The Nine follows the true story of the author’s great aunt Hélène Podliasky, who led a band of nine female resistance fighters as they escaped a German forced labor camp and made a ten-day journey across the front lines of WWII from Germany back to Paris.
The nine women were all under thirty when they joined the resistance. They smuggled arms through Europe, harbored parachuting agents, coordinated communications between regional sectors, trekked escape routes to Spain and hid Jewish children in scattered apartments. They were arrested by French police, interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo. They were subjected to a series of French prisons and deported to Germany. The group formed along the way, meeting 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, forced onto a death march, the nine chose their moment and made a daring escape. Drawing on incredible research, this powerful, heart-stopping narrative by Gwen Strauss is a moving tribute to the power of humanity and friendship in the darkest of times.
"[A] narrative of unfathomable courage."—The Wall Street Journal
"[Strauss] ensured the bravery of their work was recognised over 75 years later."—BBC
"An incredible story about the power of friendship and the faith in humanity in one of the darkest times in history."—Lee Woodruff
"A most inspiring read . . . Utterly gripping."—Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes
"Poignant, powerful, and shattering."—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network
"Delivers beauty, grace, horror, and suspense—an important work that also happens to be a hell of a read!"—Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead
"It's high time we got our Band of Sisters . . . Equal parts exhilarating, devastating, and inspiring."—Lauren Sandler, author of This is All I Got
"A writing of rare historical accuracy and deep empathy."—Agnès Triebel, Secretary General of the International Buchenwald-Dora Committee
"Brought tears that I was happy to shed."—Marc Spijker, Guigui's son
"At this moment of worldwide chaos and despair, this is a book that reminds us about what is important, and about finding strength and purpose during the worst of times. Highly recommended."—Goldie Goldbloom, author of On Division
"A breathless story of almost superhuman heroism and suffering with a (mostly) happy ending."—Kirkus Reviews
"Intimate . . . chilling . . . A moving testament to the power of friendship."—Booklist
Reviews from Goodreads
A WOMAN BROKE FROM THE line and ran into the field of undulating bright yellow rape flowers. She ripped the blossoms from the stems with both hands, stuffing them...