• The Sisters of Auschwitz

  • The True Story of Two Jewish Sisters’ Resistance in the Heart of Nazi Territory
  • By: Roxane van Iperen
  • Narrated by: Susan Hoffman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (205 ratings)

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The Sisters of Auschwitz

By: Roxane van Iperen
Narrated by: Susan Hoffman
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Publisher's Summary

The unforgettable story of two unsung heroes of World War II: sisters Janny and Lien Brilleslijper who joined the Dutch Resistance, helped save dozen of lives, were captured by the Nazis, and ultimately survived the Holocaust.

Eight months after Germany’s invasion of Poland, the Nazis roll into The Netherlands, expanding their reign of brutality to the Dutch. But by the Winter of 1943, resistance is growing. Among those fighting their brutal Nazi occupiers are two Jewish sisters, Janny and Lien Brilleslijper from Amsterdam. Risking arrest and death, the sisters help save others, sheltering them in a clandestine safehouse in the woods they called “The High Nest”.

This secret refuge would become one of the most important Jewish safehouses in the country, serving as a hiding place and underground center for resistance partisans as well as artists condemned by Hitler. From The High Nest, an underground web of artists arises, giving hope and light to those living in terror in Holland as they begin to restore the dazzling prewar life of Amsterdam and The Hague. 

When the house and its occupants are eventually betrayed, the most terrifying time of the sisters' lives begins. As Allied troops close in, the Brilleslijper family are rushed onto the last train to Auschwitz, along with Anne Frank and her family. The journey will bring Janny and Lien close to Anne and her older sister, Margot. The days ahead will test the sisters beyond human imagination as they are stripped of everything but their courage, their resilience, and their love for each other.

Based on meticulous research and unprecedented access to the Brilleslijpers’ personal archives of memoirs, Sisters of Auschwitz is a long-overdue homage to two young women’s heroism and moral bravery - and a reminder of the power each of us has to change the world.

©2021 Roxane van Iperen (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Sisters of Auschwitz

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    3 out of 5 stars

A Miss

While the storyline could be interesting, the lack of emotion and inflection from the narrator completely ruins the audible experience. I’d recommend passing on this format and read this one yourself.

6 people found this helpful

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Narrator speaks too fast

The story is excellent and compelling. I had to slow down the narrator and then it was more enjoyable to read.

4 people found this helpful

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Not as Good As Anticipated

The narrator's choppy voice did not help the story flow like it could have. It was hard to listen to at times, especially when she groveled the German names.
The story itself is painful to hear all that happened and no one stopped it in time.
I didn't finish the audible, but will find a hard copy to finish it.

3 people found this helpful

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Great story, great research, unfortunate title

The story of two astoundingly brave sisters who risked their lives to work for the Dutch underground and create a refuge for hunted Jews in Nazi-occupied Holland, The Sisters of Auschwitz is an excellent book. Van Iperen does a beautiful job of integrating the larger picture -- the war, the Final Solution, the situation in the Netherlands -- with the intimate and breathtakingly dramatic details of these sisters' journey through the war. I am a historian of the Holocaust in the Netherlands, and I can attest to the accuracy of the meticulously researched presentation of the war in Holland and the ghastly situation for Jewish people.

In its original Dutch form, this book was called The High Nest, and it is terribly unfortunate that the English language publisher chose to retitle it as it did, because it gives away the most dramatic turn of the story, the capture and concentration camp imprisonment of the sisters. It also downplays the beating heart of the book, the sisters' transformation of a forest cottage (the "High Nest") into a shelter for Jews and an ingenious matrix of resistance activity, right in the middle of a Nazi stronghold. This retitling is likely no fault of the author, and even with the spoiling of that terrible surprise, the book is still well worth reading.

One little note for audio readers. Auschwitz is correctly pronounced Owsh-Vetz. The narrator consistently pronounces it Osh-Witch, an error that is glaring and irritating.

Brava to Roxane van Iperen for unearthing, preserving, and recounting one of the most inspiring stories of World War II.

2 people found this helpful

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excellent

loves it...kept me totally engaged the entire time. definitely recommend. a good book club book.

2 people found this helpful

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Great for pronunciation

I started reading this book but I struggled with the pronunciation of the names and locations. This is a great rendition that helped me love the story without getting lost on how to say this or that. Much recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful and strong sisters

I found it quite captivating. I was only listening to it for a library book club but now I’ll get the book to read a few things and finish my notes.

1 person found this helpful

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Great historical story

Love to hear about anything historical regarding WWII.

However, this book jumped around too much. It’s not told in chronological order. Instead each chapter is a specific time in their life throughout the war often overlapping with previous chapters. Makes it hard to follow story.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing story of resistance and resilience

These sisters were so brave, selfless, and persevered through some of the worst horrors humans have experienced at the hands of others in modern history. Historical facts sprinkled throughout so you see how their story fits into the larger WWII and Jewish persecution.

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fantastic book

loved the history of the book and determination of All in the story great compilation of information