A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France

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HarperCollins, Nov 8, 2011 - History - 384 pages
2 Reviews

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.

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A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France

User Review  - Maria C. Bagshaw - Book Verdict

The winter of 1942–43 encompassed some of the darkest days of World War II, not least for the French Resistance. Moorehead (Gellhorn) uses as her lens the lesser-known January 1943 transport of 230 ... Read full review

Margaret

User Review  - tweedsheep - Overstock.com

A most moving history of a great tragedy but one of great compassionate within the hearts of such brave women. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Caroline Moorehead is the biographer of Bertrand Russell, Freya Stark, Iris Origo, and Martha Gellhorn. Well known for her work in human rights, she has published a history of the Red Cross and an acclaimed book about refugees, Human Cargo. Her previous book was Dancing to the Precipice, a biography of Lucie de la Tour du Pin. She lives in London and Italy.

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