Autobiography, life history, true crime
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Synopsis: Eastern Europe, 1944. Three women believe they are pregnant, but are torn from their husbands before they can be certain. Rachel is sent to Auschwitz, unaware that her husband has been shot. Priska and her husband travel there together, but are immediately separated. Also at Auschwitz, Anka hopes in vain to be reunited with her husband. With the rest of their families gassed, these young wives are determined to hold on to all they have left — their lives, and those of their unborn babies. Having concealed their condition from infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, they are forced to work and almost starved to death, living in daily fear of their pregnancies being detected by the SS. In April 1945, as the Allies close in, Priska gives birth. She and her baby, along with Anka, Rachel, and the remaining inmates, are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp on a hellish seventeen-day train journey. Rachel gives birth on the train, and Anka at the camp gates. All believe they will die, but then a miracle occurs. The gas chamber runs out of Zyklon-B, and as the Allied troops near, the SS flee. Against all odds, the three mothers and their newborns survive their treacherous journey to freedom. On the seventieth anniversary of Mauthausen’s liberation from the Nazis by American soldiers, renowned biographer Wendy Holden recounts this extraordinary story of three children united by their mothers’ unbelievable — yet ultimately successful—fight for survival.
About the Author: Wendy Holden (also occasionally known as Taylor Holden) is a novelist, non-fiction author, biographer, and ghostwriter, as well as a former journalist for the London Daily Telegraph. Since leaving newspapers in 1996, she has written more than thirty books, including numerous international bestsellers. Her book Born Survivors, the story of three young mothers who hid their pregnancies from the Nazis, has been published in 21 countries and translated into 16 languages. A reporter for eighteen years, she covered news events at home and abroad, including the Gulf War, the Iran/Iraq War, conflicts in the Middle East, Communist Europe and Northern Ireland. Wendy divides her time between the UK and the US but lives mostly in Suffolk, England, with her husband, hens and dogs.