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A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France (P.S.)by Caroline Moorehead
Synopses & Reviews
andldquo;Compelling . . . Lower brings to the forefront an unexplored aspect of the Holocaust.andrdquo; andmdash;Washington Post
In a surprising account that powerfully revises history, Wendy Lower uncovers the role of German women on the Nazi eastern frontandmdash;not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork, presents startling evidence that these women were more than andldquo;desk murderersandrdquo; or comforters of murderous German men: they went on andldquo;shopping spreesandrdquo; and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos; they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also shooting Jews. And Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives with children of their own whose brutality is as chilling as any in history.
Hitlerandrsquo;s Furies challenges our deepest beliefs: women can be as brutal as men, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.
andldquo;Disquieting . . . Earlier books about the Holocaust have offered up poster girls of brutality and atrocity . . . [Lowerandrsquo;s] insight is to track more mundane lives, and to argue for a vastly wider complicity.andrdquo; andmdash;New York Times
andldquo;An unsettling but significant contribution to our understanding of how nationalism, and specifically conceptions of loyalty, are normalized, reinforced, and regulated.andrdquo; andmdash;Los Angeles Review of Books
A revelatory new history ofand#160;the role of German women in the Holocaust, not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers on the eastern front during World War II.
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 sixteen, 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 one another, hailing from villages and cities across France—230 brave women united in defiance of their Nazi occupiers—they were eventually hunted down by the Gestapo. Separated from home and loved ones, imprisoned in a fort outside Paris, 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.
Drawing on interviews with these women and their families, and on documents in German, French, and Polish archives, A Train in Winter is a remarkable account of the extraordinary courage of ordinary people—a story of bravery, survival, and the enduring power of female friendship.
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 Zuckoffs Lost in Shangri-La, ErikLarsons In the Garden of Beasts, and Laura Hillenbrands 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.
About the Author
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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