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A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of…
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A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and… (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Caroline Moorehead

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Title:A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
Authors:Caroline Moorehead
Info:Harper (2011), Hardcover, 384 pages
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A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead (2011)

Recently added byDoey, private library, wm3395, swade79, nanaritz, newnoz, MerrittGibsonLibrary, MSZR
  1. 10
    None of us will return by Charlotte Delbo (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Charlotte Delbo was one of the women on the train.
  2. 00
    Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies (srdr)
    srdr: Both books show the heroism of individual women during WW II. A Train in Winter tells a group story; Anne Frank Remembered reveals the risks taken by Miep Gies and her husband to help the Frank family.
  3. 00
    The Girls of Room 28: Friendship, Hope, and Survival in Theresienstadt by Hannelore Brenner (meggyweg)
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» See also 64 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This is a moving and incredibly difficult book to read. The acts done to this women, what they survived, and what they refused to do to others. I have been reading a lot of WWII books lately so this is going to be a last one for a while(or so I thought but not the case). Moorehead again does great research, she handles the topic with care but she does not shy away from the hard facts. Moorehead gives an index of the women at the back of the book with their lives in brief; I liked that because you met 230 women over the course of this book and so many had children or other family and so many die without ever seeing them again. The pictures in this book help to give faces to the names but there is one picture that disgusted me. It is a smiling happy picture of the guards at Auschwitz. They look so happy and healthy. It made my blood run cold and disgusted me. To see the people who beat, starved, and tortured thousands of people being so happy; it was and is disgusting. But this is a very inspiring story in the end because they were never broken. They were hungry, thirsty, naked, and mistreated but they were never broken.
I give this book a Five out of Five stars. ( )
  lrainey | May 10, 2016 |
A powerful read! New York Times Bestseller 2011

"A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France":
World War II, France, German occupation of France, without French resistance towards this takeover of their country...thus this story begins.

Many French were appalled at this atrocity that was happening to their country, yet it happened. Those who wanted to fight against the occupation, to resist the Germans, did so from behind the Gestapo, the Nazi, and the French occupying government. This well-written, detailed book is of French women and men who did resist in many ways. The story centers around 230 women who were part of the French Resistance Movements and Communists. These women (and men) transported (tried to transport) Jews to safe havens, hid resisters, wrote pamphlets/leaflets against the Nazis, sabotaged Nazi trains or the industrial complexes, printed subversive newspapers, carried weapons and secret messages to other resisters.

Over a short period of time, they were captured for their words and actions against the Nazis, and were swept into a prison camp. Of 230 women, ranging in age from 16 to 60s, who were taken from Paris in January, 1943 on a train to the first of many prison camps, only 49 return. They were eventually taken to places such as Auschwitz and Birkenau. This is their story. It is a hard read due to the emotions that leap off page after page, but it is from a side of WWII that I have not dealt with before, but am thankful to know now.
The NY Times said: "And it was their devotion to one another that enabled 49 of them, during what would turn out to be a two-and-a-half-year season in hell, to defy one official’s prediction: “You’re going to a camp from which you’ll never return.” "Moorehead meticulously traces the fates of 230 Frenchwomen sent to Auschwitz as political prisoners of the Reich."

This book is about friendship, caring, love, and honor. It is also about degradation, inhumanity against humanity, and the inescapable horrors of the death/extermination camps, and manual labor done by those who were healthier than most, but ended up near to death or died working for the German war efforts.

My feelings as I come away from this book is, as many have hoped before me: that we should NEVER experience this again. Sad to say though, our world as we look around has terrible inhumanity to man and woman in far too many places of this world.

Reading Level: Adult Nonfiction

Author: Caroline Moorehead was born in 1944 in London, England. She is a proclaimed biographer, has written columns on human rights, has made a series of TV programs on human rights for the BBC (1990-2000). She has also written the history of the International Committee of the Red Cross (1998) and has helped to set up a Legal Advice Centre for refugees in Cairo, where she has started schools and a nursery. She works as a volunteer on the legal team for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, while also continuing to review and write on human rights in many different papers. ( )
  lindalou924 | Apr 22, 2016 |
Tough to listen to (book on CD) sometimes, very compelling. Excellent reader for the book on CD version. ( )
  KylaS | Feb 18, 2016 |
This really is an extraordinary story. Thank goodness for an author that was able to do it justice.
The book is in 2 parts. The first reads a little like an espionage thriller as the resistance gathers strength. There are a few dark episodes when some people are betrayed or hunted down. Then it takes a very sombre turn as various groups of women are rounded up and imprisoned around Paris.
The second part is desperately harrowing. The women are herded onto trains taking most of them to Birkenau, part of the Auschwitz complex in Poland. The journey itself was unbearable but only a shadow of what was to follow. Of over 200 women who made the trip out of France only 49 survived to return to France.
This book describes the unspeakable ordeals, inhttps://www.librarything.com/work/11391043/book/126707071#dignities and cruelty the women endured and attempts to explain why some few managed to make it while most eventually succumbed to hunger, weakness or disease or were brutally murdered because they were too ill to work or tried to resist.
The book also describes how those few were changed by what they had suffered.
  rosiezbanks | Feb 10, 2016 |
This is not an easy book to read. We know before we even begin that there are few happy endings. I've read a lot about the conditions in the Nazi labor camps and extermination camps, but the true story of these women brings it clearly and closely to life. This is an account of a couple hundred women arrested for their involvement in the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation. After being jailed in France, later in the war they were moved to Eastern Europe, with the intention of leaving their fate unknown to their families, friends, and associates. Their experiences have been well-researched and are vividly recounted -- so vividly, in fact, that it his hard to read. Only a handful of these women survived.

I didn't rate this higher because the book starts so slowly. I know that the explanations of who each woman is, and what she was doing that led to her arrest, is important to their stories. But it's not the main point of the book, and I think it was too long. ( )
  TerriBooks | Nov 7, 2015 |
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Caroline Mooreheadprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCaddon, WandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What surprised the Parisians, standing in little groups along the Champs-Elysees to watch the German soldiers take over their city in the early hours of 14 June 1940, was how youthful and healthy they looked.
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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 15 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 49 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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In January 1943, the Gestapo hunted down 230 women of the French Resistance and sent them to Auschwitz. This is their story, told in full for the first time--a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship to transcend evil that is an essential addition to the history of World War II.… (more)

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