In Victoria’s War, Hamilton gives voice to the courageous Polish women who were kidnapped into the real-life Nazi slave labor operation during WWII. Inspired by true stories, this lost chapter of history won’t soon be forgotten.
POLAND, 1939: Nineteen-year-old Victoria Darski is eager to move away to college: her bags are packed and her train ticket is in hand. But instead of boarding a train to the University of Warsaw, she finds her world turned upside down when World War II breaks out. Victoria’s father is sent to a raging battlefront, and the Darski women must face the cruelty of the invaders alone. When Victoria decides to go to a resistance meeting with her best friend, Sylvia, they are captured by human traffickers targeting Polish teenagers. Sylvia is sent to work in a brothel, and Victoria is transported by cattle car to Berlin, where she is auctioned off as a slave.
GERMANY, 1941: Twenty-year-old Etta Tod is at Mercy Hospital about to undergo involuntary sterilization because of the Fuhrer’s mandate to eliminate hereditary deafness. Etta, an artist, silently critiques the propaganda poster on the waiting room wall while her mother tries to convince her she should be glad to get rid of her monthlies. Etta is the daughter of the German shopkeepers who buy Victoria at auction in Berlin.
The stories of Victoria and Etta intertwine in the bakery’s attic where Victoria is held—the same place where Etta has hidden her anti-Nazi paintings. The two women form a quick and enduring bond. But when they’re caught stealing bread from the bakery and smuggling it to a nearby work camp, everything changes.
“Victoria’s War is a compelling story of a young Polish woman caught in the vise of the German invasion of Poland at the opening salvo of World War II. Written in an engaging literary style that captures the textures of Polish life, Catherine Hamilton’s gripping novel is a must read!”
— Dr. Richard C. Lukas, author of Did the Children Cry? and The Forgotten Holocaust
“Some stories that need to be told are never told. They languish in a limbo of forgotten stories that should never have been forgotten. Catherine Hamilton’s novel Victoria’s War resurrects one of these stories. In language intimate and natural and yet touched by the poetry of truth, Hamilton tells the story of a young girl who is the victim of war. Too often, we think only of the men who go to war, do heroic things. We forget the other victims and heroes of war, the women like Victoria in this brilliant novel.”
— John Guzlowski, author of the award-winning Echoes of Tattered Tongues