Sphere buys Holocaust survivors' story

Sphere buys Holocaust survivors' story

Sphere has acquired an "incredible" true Holocaust story "about three pregnant women who defied death to give life".

Non-fiction publishing director Adam Strange acquired world rights minus North America in Born Survivors directly from author Wendy Holden, who wrote Haatchi & Little B, the story of how a rescue dog helped a boy with a rare genetic disorder.

Born Survivors follows three women who survived "the selection process at Auschwitz, slave labour in a Dresden armaments factory, and a hellish 17-day train transport to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, giving birth before, during, and right at the end of that journey".

They kept their babies safe in the dying days of the war until they were able to escape and rebuild their lives in Europe, Israel and America.

The "babies" only discovered one another and the remarkable history they share when they visited Mauthausen independently in 2010 to mark the anniversary of the camp’s liberation and their own 65th birthdays.

Strange called the book a "truly unique narrative".

Sphere will publish in hardback in May next year, when the three children will 'return' to the camp for the 70th anniversary of its liberation.

It has also ready sold Italian, French, Dutch and Danish rights on a pre-emptive basis.