Maggie's Reviews > A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France

A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead
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's review
Aug 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: history, non-fiction, library-copy
Read in July, 2012

On January 24, 1943 230 women of the French Resistance were transported from a prison in France to Birkenau Extermination Camp, one of the complex of camps which comprised Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Only 42 would survive the experience. This well-written, fascinating book tells the story of who they were, how they became part of the Resistance movement, what their job(s) in the Resistance were, how they were caught, how they were treated before arriving at Auschwitz, what their experience at Auschwitz was comprised of, who and why the survivors and victims of the German killing machine were, and who survived and how well they handled their survivor’s guilt.

Although the women (and all the men of the French Resistance) were well aware of the dangers, they willingly participated in the activities and risks. Almost always the men were shot in response to any subsequent resistance operation causing any German deaths or injuries. The women, on the other hand, were imprisoned, and eventually, sent to Auschwitz. Almost all the women were very young (some as young as 14).

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