Atlantic Books

The Twentieth Train

  • Publish Date: 2004-07-08
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Marion Schreiber

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'This book is a memorial to a lost generation' Daily Telegraph On 19 April 1943, three young men stopped a train. The train was transporting 1,631 Jews from the Belgian town of Mechelen to Auschwitz. Equipped only with four pairs of pliers, a hurricane lamp covered in red paper and a single pistol, Youra Livchitz, Jean Frankelmon and Robert Maistriau carried out a plan that had been hatched by Jewish members of the resistance but rejected as too dangerous by the armed partisans.The three of them managed to free seventeen men and women before the German guards opened fire. By the time the convoy had reached the German border another 214 prisoners had managed to escape. The Nazi search for the rescuers was swift and brutal. Youra was denounced, tortured and shot in 1944. Robert and Jean were arrested too but managed to survive the concentration camps.Marion Schreiber's gripping book draws on private documents, archive material and police reports, as well as original research, including interviews with escapees, to create a vivid, and often very moving, portrait of this event, and the world that engendered it.

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