The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: Virtual Author Event
September 23 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
British novelist and historian Lucy Adlington powerfully chronicles the stories of the women who used their sewing skills to survive the Holocaust, stitching beautiful clothes in an extraordinary fashion workshop within Auschwitz concentration camp. Drawing on diverse sources, The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive (Harper Paperbacks; On Sale: September 14, 2021; $17.99) follows the journeys of these brave women and offers a new look at a little-known aspect of World War II history.
At the height of the Holocaust, twenty-three young inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp—mainly Jewish women and girls—were selected to design, cut, and sew clothes for elite Nazi women in a dedicated fashion workshop. This workshop—called the Upper Tailoring Studio—was established by Hedwig Höss, the camp commandant’s wife, and patronized by the wives of SS guards and officers. The women hoped that the work of producing high-quality garments for SS social functions in Auschwitz and for the women of Nazi Berlin’s upper crust would spare them from the gas chambers.
In researching this book, Adlington spoke to sources from across Europe, the US, the UK and Israel and interviewed the descendants of the seamstresses as well as the last surviving seamstress herself. Drawing on previously unpublished testimonies and photographs, The Dressmakers of Auschwitz tells the stories of these resilient and courageous women, some of whom had a greater involvement in resistance within Auschwitz than was previously known.
Haunting and inspirational, The Dressmakers of Auschwitz memorializes the powerful and little-known tale of these seamstresses and the way they interacted with others in the camp: prisoners and Nazis alike.
“Lucy Adlington tells of the horrors of the Nazi occupation and the concentration camps from a fascinating and original angle. She introduces us to a little known aspect of the period, highlighting the role of clothes in the grimmest of societies imaginable and giving an insight into the women who stayed alive by stitching.” — Alexandra Shulman, Former Editor in Chief of British Vogue
About the Author:
Lucy Adlington is a British novelist and historian with more than twenty years’ experience researching social history and writing fiction and non-fiction for YA and adult readers.
Co-sponsored by the Avon Library, Avon Historical Society, and Jewish Historical Society
Three copies of the book, plus a membership to the Jewish Historical Society, and a membership to the Avon Historical Society, will be given away during this event!