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‘During the German occupation of France, Suzanne Spaak displayed almost super-human courage… Anne Nelson has written an extraordinary book that finally does justice to Spaak’s story of heroism and sacrifice.’ —Andrew Nagorski, author of The Nazi Hunters
Codename Suzette is one of the untold stories of the Holocaust, an account of outstanding courage in the face of evil.
Suzanne Spaak was born into an affluent Belgian Catholic family, and married into the country’s leading political dynasty. Her brother-in-law was the Foreign Minister and her husband Claude was a playwright and patron of the painter Rene Magritte. In occupied Paris she moved among the cultural elite. Her neighbour was Colette, France’s most famous living writer, and Jean Cocteau was part of her circle of intimates. But Suzanne was living a double life. Her friendship with a Polish Jewish refugee led her to her life’s purpose. When France fell and the Nazis occupied Paris, she joined the Resistance. She used her fortune and social status to enlist allies among wealthy Parisians and church groups.
Under the eyes of the Gestapo, Suzanne and women from the Jewish and Christian resistance groups ‘kidnapped’ hundreds of Jewish children to save them from the gas chambers.
Codename Suzette is a masterpiece of research and narrative, bringing to life a truly remarkable woman, and painting a vivid and unforgettable picture of wartime Paris.
‘A riveting book about a truly heroic woman in a Paris of resignation and shame. A must read!’ —Diane von Furstenberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman I Wanted to Be
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