Born Survivors: In Conversation with Eva Clarke and Wendy Holden – LECTURE

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Date / time: 1 February, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

St Albans Cathedral

Born Survivors: In Conversation with Eva Clarke and Wendy Holden - LECTURE


Among the millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944, three young women pass through the concentration camp’s infamous gates with a secret. Separated from their husbands, they are newly pregnant, alone, and terrified. With so many loved ones already lost, these three mothers are determined to hold onto all they have left – their lives and those of their unborn babies.

The international bestselling book Born Survivors follows their incredible journey – first to Birkenau, where they come under the eagle-eyed scrutiny of Dr. Josef Mengele who asks each of them, ‘Are you pregnant, pretty woman?’ then to a slave labour camp where they are half-starved and almost worked to death. Struggling to hide their condition as the Allies close in, they are finally sent on a hellish 17-day train journey with thousands of other prisoners to the Mauthausen death camp in Austria to be gassed.

Bestselling author and historian Wendy Holden will be discussing this unique and inspirational story with Eva Clarke, one of the babies to survive. Now 78, and living in Cambridge, she is a voice of the voiceless and, quite soon, will be among the last ever living survivors of the Holocaust.

Wendy Holden was a journalist for eighteen years, including a decade at the Daily Telegraph where she worked as a foreign and war correspondent. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, she is author and the co-author of more than thirty books, including several bestselling wartime biographies, including Tomorrow to be Brave, Till the Sun Grows Cold, and Behind Enemy Lines.

Eva Clarke was born at the gates of Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, on 29th April 1945 – the day after the gas ran out. She and her mother Anka were the only survivors of their family, 15 members of whom were killed. After the war, the pair settled in the UK.

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