Born Survivors - St Helen's Enterprises
Loading Events

An Evening with Wendy Holden and Eva Clarke BEM

Join us on Thursday 13th October for our first Book Club event, featuring Born Survivors author Wendy Holden. The book tells an inspirational and emotional story of resilience and maternal courage, as three pregnant women fight for survival in concentration camps during the Holocaust.

Former journalist Wendy is a novelist, non-fiction author, historical biographer and ghostwriter, and we’re honoured to host her for what will be a poignant and fascinating event. She’ll be joined by Eva Clarke BEM, one of the babies born at the gates of a concentration camp 77 years ago.

The evening will be presented by author, broadcaster and podcast host Joe Haddow. Joe runs the Radio 2 Book Club, chairs literary events across the country and is the host of the popular Book Off! podcast.

Tickets are £10 each — book here and join us for what promises to be a moving and fascinating evening.

About Born Survivors

A heart-stopping account of how three pregnant women fought to survive the Holocaust, Born Survivors is a life-affirming celebration of the human capacity to love amid inconceivable cruelty.

Among millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944, Priska, Rachel, and Anka each passed through its infamous gates with a secret. Strangers to each other, they were newly pregnant, and facing an uncertain fate without their husbands. Alone, scared, and with so many loved ones already lost to the Nazis, these young women were privately determined to hold on to all they had left: their lives, and those of their unborn babies.

That the gas chambers ran out of Zyklon-B just after the babies were born, before they and their mothers could be exterminated, is just one of several miracles that allowed them all to survive and rebuild their lives after World War II. Born Survivors follows the mothers’ incredible journey – first to Auschwitz, where they each came under the murderous scrutiny of Dr. Josef Mengele; then to a German slave labour camp where, half-starved and almost worked to death, they struggled to conceal their condition; and finally, as the Allies closed in, their hellish 17-day train journey with thousands of other prisoners to the Mauthausen death camp in Austria. Hundreds died along the way but the courage and kindness of strangers, including guards and civilians, helped save these women and their children.

65 years later, the three ‘miracle babies’ met for the first time at Mauthausen for the anniversary of the liberation that ultimately saved them. United by their remarkable experiences of survival against all odds, they now consider each other “siblings of the heart.” In Born Survivors, Wendy Holden brings all three stories together. This special commemorative edition marks their seventy-fifth birthdays and the 75th anniversary of the ending of the war.

Originally published in 2015, Born Survivors is an international bestseller, published in twenty-two countries and translated into sixteen languages.

About Our Speakers

Wendy Holden was a journalist for 18 years, including a decade at the Daily Telegraph where she worked as a foreign and war correspondent. She is author and the co-author of more than 30 books, including several bestselling wartime biographies, including Tomorrow to be Brave, Till the Sun Grows Cold, and Behind Enemy Lines.

Eva Clarke BEM was born at the gates of Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, on 29th April 1945 – the day after the gas ran out. She and her mother Anka were the only survivors of their family, 15 members of whom were killed. After the war, the pair settled in the UK. Today, Eva travels all around the country and beyond telling her mother’s story on behalf of the Holocaust Education Trust.


In association with Chorleywood Bookshop

Circular blue logo with three books and the text 'Chiltern Bookshops'

Thu 13 Oct


Book Club St Helen’s School 7:00pm

Book Your Place