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Heather Dune Macadam illuminates memory of Auschwitz's 'first women'

"Telling the story of these women has been a big part of my journey as a human being," author claims of novel recently translated into Catalan

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13 February 2020 08:19 PM

by

Pau Cortina and Manuela López | Barcelona

In March of 1942 in Poprad, Czechoslovakia, about a thousand Jewish women boarded a train under the impression that they would be pursuing job opportunities advertised to them by the German government.

It was only upon reaching their final destination that the horror of their situation would sink in — arriving at the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

This deception marked the first official transport of Jews to these Nazi camps, a group that was entirely female.

This voyage and the victims involved are not very well known figures in the historical documentation of the Holocaust — something that American author and documentary filmmaker Heather Dune Macadam focuses on in her latest work.

Telling the story 

Macadam explains that, "Young women are the first targets of war, not just the Holocaust," and expands upon this idea in her new novel, '999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz.'

In it, she details the stories of the victims of this voyage, and what they witnessed throughout their time in the camp.

The book has been translated into 12 languages, with a recent release in Catalan by publisher Comanegra.

The book is a compilation of interviews with witnesses, survivors, and family members as well as historical documents, literature, and memoirs, and required a writing and research process that Macadam describes as "an honor."

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  • Close-up of American writer and documentary artist, Heather Dune Macadam, author of '999. The first women of Auschwitz ' (by Pau Cortina)

  • Close-up of American writer and documentary artist, Heather Dune Macadam, author of '999. The first women of Auschwitz ' (by Pau Cortina)

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