Download Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance, and Hope Audiobook

Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance, and Hope Audiobook, by Wendy Holden Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Wendy Holden Narrator: Elizabeth Wiley Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781515987611
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Eastern 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, Priska gives birth. She and her baby, along with Anka, Rachel, and the remaining inmates, are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp on a hellish train journey. Rachel gives birth on the train; Anka at the camp gates. All believe they will die—then a miracle occurs. The gas chamber runs out of Zyklon-B, and as the Allied troops near, the SS flee. Against all odds, the three mothers and their newborns survive their treacherous journey to freedom.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An astonishing and deeply moving work…with remarkable detail gleaned from a wealth of research.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Born Survivors, is exceptionally fresh history, a work of prodigious original research, written with zealous empathy.”

    New York Times

  • “Packed with harrowing detail and impressively well-researched…[An] intense, powerful, and moving…testament to these three women and the miraculous survival of their children.”

    Jewish Chronicle

  • “Holden’s triple biography is packed with enough contextual information to qualify as a history lesson but makes its impression as a tale of undeniable courage and astonishing love in the face of incredible cruelty and evil.”

    Contra Costa Times

  • “Even though it occurred more than seventy years ago, the story’s truth is so chillingly portrayed that it seems as if it could have happened recently…An engrossing, intense, and highly descriptive narrative.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2018 Audie Award Finalist for Best History/Biography Narration

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About the Author

Wendy Holden is a successful journalist and fiction author. Born in Yorkshire, England, she studied English at Cambridge before becoming an editor for publications such as the Sunday Telegraph magazine, the Sunday Times style section, Apollo, and Tatler. She has written a number of books, including Gallery Girl, Marrying Up, Filthy Rich, Bad Heir Day, and others.

About the Narrator

Elizabeth Wiley, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a seasoned actor, dialect coach, and theater professor. In addition to her growing portfolio of audiobooks, her voice can be heard in The Idea of America, Colonial Williamsburg’s virtual learning curriculum; in Paul Meier’s e-textbook Speaking Shakespeare; and modeling US-English on one of the world’s top language-learning products.