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.
A PEN America Literary Award Finalist
A Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee
An Amazon Best of the Year Selection
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.
“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 on April 21, 2022.]