Fran­ci’s War: A Wom­an’s Sto­ry of Survival 

  • From the Publisher
January 24, 2013

The engross­ing mem­oir of a spir­it­ed and glam­orous young fash­ion design­er who sur­vived World War ll, with an after­word by her daugh­ter, Helen Epstein.

In the sum­mer of 1942, twen­ty-two year-old Fran­ci Rabinek – des­ig­nat­ed a Jew by the Nazi racial laws – arrived at Terezin, a con­cen­tra­tion camp and ghet­to forty miles north of her home in Prague. It would be the begin­ning of her three-year jour­ney from Terezin to the Czech fam­i­ly camp in Auschwitz-Birke­nau, to the slave labor camps in Ham­burg, and Bergen Belsen. After lib­er­a­tion by the British in April 1945, she final­ly returned to Prague.

Fran­ci was known in her group as the Prague dress design­er who lied to Dr. Men­gele at an Auschwitz selec­tion, say­ing she was an elec­tri­cian, an occu­pa­tion that both endan­gered and saved her life. In this mem­oir, she offers her intense, can­did, and some­times fun­ny account of those dark years, with the women pris­on­ers in her tight-knit cir­cle of friends.

Fran­ci’s War is the pow­er­ful tes­ti­mo­ny of one incred­i­bly strong young woman who endured the hor­rors of the Holo­caust and survived.

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