Zoom January Book Club

January Book Club


Join us on January 5, at 6:30 pm with the author, Sophie Hodorowicz, to discuss her book "Wearing the Letter P".

This ticket is for in-person registration only.

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About the Book

In this unflinching, detailed portrait of a forgotten group of Nazi forced labor survivors, author Sophie Horodowicz Knab reveals the personal stories of hundreds of Polish women who were forced to leave their homes to work in Nazi German factories and farms during World War II. From sexual assault, starvation, and illness to tremendous physical and psychological trauma, these women's atrocities have never been fully explored until now.

Required to sew a large letter "P" onto the "i" jackets, thousands of women, some as young as 12, were taken from their homes in Poland and forced to work in Hitler's GeHitler'sr months and years. As mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters, female Polish forced laborers faced a unique set of challenges and often unspeakable conditions because of their gender. Compelled to learn more about her mother's experience as a forced laborer, Sophie Hodorowicz Knab embarked on a personal quest to uncover details about this overlooked aspect of World War II history. She conducted extensive research in archives in the U.S., London, and Warsaw for over 14 years to piece together facts and individual stories.

Knab explains how it all happened, from the beginning of Nazi occupation in Poland to liberation: the roundups; the horrors of transit camps; the living and working conditions of Polish women in agriculture and industry; and the anguish of sexual exploitation and forced abortions―all under the constant threat of concentration camps. Knab draws from documents, government and family records, rare photos, and most importantly, numerous victim accounts and diaries, letters, and trial testimonies, finally giving these women a voice and bringing to light the atrocities they endured.

About the Author

They were born in Germany's Displaced Persons camp after World War II. Her parents were among the millions of Poles who had been taken from Poland against their will and made to work in Germany as forced laborers. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1954, and she grew up American with its popsicles and roller skates but also with Poland's language, customs, and traditions. In 1980, she visited Poland for the first time, which changed her life. If there is a constant thread that weaves itself through her adult life, it would be her passion for Poland - its customs and traditions, culture, and history. It is the basis for all her writing.


January Book Club