La Grande Misère / Great Misery
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In 1942 Maisie Renault and her sister were arrested by the Gestapo for their work with the French Resistance. They were eventually deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany,... More > housing mainly women and children. The camp included a crematorium and a gas chamber, and was operated by the SS for profit, with inmates leased out to industries as slave labor, and used as subjects for medical experiments. By the war's end it held more than 30,000 prisoners. La grande misère is Maisie Renault's story of her nine months in this man-made hell, where brutality, starvation, sickness, filth, and degradation took a daily toll on women whose main offense was having opposed the Nazis. Maisie's story is one of loyalty, devotion, faith, endurance, and the loving and self-sacrificing support that the women gave each other, allowing some to survive the horribly cruel conditions and to testify what they saw. Jeanne Armstrong provides the first English translation of this gripping narrative.< Less
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