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  • Published: 6 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448156788
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

A Train in Winter

A Story of Resistance, Friendship and Survival in Auschwitz

A moving and extraordinary book about courage and survival, friendship and endurance - a portrait of ordinary women who faced the horror of war together.

On an icy dawn morning in Paris in January 1943, a group of 230 French women resisters were rounded up from the Gestapo detention camps and sent on a train to Auschwitz - the only train, in the four years of German occupation, to take women of the resistance to a death camp. Of the group, 49 survivors would return to France.

Here is the story of these women - told for the first time. A Train in Winter is a portrait of ordinary people, of their bravery and endurance, and of the friendships that kept so many of them alive.

Longlisted for the 2012 Orwell Prize.

  • Published: 6 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448156788
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

About the author

Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead is the biographer of Bertrand Russell, Freya Stark, Iris Origo and Martha Gellhorn. Her book on the French Resistance, Village of Secrets, was a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2014. Her most recent book, A Bold and Dangerous Family, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award. She lives in London.

Also by Caroline Moorehead

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Praise for A Train in Winter

This serious and heartfelt book does deliver on its promise of a tale of how female friendship "can make the difference between living and dying"... Profound

Brian Schofield, Sunday Times

A harrowing but also uplifting shared story of friendship, courage and endurance


A story of stunning courage, generosity and hope. They risked their lives to defeat Fascism, by printing subversive literature, hiding Jewish friends or, in the case of one girl, simply insulting a French youth because he had decided to co-operate with the Nazis. The price they paid for their bravery was terrible. A Train in Winter could have been a sad, almost morbid book. In Moorehead's expert hands it is a triumphant one

Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

Compassionate, meticulous and compulsively enthralling... This book is essential reading. The litany of names at the end, with their brief biographies (Yolande, Cecile, Poupette, Mitzy, Lucie...) reminds us weeping is not enough. It bears witness - and warns

Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

Moorehead tells her appalling story in measured prose that sets off perfectly the reader's growing sense of wonder that such heroism is possible


A remarkable and deeply affecting book

Oxford Times

A boom which contains a wealth of historical information as well as some brilliant if horrific storytelling

John Laughland, Spectator

A pitch-perfect study of human depravity, and of the heroism it can inspire

Maggie Fergusson, Intelligent Life

With A Train in Winter [Caroline Moorehead] has managed to pay tribute and tell the women's compelling story'


A multiple biography and a detailed anatomy of the nature of friendship... A Train in Winter is a powerful and moving book; its significance is in bringing to a wider, non-French readership the particular and terrible fate of a group of women whose only crime was to love their country and to wish to do something to defend it, at a time when its government chose craven obedience to the occupier, with terrible consequences for so many of its people

Natasha Lehrer, Times Literary Supplement

This is a clear-sighted, distressing and unforgettable book

Stephanie Cross, The Lady

A harrowing but also uplifting story of shared story of friendship, courage and endurance

Boyd Tonkin, Independent, Books of the Year

It is an exceptional achievement on the author's part to have reconstructed these obscure lives that so often ended in sordid misery and to have restored their dignity and honour

Patrick Marnham, Literary Review

An outstanding and important book, compelling and deeply troubling

Peter Eade, Country Life

A hybrid of history and multiple biography, movingly chronicles the women's ordeal... [it] bears eloquent witness to the moral and material ruin of collaborationist in France

Ian Thomson, Seven

A remarkable achievement of biographical and oral research and with a brilliant narrative and description

History Today

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