A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
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... show more
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.
Publish date: November 8th 2011
Pages no: 384
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, World War II
I did find parts of this book dry, but it is less dry when the women get imprisoned. While I enjoyed the whole book, I did find it a little annoying that it was at times as if we were looking in at the women instead of following one narrative. This might be a product of the subject matter, but I did...
This was a hard book to read, but it should be - the Holocaust was an atrocity millions did not survive, and reading about it should never be easy. But I believe we owe the survivors the dignity and honor of telling their stories, in whatever way they feel those stories should be told. That is why I...
struggling right now because I know that I have to return the ebook to the library in a few days...so going to put it aside and get a print copy
This was a very disturbing, but very well written book. In January 1943, 230 women were put on a train to Auschwitz. Only a handful would survive to the end of WWII. Many of these women were members of the French resistance, working to see the end of the German occupation of France, as well as helpi...
ContInning coverage of iBooks 2.99 specials; half a description of France occupied, half the specific fates of a certain resistance convoy sent to the camps. Avoids histrionic absolute victimization but then fails to explore in depth the ambiguities of shooting a non Nazi naval officer waiting on a ...