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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Nine

The Nine

The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived the Worst of Nazi Germany

Gwen Strauss

St. Martin's Press

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"This haunting account provides yet more evidence not only of the power of female friendship but that the often unrecorded courage and resilience of ordinary women must be honoured and celebrated. It’s a most inspiring read...Utterly gripping." —Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes

The Nine follows the true story of the author’s great aunt Helene 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 is a moving tribute to the power of humanity and friendship in the darkest of times.

Praise for The Nine

"This haunting account provides yet more evidence not only of the power of female friendship but that the often unrecorded courage and resilience of ordinary women must be honoured and celebrated. It’s a most inspiring read...Utterly gripping." —Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes

“I love this book. It delivers beauty, grace, horror, and suspense—an important work that also happens to be a hell of a read!” —Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

“Strauss, niece of one of the nine heroines and third-generation 'Witness of the Witnesses', answers questions and challenges with great finesse. In a writing of rare historical accuracy and deep empathy, a woman of today tells the stories of yesterday.” —Agnès Triebel, Secretary General of the International Buchenwald-Dora Committee

“With Gwen Strauss' book and the scope of her research, that whole unknown period came to me as a gift from heaven... The precision of the speech, the delicacy of the style, the joys and misfortunes brought tears that I was happy to shed.” —Marc Spjker, 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 Paperbark Shoe and On Division.

"It’s high time we got our Band of Sisters, and there could be no better author to tell their story than the riveting and rigorous Strauss. Equal parts exhilaratin… More…

"This haunting account provides yet more evidence not only of the power of female friendship but that the often unrecorded courage and resilience of ordinary women must be honoured and celebrated. It’s a most inspiring read...Utterly gripping." —Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes

“I love this book. It delivers beauty, grace, horror, and suspense—an important work that also happens to be a hell of a read!” —Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

“Strauss, niece of one of the nine heroines and third-generation 'Witness of the Witnesses', answers questions and challenges with great finesse. In a writing of rare historical accuracy and deep empathy, a woman of today tells the stories of yesterday.” —Agnès Triebel, Secretary General of the International Buchenwald-Dora Committee

“With Gwen Strauss' book and the scope of her research, that whole unknown period came to me as a gift from heaven... The precision of the speech, the delicacy of the style, the joys and misfortunes brought tears that I was happy to shed.” —Marc Spjker, 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 Paperbark Shoe and On Division.

"It’s high time we got our Band of Sisters, and there could be no better author to tell their story than the riveting and rigorous Strauss. Equal parts exhilarating, devastating, and inspiring." —Lauren Sandler, author of This is All I Got

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Gwen Strauss

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 she 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.

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Robert Hale

St. Martin's Press

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