Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance, and Hope

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The Nazis murdered their husbands but concentration camp prisoners Priska, Rachel, and Anka would not let evil take their unborn children too—a remarkable true story that will appeal to readers of The Lost and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, Born Survivors celebrates three mothers who defied death to give their children life.

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.

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About the author

Wendy Holden was a journalist for eighteen years, including a decade at the Daily Telegraph. She is the author and coauthor of more than thirty books, among them several internationally acclaimed wartime biographies, plus the New York Times bestsellers A Lotus Grows in the Mud (with Goldie Hawn) and Lady Blue Eyes (with Frank Sinatra's widow, Barbara). She lives in Suffolk, England, with her husband and two dogs, and divides her time between the UK and the US.

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins
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Published on
May 5, 2015
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780062370273
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / Holocaust
History / Jewish
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Wendy Holden
Numa noite gelada em janeiro de 2012, Haatchi, o cão, foi atingido na cabeça e abandonado numa linha de caminho de ferro para ser atropelado por um comboio. O maquinista viu demasiado tarde o adorável pastor-da-anatólia ​​de cinco meses. De alguma forma, o aterrorizado cachorrinho sobreviveu à perda de sangue da pata e cauda parcialmente cortadas e conseguiu rastejar para um lugar seguro.Felizmente, Haatchi foi resgatado, embora os veterinários não tenham conseguido salvar-lhe a pata e cauda. Um apelo no Facebook chamou a atenção de um casal de bom coração, Colleen Drummond e Will Howkins, que também são o pai e a madrasta de Owen (conhecido na família como Little B, ou seja Little Buddy, «amiguinho»). Um olhar para o focinho expressivo de Haatchi disse-lhes tudo o que precisavam de saber e o sortudo cão mudou-se para casa da família Howkins apenas seis semanas depois de quase ser morto. Owen, agora com oito anos, tem uma doença genética rara que faz com que os seus músculos estejam permanentemente tensos. Em grande parte confinado a uma cadeira de rodas, era um menino reservado e ansioso com dificuldade em fazer amigos. Mas quando Owen acordou na manhã depois de Haatchi chegar, apaixonou-se imediatamente pelo cão mutilado que, por sua vez, acabou por salvá-lo.Wendy Holden publicou até agora dois romances e trinta livros de não ficção, entre os quais as memórias de Uggie, o cão do filme O Artista. As biografias que escreveu como ghost writer centram-se sobre as vidas de mulheres extraordinárias, incluindo a atriz Goldie Hawn, uma espia da Segunda Guerra Mundial, Barbara, a viúva de Frank Sinatra; e a única mulher na Legião Estrangeira francesa. Antiga jornalista do Daily Telegraph, Wendy cobriu acontecimentos em todo o mundo e agora vive em Suffolk, Inglaterra, com o marido e dois cães.
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