This haunting account provides yet more evidence not only of the power of female friendship but that the often unrecorded courage and resilience of ordinary women must be honoured and celebrated. It's a most inspiring read...Utterly gripping. --Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes The Nine
follows the true story of the author's great aunt H l ne Podliasky, who led a band of nine female resistance fighters as they escaped a German forced labor camp and made a ten-day journey across the front lines of WWII from Germany back to Paris.
The nine women were all under thirty when they joined the resistance. They smuggled arms through Europe, harbored parachuting agents, coordinated communications between regional sectors, trekked escape routes to Spain and hid Jewish children in scattered apartments. They were arrested by French police, interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo. They were subjected to a series of French prisons and deported to Germany. The group formed along the way, meeting at different points, in prison, in transit, and at Ravensbr ck. By the time they were enslaved at the labor camp in Leipzig, they were a close-knit group of friends. During the final days of the war, forced onto a death march, the nine chose their moment and made a daring escape.
Drawing on incredible research, this powerful, heart-stopping narrative is a moving tribute to the power of humanity and friendship in the darkest of times.
About the Author
GWEN STRAUSS' poems, short stories and essays have appeared in numerous journals including The New Republic, London Sunday Times, New England Review, and Kenyon Review and she has published a collection of poetry, Trail of Stones. She was born and spent her early years in Haiti. Strauss lives in Southern France, where she is the Director of the artist's residency program at the Dora Maar House