In January 1943, 230 women of the French Resistance weresent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied theircountry. This is their story, told in full for the first time—a searing andunforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the powerof friendship. Caroline Moorehead, a distinguishedbiographer, human rights journalist, and the author of Dancing to the Precipiceand Human Cargo, brings to life an extraordinary story that readers ofMitchell Zuckoff’s Lost in Shangri-La, ErikLarson’s In the Garden of Beasts, and Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbrokenwill find an essential addition to our retelling of the history of WorldWar II—a riveting, rediscovered story of courageous women who sacrificedeverything to combat the march of evil across the world.
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They were teachers, students, chemists, writers, and housewives; a singer at the Paris Opera, a midwife, a dental surgeon. They distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, printed subversive newspapers, hid resisters, secreted Jews to safety, transported weapons, and conveyed clandestine messages. The youngest was a schoolgirl of fifteen who scrawled "V" for victory on the walls of her lycée; the eldest, a farmer's wife in her sixties who harbored escaped Allied airmen. Strangers to each other, hailing from villages and cities from across France, these brave women were united in hatred and defiance of their Nazi occupiers.
Eventually, the Gestapo hunted down 230 of these women and imprisoned them in a fort outside Paris. Separated from home and loved ones, these disparate individuals turned to one another, their common experience conquering divisions of age, education, profession, and class, as they found solace and strength in their deep affection and camaraderie.
In January 1943, they were sent to their final destination: Auschwitz. Only forty-nine would return to France.
A Train in Winter draws on interviews with these women and their families; German, French, and Polish archives; and documents held by World War II resistance organizations to uncover a dark chapter of history that offers an inspiring portrait of ordinary people, of bravery and survival—and of the remarkable, enduring power of female friendship.About the Author:
Caroline Moorehead is the New York Times bestselling author of A Train in Winter and Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An acclaimed biographer of Martha Gellhorn, Bertrand Russell, and Lucie de la Tour du Pin, among others, Moorehead has also written for the Telegraph, the Times, and the Independent. She lives in London and Italy.
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