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Virtual Book Talk – Franci’s War with Helen Epstein

Date(s) - Tuesday, February 2nd
12:00 pm CST - 1:00 pm CST


dsc0801-version-2Franci’s War: A Woman’s Story of Survival is an engrossing memoir of a spirited and glamorous young fashion designer who survived World War ll, presented by her daughter, Helen Epstein.

In the summer of 1942, twenty-two year-old Franci Rabinek–designated a Jew by the Nazi racial laws–arrived at Terezin, a concentration camp and ghetto forty miles north of her home in Prague. It would be the beginning of her three-year journey from Terezin to the Czech family camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, to the slave labor camps in Hamburg, and Bergen Belsen. After liberation by the British in April 1945, she finally returned to Prague.

Franci was known in her group as the Prague dress designer who lied to Dr. Mengele at an Auschwitz selection, saying she was an electrician, an occupation that both endangered and saved her life. In this memoir, she offers her intense, candid, and sometimes funny account of those dark years, with the women prisoners in her tight-knit circle of friends.

Franci’s War is the powerful testimony of one incredibly strong young woman who endured the horrors of the Holocaust and survived.

Register to get access to the Zoom session.
This program is free and open to the public.
Please consider donating whatever amount you can to support the Museum’s mission.


Buy Franci’s War: A Woman’s Story of Survival from Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Online Store, offering curbside pickup and shipping.

About Helen Epstein 

Helen Epstein ( is a veteran journalist and author who has published ten books of non-fiction, including the trilogy Children of the HolocaustWhere She Came From, and The Long Half-Lives of Love and TraumaHer annotated edition of her mother’s memoir Franci’s War has been published in nine countries. She lives in Massachusetts.

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