• Book Review: A Train in Winter

    Posted by literarychick29, 4 years ago

    This is my sixth book in the challenge, from the 'New Genre' category. It's a historical biography and it's really affected me. It's the story of French women, most who worked for, or were accused of working for the Resistance during the Nazi occupation during World War II. They were all imprisoned and locked in cattle cars on trains to Auschwitz. There experiences are told in vivid detail, and of the 230 women imprisoned in the Nazi extermination camp, only 49 made it home alive. It seems amazing that even that many women survived because it seems like death was around every corner. There was a constant risk of being sent to the gas chambers, being beaten by SS guards or mauled by their dogs, disease, unsanitary conditions, and the constant danger posed by lack of food and water as well as the lack of clothing to protect against the brutal elements. The frienships between them all was there one saving grace. While imprisoned they helped each other to survive by not only supporting each other, but by sharing there small amounts of food, water and medicine, as well as hiding the sick who would have been sent to the gas chambers. This is the story of unbearable suffering, but also of unbelievable bravery. The one part I found most informative was the description of the women's life after their release from the camps at the end of the war. Their painful experiences continued even when home. A lot of people were not interested in their stories, or downright disbelieved them because they couldn't fathom how they could have survived those conditions. There was little support and most suffered from many physical and emotional ailments for the rest of their lives. They were given very little recognition for the parts they played in the Resistance, most of the awards and recognition given to the surviving men. France was more concerned about how they looked politically etc, not taking responsibility or wanting to admit culpability. Jewish people were still treated horribly as well for a long time after the war was over. Many of the survivors felt like parts of themselves had died and been left in Aushwitz. I will never forget the stories of these women, and of the many other men and women who experienced the same. I only hope that a lesson was learned and such a travesty as those concentration camps is never repeated. May both the dead and the survivors find some peace.

Comments on this post:
  • 4 years ago

    Thank you for this book Review. I was already interested in reading this and now i just want to read it even more. I enjoy reading about this specific topic and are going to include this one into my library.

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