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A train in winter : an extraordinary story of women, friendship, and resistance
Caroline Moorehead
Adult Nonfiction D802.F8 M667 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In an unfocused account, Moorehead relates the story of 230 women accused of being members of the French Resistance who were sent on one train to Auschwitz in January 1943; fewer than 50 survived the war. In fact, only some of the 230 were involved in actual Resistance activities. The youngest prisoner, 16-year-old Rosa Floch, caught writing "Vive les Anglais!" on her school's walls, died of typhus in Birkenau. Alsatian psychiatrist Adelaide Hautval was arrested after exhorting German soldiers to stop mistreating a Jewish family; she survived the war, but committed suicide after recording the horrors she saw when forced to participate in Josef Mengele's medical experiments at Auschwitz. Moorehead (Human Cargo) wants to recount how these women supported one another and to honor women of the Resistance, but she tries to tell too many stories about a highly diverse group of women, many of them not Resistance members. Though moving, the lack of focus may leave readers confused. Photos. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

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 women of the Resistance to the Auschwitz death camp. She conducted interviews with several of the 49 surviving women or their families and incorporates information from their published and unpublished works about the experiences they endured during their incarceration. Taking us from the early days of the Resistance and these women's roles to the postwar period of disillusionment and unhappiness, Moorehead finds inspiration in the way they assisted and protected one another, sometimes ensuring another's survival to the detriment of themselves. -VERDICT Readers will get a good overview of the historical context and the sacrifices made by women whose motivation was to provide a better world for their country. Although at times difficult to read (the descriptions of Auschwitz offer nothing new but reiterate the horror endured), this book rightfully gives these women-survivors and nonsurvivors alike-their place in our historical memory. For a memoir by a woman in the Resistance not transported with this group, see Agnes Humbert's Resistance. [See Prepub Alert, 5/16/11.]-Maria C. Bagshaw, West Dundee, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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