A Train in Winter

A Train in Winter
Caroline Moorehead
Reviewed by Janice O'Halloran
Chatto & Windus
Thu, 01/09/2011

The early part of this book places in context the work of the French Resistance following the invasion of France by the German army during the Second World War.

Moorehead also describes the savage treatment of those resisting the Reich, not least the policy of ‘Nacht und Nebel’ (Night and Fog) whereby enemies were sent beyond the frontier, so that they effectively disappeared.

A Train in Winter looks at the journey undertaken by 230 such 'enemies', all women, rounded up from various detention camps, and all unaware of the unimaginable horror yet to come. Their destination was Birkenau concentration camp where they encountered appallingly inhumane cruelty.

Drawing on interviews from survivors, German, French and Polish archives and documents held by Second World War resistance organisations, this immensely powerful book, graphic in its detail, shocks its readers, leaving them in awe at the courage, bravery, and fortitude of ordinary people.

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