Author: Anne Nelson
Publication Date: November 2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher
Thankyou to Allen and Unwin and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read “CODENAME SUZETTE” an Extraordinary Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi Paris” written by Anne Nelson.
This is a story of Suzanne Spaak ( nee Lorge).
Suzanne was the daughter of a wealthy Belgian Catholic family.
Suzanne was wife to Claude Spaak, whose family was influential in Belgian politics.
Suzanne was mother to two children Pilette and Bazou.
The Spaaks lived the high life in Paris with wealthy and influential friends. Her fortune enabled her to be involved in humanitarian projects prior to the war. The Spaaks plan to leave France before the Germans occupy Paris. In a series of unplanned delays they arrive too late at Bordeaux, now occupied by the Germans, to sail to America.
They return to occupied Paris. Suzanne had a Jewish friend and her plight influenced her to join the resistance. Suzanne used her own wealth and social status to enlist allies. Suzanne and women from Jewish and Christian Resistance groups managed to “kidnap” hundreds of Jewish children from Orphanages, saving them from the Auschwitz gas chambers. The children were hidden within families around the country. Her wealth enabled the families and children to be fed.
It is an amazing true story. Even though it is told in a historical, factual way, the book is still able to be read like a novel. The book includes photos and letters and has been amazingly researched. I especially liked the photo of her children Pilette and Bazou taken in Paris in 2015. That they were able to contribute to their Mother’s story, as were some of the “hidden” children.
The Holocaust should never be forgotten from history.
The story of Suzanne Spaak and the resistance members, their courage, bravery and sacrifice should always be remembered.
Thoroughly recommend this book. 4 ½ stars.
This review was written by our Beauty and Lace Club Member, Anne Steer. Thank you Anne for sharing your thoughts with us.