if his life were in imminent danger, he would take the cyanide capsule hidden in the lapel of his jacket to avoid divulging OSS’ secrets and torture at the Gestapo’s hands. Often, he found himself seconds away from that dreaded event.

With all that he withstood, Doundoulakis survived to tell the tale. At 92, he recalls his story of survival, hope and, ultimately, victory. Every word is true — the stuff of which movies are made. His autobiographical account is a must-read for everyone intrigued by the game of life, and how it played out through the eyes of an OSS spy, an unsung hero whom the reader will not forget.

“Ausgebildet zum OSS-Spion”
By Helias Doundoulakis with Gabriella Gafni
Hardcover | 6x9in | 392 pages | ISBN 9781503564831
Softcover | 6x9in | 392 pages | ISBN 9781503564824
E-Book | 392 pages | ISBN 9781503564817
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
After the war Helias Doundoulakis, became a civil engineer and inventor, holding the patent for the world’s largest radio telescope. He is the author of two books published in Greek, the two books of “I Was Trained to be a Spy” and “My Unique Lifetime Association with Patrick Leigh Fermor.” He lives with his wife of 60 years, Rita, in Freeport. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit xlibris.com or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.
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