Born Survivors Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary

Born Survivors Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage Defiance and Hope A beautifully captured testament to the strength and resilience of three young women enslaved by the nazis during the Second World War Although the three women didn't know each other at the time they shared a common ground they were all newly pregnant when they were sent to the now infamous death camps across Europe Impeccably researched and sensitively told each of the three women's stories are both harrowing and uplifting This book showcases a side of the camps not widely known; when a prisoner is pregnant what is to become of her child? Some parts of the book make for difficult reading but this should not deter history enthusiasts from reading it The treatment of babies and children by the nazi officers is particularly challenging to comprehend At times it's a struggle to believe that everything documented and thousands untold stories happened to real people who's only crime was their heritage andor religious beliefs The book follows up what happened to each of the women in post wartime and of their subseuent marriages and lives Tellingly all three women did not go on to have further children; meaning those babies born to the imprisoned women share a special bond to this day Powerful and unforgettable It was a privilege to read about these courageous women As with most books about the World War II concentration camps this is a difficult book to read However this one is different because there is a good outcome for the three women highlighted in this book Each of these three women through good luck or miracle or whatever you want to call it survived Auschwitz and were sent to Mauthausen were they survived until the war ended All three women Priska Rachel and Anka were in their early pregnancies when they were first sent to Auschwitz and were wise enough not to share that information Their stories were horrible and its amazing that they were able to deliver healthy babies The three women never knew each other at the camps but the three children connected as adults and this is the story that they shared with Wendy Holden The author did an amazing job of pulling the stories together and getting information on the three women's early history All three women lost the majority of their families and their husbands in the camps but they each had a child who survived under unbelievable circumstances Even though its a very heart breaking and sad story there is a real sense of survival at the end of it Its a must read book for people who like reading about this time period in history The harrowing true accounts here follow the lives of three amazing women Anka Priska and Rachel all of whom against the odds survive the horrors of the Holocaust death camps and even miraculously give birth while imprisoned and manage to keep their babies alive A tribute to the indefatigable human spirit embodied by these women who somehow managed to persevere the truly unimaginable As with most books of this type not for the sueamish I wish this book had a compelling title It is an excellent book which I highly recommend 5 stars This book simply put moved me I'm not Jewish As far as I know none of my relatives perished during the Holocaust In fact aside from telling the stories contained within these pages the events affect me not at all Yet it does When I was 16 my parents took me to Germany Specifically to Dachau There I met a man named Martin He was a Polish officer who refused to support the Third Reich He walked me through the camp pointing at things and saying They hung my father from that tree just before liberation I was mortified However I have never forgotten the inked numbers on his arm or the horror that he lived I won't either Martin's story was horrific It was tragic It was Hell However the story that I just read about Rachel Anka and Priska is so much demonic Holden describes the trains in such detail that you can smell the unwashed bodies and human waste She enables the reader to look up in the sky and see the flames coming from the chimneys and you can taste the human ash that falls like snow You feel the birthing pains the fear the hopelessness and the determination Born Survivors is so much than an account of three women and the Holocaust that tried to kill them This is a memorial to every victim and every survivor This is proof that the human spirit can and does overcome everything Broken hearts do mend and hope thrives even in the darkest of places The three babies born into madness saved humanity in that moment In reality I am so moved by this piece that I am having a hard time putting the emotions into words I'll put it this way This isn't a should read it's a MUST read I believe that every human being alive at this moment should stand in a concentration camp at least once Every person alive needs to see the photos and read the stories while standing where these atrocities occurred However that isn't possible I believe that this book does the same thing Holden does not sugar coat the truth She stripped it naked and exposed it to the world It's hard to accept that humans did these these to other adults To be confronted with the reality of what happened to the children and infirm is almost beyond comprehension This book forces the reader to face the evil that was the Holocaust My 13 year old son will be reading this next When my youngest is a bit older he will as well Ms Holden I have no idea how you slogged through this dark matter to write this book but you've done an amazing job Thank you I recieved an Advanced Reader Copy of this work from Goodreads The Nazis murdered their husbands but concentration camp prisoners Priska Rachel and Anka would not let evil take their unborn children too—a remarkable true story that will appeal to readers of The Lost and The Nazi Officer’s Wife Born Survivors celebrates three mothers who defied death to give their children lifeEastern Europe 1944 Three women believe they are pregnant but are torn from their husbands before they can be certain Rachel is sent to Auschwitz unaware that her husband has been shot Priska and her husband travel there together but are immediately separated Also at Auschwitz Anka hopes in vain to be reunited with her husband With the rest of their families gassed these young wives are determined to hold on to all they have left—their lives and those of their unborn babies Having concealed their condition from infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele they are forced to work and almost starved to death living in daily fear of their pregnancies being detected by the SS In April 1945 as the Allies close in the inmates are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp on a hellish seventeen day train journey On the seventieth anniversary of Mauthausen’s liberation from the Nazis by American soldiers renowned biographer Wendy Holden recounts this extraordinary story of three children united by their mothers’ unbelievable—yet ultimately successful—fight for survival Santayana's 1863 uote Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it has been my reason for reading nonfiction for most of my life Born Survivors by Wendy Holden is a perfect reminder of that A story of how three women and their newly born infants survived the Holocaust is so powerful and disturbing that I experienced emotions ranging from rage to gratitude I am continually stunned by the inhumanity and torture they endured Priska Rachel and Anka did not know each other although they were in the same camps each guarding their secret pregnancy that if known would have guaranteed their immediate death How they survived and protected their babies is a remarkable story My gratitude is due to those angels that despite being in grave danger did the morally right thing to help the prisoners when they couldespecially the Czech town of Horni Briza I highly recommend this book even though it made me cryespecially the last few chapters It's a tough read but so very important as we are now at the 70th anniversary of the liberation and those that lived it are leaving us so it's our job to remember so it doesn't happen again Book read for three different projects #Hol73; #VozesdoHolocausto; #LeiturasdoHolocausto3It seemed like an history lesson well told and well written It is hard to believe that such atrocities took place and that is why it is so important to never forget what happened paying respect to the victims and making sure that will never happen something similar No day shall erase you from the memory of TimeDespite all this I could not give the 5 stars as I read Night from Elias Wiesel before and the writing is just poetic and beautiful Plus reading stories of the Holocaust all in a row makes me feel not as shocked as I should be I am not sure if I can put it correctly in words but it makes the story seem banal Like something that happened a long time ago and will not happen again I do prefer non fiction over fiction regarding Holocaust as it makes it fair to the survivors This is a very strong story of courage endurance and faith in life will to survive and family ties that despite all the adversities it is possible to keep on living Today's post is on Born Survivors Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage Defiance and Hope by Wendy Holden It is 400 pages long and it published by HarperCollins The cover is blue with two pieces of razor wire and three birds on it The intended reader is someone who is interested in World War II history women's history and survival against all the odds There is no language no sex and some violence in this book The story is told from third person with first person interviews letters and other first hand resources There Be Spoilers AheadFrom the back of the book A remarkable inspirational story about three expectant mothers who defied death at the hands of the Nazis to give their children lifeAmong millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II Birkenau in 1944 Priska Rachel and Anka each pass throught its infamous gates with a secret Strangers to each other they are newly pregnant and facing an uncertain fate without their husbands Alone scared and with so many loved ones already lost to the Nazis these young women are privately determined to hold on to all they have left their lives and those of their unborn babiesThat the gas chambers ran out of Zyklon B just after the babies were born before they and their mothers could be exterminated is just one of the several miracles that allowed them all to survive and rebuild their lives after World War II Born Survivors follows the mothers' incredible journey first to Auschwitz where they each came under the scrutiny of Dr Josef Mengele; then to a German slave labor camp where half starved and almost worked to death they struggled to conceal their condition; and finally as the Allies closed in their hellish train journey with thousands of other prisoners to the Mauthausen death camp in AustriaSixty five years later the three 'miracle babies' meet for the first time at Mauthausen for the anniversary of the American liberation In Born Survivors Wendy Holden brings all three stories together for the first time to mark their seventieth birthdays and the seventieth anniversary of the ending of the warReview A heartbreaking but up lifting story about survival I think knowing that the women and babies survived helped to make this story bearable The story is very intense and at times frightening These women face some of the most terrifying men and environments known and they survive Not only do they survive during but after they go on to have lives with their children grand children and great grand children The odds were against the women and their babies but they did it With help from family or friends they survived The children were born either on the way or in Mauthausen just days before the Allies freed them The death toll that they survived is always there in the background Holden will give how many people died each day before the Allies arrived The little things that went their way or against the Nazis will Everything that added up to the impossible and one incredible storyI give this book a Five out of Five stars I was given this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review Staggering facts In six years the Nazis had killed approximately two thirds of the nine and a half million Jews living in Europe as well as millions of non Jews Only 300000 of Poland's 33 million Jews had survived WWII The United States eventually accepted some 400000 refugees but denied many access to a new life here Unwelcome anywhere else in the world many Polish Jews had little alternative but to return to what was by then a Soviet puppet state With survival admittedly just a matter of luck this entirely densely written work of non fiction tackled perfectly by Author Wendy Holden takes us from the beautiful healthy grateful wealthy lives of three Jewish women and their husbands and into their fearful imprisoned tortured starved sickened unfathomable life of horrors endured in various concentration camps German factories and slave labor camps over Europe under Nazi rule while pregnant and miraculously postbirth This is an exhausting story of survival only possible due to people of compassion mothers who fought for their lives and the lives of their babies and thankfully American allied intervention and liberation in May 1945 those tanks with the white stars The rebuilding of lives where towns and sometimes entire families were destroyed is unimaginably heartbreaking The reunions between the grown children and their aged liberators are heartbreaking and inspirational The visiting of Mauthausen where three babies were secretly born and now are adult orphans walking arm and arm as forever 'siblings of the heart' is so incredibly empowering Mark Eva and Hana I always feel a duty to read Holocaust books; I'm relieved I have finished this one It's amazing to hear these stories of courageous freedoms I'm just so fiercely angry they ever had to be written at all As a previous reviewer said I am rating the author's writingnot the facts of this book This story of three holocaust survivors and their experiences in the concentration camps is harrowing All three give birth and their miracle babies meet some 65 years later This is NOT a spoilerthe information is on the book flap Should be a fascinating read right? Not so I read for three reasons 1 To learn something 2 To be entertainedenthralledcompelledintrigued 3 To enjoy the beauty of the writingThis book failed me entirely on numbers two and three I will admit that I learned about these three individual women but that's where the substance ended for me The writing is disjointed and awkward The author did a lot of research but put it together in a way that was distracting I imagine she gathered information from the three families and also gathered historical facts about the war and the camps Instead of melding it seamlessly she put the biographical background in separate chapters titled Priska Rachel and Anka and THEN filled in the historical information in a loose chronological order The result takes away from the flow of the storyNow let me bore you with some horrible careless writing or is it careless editing? Nonsensical fragment Page 128 As blocks were needed so they were made of local woodPage 187 Priska Rachel and Anka still knew nothing each other Missing OF maybe?Page 204 Edita who wept at the news that the baby had been PART named after her emphasis minePage 268 Adolf Hitler and his new bride Eva Braun SAT SIT side by sideUGH There are many errors and they distract from the story These three women SHOULD have their stories told Their survival and the survival of their babies is nothing short of miraculous The children and grandchildren SHOULD have a record of the horrors of the camps and the triumphant determination of Priska Rachel and Anka But they deserve a well written and thoughtful account and NOT a sloppy poorly edited bookPS I'm not a perfect writer and I'm sure my reviews contain errors But I'm not being paid for this either


About the Author: Wendy Holden

Wendy Holden also known as Taylor Holden is an experienced author and novelist with than thirty books already published including two novels She has had numerous works transferred to radio and television A journalist for eighteen years ten on the Daily Telegraph of London her first novel THE SENSE OF PAPER was published by Random House New York in 2006 to widespread critical acclaim


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *