By Caroline Moorehead
They have been academics, scholars, chemists, writers, and housewives; a singer on the Paris Opera, a midwife, a dental healthcare professional. They dispensed anti-Nazi leaflets, published subversive newspapers, concealed resisters, secreted Jews to protection, transported guns, and conveyed clandestine messages. The youngest was once a schoolgirl of fifteen who scrawled "V" for victory at the partitions of her lycÉe; the eldest, a farmer's spouse in her sixties who harbored escaped Allied airmen. Strangers to one another, hailing from villages and towns from throughout France, those courageous ladies have been united in hatred and defiance in their Nazi occupiers.
finally, the Gestapo hunted down 230 of those girls and imprisoned them in a citadel outdoors Paris. Separated from domestic and family, those disparate contributors grew to become to each other, their universal adventure conquering divisions of age, schooling, occupation, and sophistication, as they discovered solace and energy of their deep affection and camaraderie.
In January 1943, they have been despatched to their ultimate vacation spot: Auschwitz. in simple terms forty-nine could go back to France.
A educate in Winter attracts on interviews with those ladies and their households; German, French, and varnish information; and records held via global conflict II resistance firms to discover a dismal bankruptcy of background that provides an inspiring portrait of normal humans, of bravery and survival—and of the striking, enduring energy of woman friendship.
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Additional info for A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
After this was done the prisoner was given a copy of form M/0162 upon which was listed, in both German and the prisoner’s native language, those articles that the camp authorities deemed to be contraband. These included hard currency, civilian clothing, compasses, maps, cameras etc. – in effect anything that it was felt could be used in planning and executing an escape. The prisoner was then asked if he understood the restrictions on the list and invited to hand over any such items in his possession with the caveat that he would be punished should he decline and any of the listed items be subsequently found on his person.
With this second French ‘home run’, and ever mindful of the terms of the Geneva Convention, Kommandant Schmidt belatedly attempted to close this apparent gap in the castle’s defences by ordering the construction of a wired-off area within the park, an enclosure in which all future exercise periods would be held under close observation by the guards. It was, he felt, the perfect solution to the problem as despite these new measures the prisoners could in no way complain that their rights were being infringed.
Whilst the fateful drama of Operation Musketoon played out its final act, within Colditz plans proceeded apace for another, this time exclusively British, escape attempt. After the evening roll-call on October 14, British officers Major Ronnie Littledale, Capt. Pat Reid, Lieutenant-Commander ‘Billie’ Stephens and Canadian Flying Officer ‘Hank’ Wardle cautiously made their way to the prisoners’ kitchens. The plan was to use a window that overlooked the Kommandantur as a means to get into the German courtyard and then break into one of the storage buildings, from which they would then abseil down the outer wall of the castle and make a dash for freedom.