Codename Suzette: An extraordinary story of resistance and rescue in Nazi Paris
Suzanne Spaak was born into the Belgian Catholic ruling class and married into the country's leading political family. Her brother-in-law was the Foreign Minister and her husband Claude was a playwright and patron of the painter Renee Magritte. Having moved to Paris in the late 1930s she appeared to part of the elite. Her neighbour was Collette, 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.In the final year of the Occupation Suzanne was caught in the Gestapo dragnet that was pursuing a Soviet agent she had aided. She was executed shortly before the liberation of Paris. Suzanne Spaak is honoured in Israel as one of the Righteous Among Nations.'During the German occupation of France, Suzanne Spaak displayed almost super-human courage, setting up an elaborate network to save Jewish children while working with numerous resistance groups. 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'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'At a time when we most need heroes, Anne Nelson gives us Suzanne Spaak, an undiscovered heroine of the French Resistance.' Kati Marton, New York Times bestselling author of True Believer and Enemies of the People'One person of courage can make a difference. But, as Nelson's gripping book shows, doing the right thing can also come at a price.' Alan Riding, author of And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris
Anne Nelson is an award-winning author and playwright. She is the author of Codename Suzette; Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler; Murder Under Two Flags: The US, Puerto Rico, and the Cerro Maravilla Cover-up; and The Guys: A Play. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Harper's, BBC, CBC, NPR, and PBS. Nelson is a graduate of Yale University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She teaches at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs in New York City.