March 7, 2019 | SuzyQ
In January 1943, the Gestapo hunted down 230 women of the French Resistance and sent them to Auschwitz. This is their story, told in full for the first time--a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship to transcend evil that is an essential addition to the history of World War II.
An epic tale of eight women whose lives -- marked by fortune and poverty, power and powerlessness -- encompass the spectacle, opportunity, and depravity of Italy's Renaissance. Lucrezia Turnabuoni, Clarice Orsini, Beatrice d'Este, Isabella d'Este, Caterina Sforza, Giulia Farnese, Isabella d'Aragona, and Lucrezia Borgia shared the riches of their birthright : wealth, political influence, and friendship, but none were not exempt from personal tragedies, exile, and poverty.
In 1871, five young girls were sent by the Japanese government to the United States. Their mission: learn Western ways and return to help nurture a new generation of enlightened men to lead Japan. Raised in traditional samurai households during the turmoil of civil war, three of these unusual ambassadors--Sutematsu Yamakawa, Shige Nagai, and Ume Tsuda--grew up as typical American schoolgirls. Upon their arrival in San Francisco they became celebrities, their travels feted by newspapers across the nation. The passionate friendships they formed reveal an intimate world of cross-cultural fascination and connection. Ten years later, they returned to Japan--a land grown foreign to them--determined to revolutionize women's education.
Eileen Nearne and her sister Jacqueline were agents for the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War, working undercover in Nazi-occupied France to send crucial intelligence to the Allies. But the war dealt these sisters a cruel hand. While Jacqueline narrowly evaded capture, Eileen was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo before being incarcerated in Ravensbruck concentration camp. She was only 23.
The tense drama of Suzanne Spaak who risked and gave her life to save hundreds of Jewish children from deportation from Nazi Paris to Auschwitz. Suzanne Spaak was born into the Belgian Catholic elite and married into the country's leading political family. In Paris in the late 1930s her friendship with a Polish Jewish refugee led her to her life's purpose. When France fell and the Nazis occupied Paris, she joined the Resistance. She used her fortune and social status to enlist allies among wealthy Parisians and church groups. Under the eyes of the Gestapo, Suzanne and women from the Jewish and Christian resistance groups "kidnapped" hundreds of Jewish children to save them from the gas chambers.