A Train in Winter
An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
Combines original sources, archival research, and personal interviews to relate the story of 230 women of the French Resistance who were captured and imprisoned by the Gestapo outside of Paris before being transported to Auschwitz.
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.
Combining original sources, archival research and in-depth personal interviews, this riveting narrative follows the 230 women of the French Resistance who, imprisoned by the Gestapo outside of Paris, turned to each other, finding solace and strength in friendship. (This book was previously listed in Forecast. 25,000 first printing.
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