Michael Joseph is posthumously publishing the memoir of a Jewish dressmaker who survived three concentration camps.
Rejected for publication in the 1970s, Franci’s War tells author Franci Rabinek Epstein's story, from her life in occupied Prague with her family and running her successful couture business to being deported to Terezin. The book follows her three-year journey through several concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.
UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by editorial director Jillian Taylor from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein and the book will be publish in hardback on 2nd April 2020, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.
Taylor said: "This is an urgent, heartbreakingly fearless memoir. Franci possessed a rare capacity to record the heaviest of emotions – guilt, loneliness, love, loyalty and courage during the darkest of moments – whilst never letting go of her own humanity. Her ability to shed light on the experience of women in these camps is as inspiring as it is shocking. That Franci survived is astonishing. That she chose to tell her story is courageous. I am honoured to be bringing her testimony to readers."
Epstein died in New York in 1989 aged 69 with her memoir still unpublished. Michael Joseph said her daughter, journalist Helen Epstein, was crucial to the memoir’s publication.
Helen Epstein, who will promote the book in the UK from 14th–16th April, said: "My mother believed that what happened in Nazi Germany during the 1930s could happen anywhere, any time. I believe she would have recognised that it is again happening in our time."