Archives par étiquette : Gwen Strauss

THE NINE de Gwen Strauss

The gripping, previously untold WWII story of nine female resistance fighters who banded together to survive the camps and ultimately escaped from a final death march across war-torn Germany

THE NINE:
The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived the Worst of Nazi Germany
by Gwen Strauss
St. Martin’s Press, May 2021 (voir catalogue)

Credit: Robert Hale

At the end of WWII, Gwen Strauss’ great aunt Helene Podliasky led a band of nine female resistance fighters as they escaped the SS and made their way through war torn Germany. Drawing on their various strengths—diplomacy, humor, courage—they made it across the front lines against all odds and eventually back to Paris. The women were all under thirty when they joined the resistance. They smuggled arms, harbored parachuting agents, trekked escape routes to Spain and hid Jewish children. They were arrested by French police, interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo, and deported to Germany. The group met at different points, in prison, in transit, and at Ravensbrück. By the time they were enslaved at the labor camp in Leipzig, they were a close-knit group of friends. During the final days of the war, the nine chose their moment and made a daring escape. Drawing on incredible research, this powerful, heart-stopping narrative is a moving tribute to the power of humanity and friendship in the darkest of times.

Gwen Strauss’ poems, short stories and essays have appeared in numerous journals including The New Republic, London Sunday Times, New England Review, and Kenyon Review and has published a collection of poetry, Trail of Stones. She was born and spent her early years in Haiti. Strauss lives in Southern France, where she is the Director of the artist’s residency program at the Dora Maar House.

THE NINE de Gwen Strauss

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

THE NINE
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.