Spalding bookshop’s choice of a good read

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Bookmark in Spalding has selected Born Survivors by Wendy Holden as its book of the week.

Priska, Rachel and Anka were among millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944 and they each passed through its infamous gates with a secret.

Strangers to each other, they were 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 were privately determined to hold on to all they had left: their lives, and those of their unborn babies.

The gas chambers ran out of Zyklon-B just after the babies were born, before they and their mothers could be exterminated, just one of several miracles that allowed them to survive and rebuild their lives after World War II.

Born Survivors follows the mothers’ incredible journey from Auschwitz, to a German slave labour camp and finally, as the Allies closed in, their hellish 17-day train journey with thousands of other prisoners to the Mauthausen death camp in Austria.

A heart-stopping account of how three mothers and their newborns fought to survive the Holocaust, Born Survivors is also a life-affirming celebration of our capacity to care and to love amid inconceivable cruelty.

The book retails for £7.99 but there is a 20 per cent off voucher to be used at Bookmark in the Spalding Guardian of October 22.