The Swiss Nurse



Based on the true story of an astonishingly brave woman who saved hundreds of mothers and their children during the Spanish Civil War and World War II.


Elisabeth Eidenbenz left Switzerland in 1937 to aid children orphaned during the Spanish Civil War. Now, her work has led her to France, where she’s determined to provide expectant mothers and their unborn children a refuge amid one of the worst humanitarian crises of the twentieth century.

Desperate to escape the invasion of Franco’s Fascist troops, Isabel Dueñas becomes one of many Spanish patriots fleeing their country. She leaves behind her husband as he fights for democracy, and she seeks asylum in a refugee camp across the border in France. Without adequate shelter, clean drinking water, or medical care, Isabel’s future looks bleak—until she meets Elisabeth.

When Germany invades Poland, a new avalanche of humanity enters France. And soon, fate binds Elisabeth and Isabel together in the most important work of their lives.

Based on the true stories of refugees and the woman who risked everything to save them, The Swiss Nurse shares a message of love and strength amid one of the darkest moments in history.


“Within the harrowing landscape of both the Spanish Civil War and World War II, Escobar shines a light on hope and humanity through Elisabeth Eidenbenz and her work to create the Elna Maternity Hospital and the Mothers of Elne, saving countless mothers and their newborn children. Descriptions and prose, both startling and lyrical, bring you into the scene and into the lives of both Elisabeth and Isabel as they strive to survive, thrive, and care for others in this gripping tale of destruction, war, and the endless potential within the human heart to endure, sacrifice, and rejoice.”

— Katherine Reay, author of The London House and A Shadow in Moscow

"A fascinating and gripping tale during the war. A gripping, well-written descriptive novel. I fell in love with both the characters and the story."

— Goodreads review


"For those who want a sense of the chaos surrounding war, this story conveys that well. It also spotlights a little-known maternity hospital that did its best to save as many as possible in an impossible situation, providing a little bit of hope to otherwise hopeless people."

Booklist review


Mario Escobar - Harper Muse Author

Mario Escobar has a master’s degree in modern history and has written numerous books and articles that delve into the depths of church history, the struggle of sectarian groups, and the discovery and colonization of the Americas. Escobar, who makes his home in Madrid, Spain, is passionate about history and its mysteries.

Connect with him:

Twitter: @EscobarGolderos
Instagram: marioescobar.oficial
Facebook: MarioEscobar