They looked so serene, the prisoners of the Auschwitz sewing workshop established by Hedwig Hoess, wife of the camp commandant. But as they stitched glamorous evening gowns for SS women, the seamstresses secretly supported resistance in Auschwitz.
Their leader was Marta Fuchs, a young Jewish dressmaker deported from Slovakia in March 1942. Rudolf and Hedwig Hoess saved Marta from the gas chambers so she could sew, as a slave laborer, for the family. In turn, Marta used her privileged position to save as many other prisoners arriving at the camp as possible. Slowly, the sewing salon became a safe haven.