Sabine’s War: The Incredible True Story of a Resistance Fighter Who Survived Three Concentration Camps by Eva Taylor
An astonishing tale of romance, resistance and bravery
Sabine’s War is the previously untold story of a remarkable resistance fighter and her incredible story of survival against the odds.
When Germany invaded Holland in May 1940, Sabine Zuur joined the resistance movement without a moment’s hesitation aged just 22. Helping to hide those avoiding the German authorities, she was soon betrayed and subjected to repeated violent interrogations. Many of her friends were executed but Sabine was instead sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp, via the Amersfoort and Ravensbrück camps. Enduring gruelling conditions and backbreaking forced manual labour, she survived through a combination of guile and good fortune.
But it was only after Sabine’s death that her daughter Eva discovered an archive of letters detailing her extraordinary life, revealing a rich inner world and a past she had discussed little. Amongst them were declarations of love from pilot Taro, shot down in his Spitfire over northern France aged just 26; notes from Sabine’s second love Gerard, executed by the Germans; letters to her mother smuggled out in her prison laundry; and passionate, creepy missives from a German professional criminal named Gebele who would ultimately save Sabine’s life. She emerges from this correspondence as a woman with an indefinable aura, somehow in control of her own destiny even when to all intents and purposes she was not.
A transfixing story of survival, Sabine’s War captures a remarkable life in the words of the young woman who lived it.
Today is my spot on the blog tour for Sabine’s War by Eva Taylor (Harper North) which is published tomorrow 31st March. This is the true story of Sabine Zuur a brave Dutch resistance fighter, her story is told by her daughter Eva Taylor after she discovered an archive of letters and photographs after Sabine’s death. The letters detailed her incredible life as a resistance fighter in Holland.
Sabine Zuur was born in Samarang, Java, Indonesia in 1918 and the family moved to Holland in the early 1930’s. In the letters the Eva discovered, she manages to put together her mother’s life. As the Second World War engulfed Europe, Sabine was in love with Taro who was a fighter pilot flying Spitfires and Taro was shot down while on active service over France. Sabine like many others joined the Dutch resistance when the Nazis occupied the Netherlands in May 1940, Sabine was just 22 years-old at this time. One of her roles was to hide those that needed shelter from the Nazi regime now in control in Holland. This was a dangerous position to be in and soon Sabine was betrayed by those that colluded with the Germans.
Sabine Zuur now faced a brutal period at the hands of her Nazi interrogators as they sought to find others in the group. Sabine was not just brave she was courageous to face what she endured, but not she was to face two years in concentration camps, she was first in Amersfoot, and then Ravensbrück before being marched to Mauthausen concentration camp situated in Upper Austria. Many of her friends were executed and a number of times she believed that she was next. Sabine faced terrifying conditions with forced manual labour and little food.
Sabine managed to smuggle out letters to her mother. But it was a German criminal by the name of Gebele that despite the fact that he seemed to send Sabine terrifying letters it was he who ultimately saved Sabine’s life. The fact that she managed to survive at all is an incredible story and a powerful story at that. Sabine Zuur was brave and courageous, and her story needed to be told for future generations to understand. Sabine’s War is a remarkable story of survival against the odds.
My thanks to Sofia Saghir (Midas PR) for the review Copy of Sabine’s War by Eva Taylor which is Published by Harper North on 31st March 2022 and is now available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org
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