Franci's War: A Woman's Story of Survival

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The engrossing memoir of a spirited and glamorous young fashion designer who survived World War ll, with an afterword by her daughter, Helen Epstein.

In the summer of 1942, twenty-two year-old Franci Rabinek--designated a Jew by the Nazi racial laws--arrived at Terezin, a concentration camp and ghetto forty miles north of her home in Prague. It would be the beginning of her three-year journey from Terezin to the Czech family camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, to the slave labor camps in Hamburg, and Bergen Belsen. After liberation by the British in April 1945, she finally returned to Prague.

Franci was known in her group as the Prague dress designer who lied to Dr. Mengele at an Auschwitz selection, saying she was an electrician, an occupation that both endangered and saved her life. In this memoir, she offers her intense, candid, and sometimes funny account of those dark years, with the women prisoners in her tight-knit circle of friends.

Franci's War is the powerful testimony of one incredibly strong young woman who endured the horrors of the Holocaust and survived.
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About the author

Franci Rabinek Epstein was born into a privileged family in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1920 and educated at the Ecole Francaise, Lycee de Prague, and the Deutsches Staatsrealgymnasium before dropping out to apprentice in her mother's haute-couture Salon. At 18, Franci became the owner of the Salon. In 1940 she married Joe Solar. She regarded the Nazi concentration camps as her university. After liberation, she returned to Prague and married Kurt Epstein in 1946. In 1948, after the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, she emigrated to New York City and established a new fashion salon on the Upper West Side. She lectured at universities on her experience during the war before dying of a brain aneurysm in 1989.

Helen Epstein is a veteran arts journalist and author or translator of ten books of non-fiction including the trilogy Children of the Holocaust, Where She Came From: A Daughter's Search for Her Mother's History; and The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma. Born in Prague, she grew up in New York City. Her reviews and articles have appeared in many newspapers, magazines, and websites.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Mar 17, 2020
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780525507222
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / Holocaust
History / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 Karen Floan was raised by her Grandparents; Julius and Evanell in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota where she was born. Her grandparents were both Anishinabeg and were born on Indian reservations in Northern Minnesota and spoke their native language of Ojibwe until they were sent to Mission School where they learned the English language. Karen's Grandmother, loving referred to by Karen as Gram, worked as an upholsterer and her Grandfather, she called Papa, worked as a moving man. They both worked very hard every day of their lives to provide the basics for their family. Karen recalls her Papa had a good friend and his name was Pemberton and Papa called him Pem. Karen has fond memories of her Papa and Pemberton, who was also an Anishinabe, enjoying a cup of coffee sitting at the kitchen table, laughing and enjoying each other's company. Karen would often sit and listen intently to them speak in their native language as they laughed and reminisced. Karen's Gram also was Anishinabe and she too would speak Ojibwe when her sisters came to visit. Karen never forgot Pemberton and was fascinated with his unique name, which left an indelible impression on her. So much so that when she was married she intended on naming her first born, Pemberton. As it turned out Karen never had children. When Karen began writing this story it was a no brainer she wanted to give her main character in her story that distinctive and fascinating name. Whenever she thought about Pemberton it always took her back to growing up with her grandparents in their rented duplex in South Minneapolis where they both provided her with unconditional love and everything that embodied. Karen dedicated her story to those two people that made her the person she is today.
The compelling story behind a fascinating Australian legend - fashion designer Carla Zampatti.

Carla Zampatti is an enduring Australian fashion icon. In 2015, in a remarkable feat of longevity, she celebrated the 50th anniversary of her fashion house in Australia. And despite the fact that so many of us have grown up with Carla Zampatti - loving, coveting and wearing her elegant, beautiful designs - very few of us know the private woman behind the brand. And yet it is a compelling, fascinating and ultimately moving story of one woman's determination, ambition, resilience and dreams.

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A household name, a true Australian legend, and an inspiring woman - this is Carla Zampatti, and this is her story.

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'Carla's story is one of drive and determination, and well worth reading' Brisbane News

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A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller!
Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf Bookclub Selection - May/June 2018

"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."—NPR Books

The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger

The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, the New York Public Library, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, BookBrowse, the Spectator, and the Times of London

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