Heather Dune Macadam

999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Transport to Auschwitz

Award-winning author Heather Dune Macadam, on her book, 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Transport to Auschwitz, which takes on the wrenching detail of how these young women were sold by their government for 500 Reich Marks (about $200) apiece to the Nazis as slave labor. Of those 999 innocent deportees, only a few would survive.

The untold story of some of WW2’s most hidden figures and the heartbreaking tragedy that unites them all. Readers of Born Survivors and A Train Near Magdeburg will devour the tragic tale of the first 999 women in Auschwitz concentration camp. This is the hauntingly resonant true story that everyone should know.

On March 25, 1942, nearly a thousand young, unmarried Jewish women, many of them teenagers, boarded a train in Poprad, Slovakia. Believing they were going to work in a factory for a few months, they were eager to report for government service and left their parents’ homes wearing their best clothes and confidently waving good-bye. Instead, the young women were sent to Auschwitz. Only a few would survive. Now acclaimed author Heather Dune Macadam reveals their stories, drawing on extensive interviews with survivors, and consulting with historians, witnesses, and relatives of those first deportees to create an important addition to Holocaust literature and women’s history.

A PEN America Literary Award Finalist
A Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee
An Amazon Best of the Year Selection

“Intimate and harrowing. . . . This careful, sympathetic history illuminates an incomprehensible human tragedy.” —Publishers Weekly

“Against the backdrop of World War II, this respectful narrative presents a compassionate and meticulous remembrance of the young women profiled throughout. Recommended for all collections.” —Library Journal

“Staggering . . . profound. [Macadam’s] book also offers insight into the passage of these women into adulthood, and their children, as ‘secondhand survivors.'” —Gail Sheehy, New York Times bestselling author of Passages and Daring: My Passages

“Heather Dune Macadam’s 999 reinstates the girls to their rightful place in history.” —Foreword Reviews

“An important addition to the annals of the Holocaust, as well as women’s history. Not everyone could handle such material, but Heather Dune Macadam is deeply qualified, insightful, and perceptive.” —Susan Lacy, creator of the American Masters series and filmmaker

“The story of these teenage girls is truly extraordinary. Congratulations to Heather Dune Macadam for enabling the rest of us to sit down and just marvel at how on earth they did it.” —Anne Sebba, New York Times bestselling author of Les Parisiennes and That Woman

“An important contribution to the literature on women’s experiences.” —Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, founder and executive director, Remember the Women Institute

[Recorded April 21 2022.]

Link to Book at Bookstore

History Camp Authors

    America's Summer Roadtrip 2020

      Heather Dune Macadam (Photo by Chip Cooper)

      Heather Dune Macadam (999thebook.com | Twitter) is the acclaimed author of 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz and Rena’s Promise: A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz. A board member of the Cities of Peace: Auschwitz and the director and president of the Rena’s Promise Foundation, her work in the battle against Holocaust denial have been recognized by Yad Vashem in the UK and Israel, the USC Shoah Foundation, the National Museum of Jewish History in Bratislava, Slovakia, and the Panstowe Museum of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland. Ms. Macadam is a NYSCA fellow and was recently awarded a grant from the Royal Society of Authors. Ms. Macadam has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and received a Presidential Grant for Research from Savannah College of Art and Design and a PEN American stipend. She is the Producer and Director of the documentary film, 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz and her work has been featured in National Geographic, on PBS, and other major media outlets. facebook.com/999themovie

      More on these topics and by these presenters

      More from History Camp