Devastated, Josephine returned to France. She was 30 by then, and wanted children. She engaged in a whirlwind romance with a wealthy sugar broker and famous playboy, Jean Lion. You can see them here, dancing:
They were married in 1937 – Willie Baker was long gone although she kept his name professionally. However, after 14 months, when Jean seemed to decide that he was going to continue to be a playboy, Josephine filed for divorce.
Soon after the Nazis invaded Paris. Josephine – unlike other creative professionals (Coco Chanel) – never even considered working with them. She refused to perform for racist Nazis or any of their sympathizers, and withdrew to her chateau in the Dordogne. However, she only appeared to be keeping a low profile. In reality,Â she was working as a “correspondant” for the French government, smuggling secret messages hidden in herÂ sheet music. She also went to parties where she gathered intelligence and reported on German troop positions.
In North Africa, she was an ambassador for the Free France movement and performed for British, American and French troops. She also toured the Middle East to raise money for the cause. She managed to do this despite suffering from a near fatal bout with peritonitis.
When the war came to an end, Josephine was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the LĂ©gion d’Honneur by General Charles de Gaulle as well as the Rosette of the RĂ©sistance.
Earlier in her life, Josephine said “I don’t want to live without Paris . . . It’s my country . . .Â I want to be worthy of Paris.” The fact that she was now seemed beyond question.