Among millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944, Priska, Rachel and Anka each passed through its infamous gates with a secret. Strangers to each other, they were newly pregnant and facing an uncertain fate without their husbands.
Alone, scared and with so many loved ones already lost to the Nazis, these young women were privately determined to hold on to all they had left: their lives and those of their unborn babies. That the gas chambers ran out of Zyklon-B just after the babies were born, before they and their mothers could be exterminated, is just one of several miracles that allowed them all to survive and rebuild their lives after World War II.
Born Survivors follows the mothers' incredible journey - first to Auschwitz, where they each came under the murderous scrutiny of Dr. Josef Mengele; then to a German slave labour camp where, half-starved and almost worked to death, they struggled to conceal their condition; and finally, as the Allies closed in, their hellish 17-day train journey with thousands of other prisoners to the Mauthausen death camp in Austria.
Hundreds died along the way, but the courage and kindness of strangers, including guards and civilians, helped save these women and their children.
In Born Survivors, Wendy Holden brings all three stories together for the first time to mark their 70th birthdays and the 70th anniversary of the ending of the war.
A heart-stopping account of how three mothers and their newborns fought to survive the Holocaust, Born Survivors is also a life-affirming celebration of our capacity to care and to love amid inconceivable cruelty.
©2015 Wendy Holden (P)2015 Hachette Audio
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"A truly incredible story"
It is hard to believe that these 'babies' survived at all. What incredible determination and tenacity their mothers displayed in the face of all the horrors they witnessed. A story that has been brilliantly written and truly brings the personalities of the characters alive.
"Well written, with all the horrors they went through"
With all that is written it makes me wonder how could someone treat another person in the way these people were yet alone a nation. It was a miracle how these woman hid their pregnancy from so called German doctors let alone give birth to their off springs. It was great how the babies born in the camp met up after the war and they have kept in touch ever since. I thought when I first started reading the writing of different survivors they all would be pretty much the same thing, but I was wrong. Each persons story tells a different tail of what went on and each persons builds up the whole story of what happened under the control of the Nazi's.
"A heartbreaking account told beautifully"
I will ever forget listening to this. Sad the world never learned from the atrocities.
Yes. It gives an insight to the ACTUAL suffering of all the people in the camps. Unbelievable the horror and torture they endured and yet never gave up the will to survive.
Nothing compares to this book
Excellent story teller spoken with feeling
All of it
There is nothing else I can say, very very moving. The people of today have no real idea what the human suffering those people endured.
"A compelling read"
this is a breathtaking, inspirational true story - so remarkable that it's almost hard to believe it's true. Very well written.
"Absolutely breathtakingly sad"
couldn't put this book down, very well written and the narration was brilliant
would recommend highly
"An amazing story of miracle babies born into hell"
I can never comprehend how the murder of so many people can ever of happened. That any human being could inflict such atrocities on another human is beyond words....
At a time when extremists are targeting religions again, everyone would do well to remind themselves of the holocaust - we don't want this ever to happen again.
Excellent book. Well read.
This story was very emotional and well read ann dover was brilliant I would recommend for people to listen to this well documented story those bravery of the people is unbelievable.
"History we must never forget!!"
An unbelievable account of true bravery and stamina! Just so frightening how normal lives can be turned into hell in a matter of days. How wonderful it is to know that out of all the pain and sorrow they endured they managed to tricked the Nazis and kept their pregnancies and babies secret to the end. Many thousands didn't manage this which makes these three woman's journeys so remarkable and although a very hard and tearful 'read' the ending brings a warm smile in acknowledgement to the survival of the children who have been able to continue their family line due to their courageous mother's.
Beautifully written and narrated. This book is narrated by a woman, written by a woman and written about 3 women. However, it's not just a woman's book.
Born Survivors follows 3 victims of oppression and is seen from their viewpoint. It also acknowledges acts of compassion by the members of the oppressing regime (even though they may be minor and extremely rare). On the other side I felt there was an absence of compassion in some aspects of the liberating regimes. It shows how some people turn a blind eye through fear whilst others find courage and solidarity to try and help.
I believe this book should be compulsory reading in schools. It shows what happens when control comes through bigotry, hatred and fear. Highly recommended!
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