February 2012        


A train in winter

Books Caroline Moorehead, A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship and Resistance in Occupied France (New York: Harper, 2011; ISBN 978-0-06-165070-3; $28). I read this book over the Christmas period. I could not put it down, as it is an account of women, mainly communist women, who initially fought against the Nazis and the filthy French traitors who helped the Germans during that country’s terrible occupation in the period 1940–44.
     The book reminded me of books I had read more than twenty years ago that dealt with the Holocaust. The book is also an inspiration to those of us who fight daily against the disgraceful politics that keep our people in poverty.
     The book describes the sickening, cruel and barbaric nature of the Nazis and is a stark reminder—if one was needed—of what can happen when fascism takes control. It also reveals the major role played by transnational companies in using human beings for experiments, for example IG Farben, Siemens, and many others.
     For me, as a member of the Communist Party, it was in a strange way inspirational as well as a harsh lesson about how the major powers after the Second World War have wanted to bury the past and above all the heroic role of the Red Army in liberating so many people throughout Europe. [PD]

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