Codename Suzette: An extraordinary story of resistance and rescue in Nazi Paris
The thrilling and previously untold true story of Suzanne Spaak, who abandoned her life of opulence to save the Jewish children of Occupied Paris during the Second World War.
Suzanne Spaak was born into an affluent Belgian Catholic family and married into the country's leading political dynasty. Her brother-in-law was the prime minister while her husband Claude was a playwright and patron of the painter René Magritte. In occupied Paris she was part of the cultural elite and a neighbour of Colette and Jean Cocteau. 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.
Codename Suzette is a masterpiece of research and narrative, bringing to life a truly remarkable woman and painting a vivid and unforgettable picture of wartime 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.