An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
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They met at train stations and cafes, in markets and on darkened street corners. Teachers, students, chemists, writers and housewives—these members of the French Resistance were united in their hatred and defiance of the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country. Keenly aware of the danger around them, they risked their lives to distribute anti-Nazi leaflets, print subversive newspapers, hide registers, spirit Jews to safety, transport weapons and convey clandestine messages. All the while, they were being watched, their movements tracked by French police inspectors who were collaborating with the Nazis.
In February 1942, inspectors fanned out across Paris and the countryside arresting members of the Resistance. Forcing their way into homes, shops and offices, they uncovered false IDs, explosives, revolvers, forged birth certificates and ration books, millions of anti-German and anti-Vichy pamphlets, tons of paper, typewriters, kilos of ink and 300,000 francs. Hundreds were taken into custody. The Germans were surprised at how many of them were women. The youngest, 16-year-old Rosa Floch, was arrested while in the middle of writing “V” for victory on the wall of her school. The oldest, 44-year-old Madeline Normand, was carrying 39,500 francs in her handbag when she was hauled into the police station. She claimed she had just sold a horse. Normand was charged with harboring escaped Allied airmen on her farm.
Eventually, the Gestapo hunted down 230 women of the French Resistance and imprisoned them in a fort outside Paris. In January 1943, they were sent to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. Separated from home and loved ones, these disparate individuals turned to one another, finding solace and strength in friendship, their common experience conquering divisions of age, education, profession and class. Revealing their story for the first time, A Train in Winter is an unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival and the power of friendship.
Caroline Moorehead, acclaimed author of Human Cargo, interweaves original sources, archival research and in-depth personal interviews to create a compelling narrative of this remarkable band of sisters and patriots. Only 49 of the 230 women sent to Auschwitz survived. “Those who came back to France in 1945 owed their lives principally to chance, but they owed it too, in no small measure, to the tenacity with which they clung to one another,” writes Moorehead. “Each watched out for the others with the same degree of attention and concern and minded every death with anguish.”
A Train in Winter pays homage to the courageous women who sacrificed everything to combat the march of evil across the world.
Hardcover Book : 384 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers ( November 08, 2011 )
Item #: 13-452454
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.96inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Since it has been 60 plus years since the Holocaust think all of the suvivors of the Concentration Camps need to have their stories printed and written down so their expierences will never be forgotten. General Eisenhower had troops take photos and testimony because He realized there would in the future people who would deny the Holocaust happened. We all need these stories to remember.
A testimony of women who truly cared for one another. However, the first 100 or so pages were not all that interesting and the names of so many people were confusing. The portrayal of life in a concentration was written so well and really gave the reader an idea of man's inhumanity to man.
one of the best books i have read on the lousy attitude of the french on behalf of the jews!!
Reviewer: larry s