Codename Suzette

Anne Nelson

RRP: £9.99

2 August 2018

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781925266832

RRP: £17.99

4 January 2018

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781925266825

RRP: £8.99

4 January 2018

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781925575248

The thrilling and previously untold 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.


Vividly dramatises the stakes of acting morally in a time of brutality
Wall Street Journal

This heartfelt story is almost a model for how popular history should be written; it will satisfy lovers of history, Jewish history in particular.
Library Journal

A riveting book about a truly heroic woman in a Paris of resignation and shame. A must-read!
Diane von Furstenberg

Anne Nelson has written an extraordinary book that finally does justice to Spaak's story of heroism and sacrifice.Andrew Nagorski

Anne Nelson tells the story of Suzanne Spaak, an elegant Belgian aristocrat who risked her life to save Jewish children in Nazi-occupied France. Her conscience told her someone had to do something. But, as Nelson's gripping book shows, doing the right thing can also come at a price.Alan Riding

Superbly researched and sharply written.
Alan Furst on Red Orchestra

[A] haunting account of a long-neglected network... Experiences inform the deep sympathy and unsentimental compassion of Red Orchestra.
New York Times on Red Orchestra