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999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz
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999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  2,130 ratings  ·  393 reviews
A PEN America Literary Award Finalist
A Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee
An Amazon Best of the Year Selection

The untold story of some of WW2's most hidden figures and the heartbreaking tragedy that unites them all. Readers of Born Survivors and A Train Near Magdeburg will devour the tragic tale of the first 999 women in Auschwitz concentration camp. This is the hauntingly res
Hardcover, 417 pages
Published December 31st 2019 by Citadel Press
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Maggie Many, many Eastern European Jews were killed early on by Einsatzgruppen, killed in their towns or marched into ravines and shot. It wasn't till Decemb…moreMany, many Eastern European Jews were killed early on by Einsatzgruppen, killed in their towns or marched into ravines and shot. It wasn't till December 1941 that Chelmno, the first extermination camp in Poland, was established. It seems perfectly conceivable to me that in March of 1942, in Slovakia, there might not have been widespread knowledge of the new extermination camps. With rumors of mass killings in the countryside, and with the intense Nazi propaganda campaign to minimize and deny actual events, and with the willing cooperation of the Slovak government, it might have even seemed safer to let your daughters go to work in the Reich or the General Government areas. It wasn't, but those were desperate confusing times.(less)

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Heather Macadam
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I have to give it 5 stars. I wrote it!
Jane Brewer
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this through a Goodreads Giveaway. This is the startling story of the first women to be transported to Auschwitz. I read a lot of Holocaust literature and the story of those who survived (and even those who perished) never ceases to amaze me. Again, the fact that the Nazis went to such great lengths to dehumanize these women is stunning. Why? Just why? I will never understand how these men and women agreed to participate in such awful behavior.
Natalyn Houk
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emotional. That's the one word I would use to describe "999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz". Heather Dune Macadam paints a very realistic picture of the lives of these women, based on extensive interviews. Books like this are invaluable.

One thing Macadam does extremely well is making sure her narration is as accurate as possible. It's extremely evident the time and research that went into writing this book. Repeatedly it is noted which things m
Jennifer (JC-S)
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘Why would anyone want to take away teenage girls?’

I did not know what to expect when I read this book. I was unaware that the first official Jewish transport to Auschwitz contained 999 young Jewish women. And, as distressing as it is to read of yet another example of inhumanity, it is important that the stories of these women are not forgotten.

On the 25th of March in 1942, nearly one thousand unmarried Jewish women boarded a train in Poprad, Slovakia. They believed that they would be working fo
S C Worrall
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's rare that you can say "untold story" about the Holocaust, but this really is one - the story of the first official transport of Jews to Auschwitz, and the 999 young girls and women who were taken on it. Most Holocaust history has tended to be male-centric ( think Primo Levi or Eli Wiesel), so until now the story of these young women had been ignored. Using previously overlooked archives in Slovakia, and the testimonies of survivors and their children, Ms. Macadam, an award winning Holocaust ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was going to say that this book was amazing. After I typed it, before deleting, I realized that that word didn't even touch what this book is. We pay huge amounts of money to go to theaters and see horror movies. These 999 women, and all that came after, lived it, morning, noon and night for years; If they survived. A miracle achievement compiling this information for us. Thank you Heather Dune Macadam.
I firmly believe that these stories, the stories of genocides and slavery should be taught
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing. I'll admit all the names in the beginning made it hard to follow, but once I got a grasp of that, I'm so glad I didn't give it up. What these women were put through is heartbreaking and Heather Dune Macadam did an excellent job of helping us to see it. ...more
One of the most eye-opening book I've read about Auschwitz 💔 this is a devastating read, but a necessary one. ...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

The story uncovered by Heather Dune Macadam in The Nine Hundred charts an unbelievable, but sadly true account of the first female transport of young Jewish women to Auschwitz. A story of horror, pure survival, heroism and courage, The Nine Hundred is a text carefully rooted in copious research, as well as moving testimonies.

The date of March 25th 1942 is an important one, etched on the minds of survivors and loved ones left behind when a convoy of almost 100
Jen Juenke
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I have read a TON of Holocaust books about survivors and have even read the definitive work of Martin Gilbert, however, this book provided a great light upon a part of the Holocaust that I had not read much about.
This book is about the ladies of the first transport to Auschwitz. They were promised to work for 3 months and then sent home. Most did not survive.
Some, some of the lucky did survive.
This book is about the choices that they had to make, the hard reality of their situation (watching lov
This was a very informative and descriptive book. I felt sorry for all of the pain and suffering that these heroic young Jewish girls had to endure during the Holocaust in WWII Europe. These girls had great strength and courage. I urge everyone to read this book and especially needs to be told to the younger generations although very sad because of what they went through. I would highly recommend this book if you like to read Holocaust literature.
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
On March 25, 1942, only two months following the Wannsee Conference, 999 young, unmarried Slovakian women heeded the call of their government and boarded a train. Rather than being sent off to provide three months of government service in a factory, then returning home to their families, they were thrown into the hell on earth known as Auschwitz. These women had numbers between 1,000 and 2,000 tattooed on their forearms - very low numbers, compared to the great many more victims that would follo ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I told myself I would stop reading Holocaust literature for a while after finishing The Child of Auschwitz . I've been fighting a book slump by reading on familiar topics, reading books that I've always enjoyed reading. So, in my hopes to return to what I know in regards to reading, I've been diving into a lot of very easy, fluffy romance novels, and then again into a lot of very difficult, heavy Holocaust fiction and nonfiction.

So it's been fun.

I decided to read this anyway because even with
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
Nearly 1,000 young women traveled from Slovakia to Auschwitz. They believed they were going to work for three months in a shoe factory.

The author shows what their lives were like prior to March 1942, which seemed very ordinary. These young women/teenagers went from one day living normal lives filled with friends and family to having their heads shaved in Aushwitz days later. It is alarming how quickly it all happened. Their families had no idea what was happening to their daughters and sisters.

Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, 2020
A fascinating account of the first transport to Auschwitz. I had no idea that teenage girls were among the first to populate the camp. The fortitude of these young women was and is amazing. While I thought the language to be too flowery at times as far as the environmental descriptors (in an attempt to popularize the history as opposed to making it academic, I guess), the account of what these women - children, really - went through was engrossing. The impact of the photos at the end of the book ...more
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The tale of nearly 1,000 Jewish women from Slovakia to be shipped to the German death camp at Auschwitz, March 1942.
A tale of strength and how these women helped each other survive. The author did a wonderful job of interweaving her interviews with witnesses, survivors, and families in this story.

Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC
Aletha Pagett
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's been several days since I finished this book, received from Goodreads. I remember the impact that Macadam's book, Rena's Promise had on me but 999 was even more powerful The Holocaust was about individuals and this tells a few of their stories. Thank you to both the author and to the amazing survivors for sharing this difficult and horrific part of their lives. ...more
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 There were a lot typos and errors that were distracting. Also, the author at times forced sentimentality that I found manipulative. The Holocaust and what these women went through was horrific and heartbreaking enough and there was no need to manipulate the reader by some hackneyed ploy to fictionalize what might have happened.
N.L. Brisson
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you decide to read 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Transport to Auschwitz by Heather Dune Macadam, read it with a whole box of tissues handy. This is not because, as in fiction, authors know how to engage our emotions; this is a nonfiction book and the tears will be real. Despite all the times authors have written about the Holocaust, this story still has the power to horrify us, to remind us of the heroic efforts it took to survive this unimaginable cruelty and bruta ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
*Disclaimer: I won this book from a Goodreads first-reads giveaway

I will start by saying I have a slight "obsession" with Holocaust -based books. Some may say it is my "favorite" genre. I think it is because every book I read, and I will admit most of them are historical fiction, make me feel a little more sickened with every book I have read. To read a true account from survivors perspective is even more horrific. The fact that there are people today who think the Holocaust was a hoax, complete
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is very compelling, though as always with this type of book, at times it can be emotionally challenging. I've read quite a few books about the Holocaust and the various transports to different concentration camps, but this is the first book I've read solely dedicated to the first transport and dealing mostly with female inmates. It was interesting to see the names of some of the more notorious capos described with more detail and to see the types of jobs the inmates were forced to do. ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
999 by Heather Dune Macadam is a fabulous book that brings to light the stories of the almost 1,000 women that were taken in the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz on 3/25/42.

This compilation of accounts of these precious Jewish women whom were taken against their will to this atrocious destination is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. Yet, the reader is left with a sense of courage, hope, friendship, and love that knows no bounds and is not suppressed despite the trials and tribulations
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
By far, the best book on the Shoah, or Holocaust, I have read. Having been to Auschwitz-Birkenau five times, I found this account to make the camps more real, more horrifying, than I could ever imagine. It's a heartbreakingly beautiful account of 999 women, most of whom did not survive, but some who "opened and closed Auschwitz" by being there from the very beginning to the very end.

A must-read more than just because it's a powerful book but, more importantly, so we remember their names, their l
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
A hard book to read, but harder even to go through it. The brave young women that survived the horrors are recounted in this book with photos, stories, and more. It is easy to ignore the past horrors, claim we have too much stress to think about it. But we need to remember, recall and recount these stories.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The strength of this impressive text and its multiple narratives cannot be minimised! Dune Macadam has used "interviews with witnesses, survivors, and families, and USC Shoah Archive testimonies. Memoirs, Holocaust literature and historical build as complete a picture as [she] can of the {almost 1000} girls and young Slovakian women of the first 'official' Jewish transport to Auschwitz".

A testament to the achievement of her goal lies in the reader's immersion into the personal li
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

999 is the meticulously researched story of the first official Jewish transport to Auschwitz from Slovakia in 1942. Due out 31st Dec 2019 from Kensington Books, it's 417 pages and will be available in hardcover, audiobook, and ebook formats.

The writing was riveting and emotionally difficult to read in some places. Especially in light of the trends in modern politics, and the fact that it's all too believable that it could happen again, I felt a
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz by Heather Dune Macadam is a Historical account of the Holocaust.
The author did exhaustive research and used this research to reproduce conversations, events and scenes in this book to make it more realistic. Before I choose a book to review I like to research the author and any previous books if available. I was pleased to find Ms. Macadam had written a previous book that focused on Auschwitz Rena's Promise:
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read and saw a lot about Auschwitz but never something like this book. It was incredibly detailed with women’s testimonies of their time in the death camp. The author was able to present their stories in a way that both emphasized their strength and horror they had to endure as a woman in a Nazi concentration camp, whether Jewish or not. I was horrified as I read what they had to go through. I was also very aware that they all had resiliency. Macadam did a wonderful job sharing their storie ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, history
This may be one of the most graphic and disturbing books that I have read about the holocaust. A lot of books and movies gloss over the nitty-gritty or glamorize it. Heather Macadam interviewed survivors and their heirs and did her research. Some facts fell through the cracks, so she admits to somewhat fictionalizing parts to make the dialogue flow. When she goes into detail in parts, it is much easier to read than when she is just listing facts. She will put statistics down in quick succession, ...more
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
The subject matter is incredibly fascinating and it’s a story that clearly needs to be told. It’s clear a lot of research went into the book. However, the author’s writing (or perhaps the editing?) detracts from the women’s stories. Spending a full chapter speculating about Himmler’s numerology and how that may have influenced the dates and times the transports happened feels like a stretch and is also somewhat superfluous to the story of the women. Making connections that don’t really seem to a ...more
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VOTE for 999! A Goodreads Choice for 2020 - History and Biography

999 - The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz brings together stories of girls on the first transport along with historic research that will astound new fans and former fans of Rena's Promise.
999 places the young women of the first transport front and center in Holocaust history and women's

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When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
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“personas terminan su vida mucho antes de morir, y sus vidas extendidas solo son una aparición. Tú diste tu último paso hace dos días… y ahora has encontrado la armonía eterna. DOCTORA MANCI SCHWALBOVA, por Alma Rosé, directora de la orquesta femenina de Auschwitz, que falleció el 5 de abril de 1944. A Helena Citron se le apareció su padre en sueños. Le dijo que su hermana Ruzinka se había hecho pasar por gentil, pero la habían encontrado. Al día siguiente, durante el almuerzo, Irena y otras chicas de Humenné miraban por la ventana de los barracones de clasificación y vieron a la hermana de Helena. Era muy raro, porque había llegado el transporte de Hungría. Lo primero que vieron fue el pelo rubio platino de Aviva y después a su madre Ruzinka, que además llevaba a un recién nacido en brazos. «¡Ven! ¡Ven! ¡Helena! —gritaban sus amigas—. Viene Ruzinka.» El sueño se había hecho realidad. Llena de angustia y tristeza, Helena se ocultó tras las montañas de ropa. No quería ver a su hermana antes de que muriera. ¿Para qué? Su mente y su corazón se debatían. ¿Cómo iba a sobrevivir a esto también? «Sabía que había desaparecido mi familia entera: mis tres hermanos, mis padres y mi hermana mayor. Pero ella era la última hermana que me quedaba.» Entonces algo” 0 likes
“reconociera. Divididas entre el deseo de ocultarse y el de ver caras familiares, se turnaban para observar el paso de las filas. Pero aquellos encuentros eran difíciles” 0 likes
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