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Simon & Schuster Australia acquires world rights to new Holocaust biography The Nazis Knew My Name

Simon & Schuster Australia has secured world rights to the incredible life story of Australian-Slovakian Auschwitz survivor Magda Hellinger, written by Maya Lee. 


At the age of 25, kindergarten teacher Magda Hellinger was deported from her home town in Slovakia along with 998 other young women who were some of the first Jews to be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. 


When Magda was chosen to be one of the Jewish ‘prisoner leaders’ to manage the day-to-day charge of the accommodation blocks she found herself having to tread the fine line of how to save lives – if only a few at a time – while avoiding being too ‘soft’ and likely sent to the gas chambers. Through her own inner strength and ingenuity, she was able to rise above the horror and cruelty of the camps and build pivotal relationships with the women under her watch, and some of Auschwitz’s most notorious Nazi senior officers.  


The Nazis Knew My Name is written by Magda’s daughter Maya Lee, and is based on a short account Magda wrote about her life in her eighties. Maya has spent the last five years researching her mother’s incredible life and has collected stories from other Auschwitz survivors to tell Magda’s story in full. 


Acquired by Editor Michelle Swainson, The Nazis Knew My Name is an incredible insight into human nature under the most horrific conditions, of the frailty of humanity under the pressure to survive, the power of resilience and of the goodness that can shine through even in the worst of possible situations. 


Simon & Schuster will publish The Nazis Knew My Name in trade paperback, e-book and audio in September 2021.



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