THE NINE de Gwen Strauss

A true story based on historical fact that has a natural dramatic narrative arc

A True Story Of Nine Daring Women And Their Escape From The Third Reich
by Gwen Strauss
St. Martin’s Press, Fall 2021

Working in different regions of France, some of the women bravely joined the resistance as early as 1942 and as young as 15. They were arrested by French police and German soldiers and interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo. They were deported to Germany, ending at a forced labor camp, a satellite of Buchenwald. The group formed along the way, meeting at different points, in prison, in transit, and in Ravensbrück. By the time they were enslaved at the labor camp in Leipzig, they were a close-knit team. Not only did The Nine survive, they sabotaged the manufacturing of the Panzerfaust, the German shoulder-held grenade launchers at the factory where they were forced to work twelve hours a day in harrowing conditions. Days away from the end of the war, the women were driven out onto a death march that was designed to kill them. The Nine refused to die. Broken, starving and exhausted – they escaped.

Gwen Strauss authored a collection of poems published by Knopf in 1991. More recently she has authored several middle-grade novels, for which she received multiple awards including the prestigious ALA award for Most Notable Middle-Grade Reader. Since 2005, she has lived in Southern France where she works as the Director of the Brown Foundation Fellowship Program at the Dora Maar House, an artist residency program.

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