Heroes of the Holocaust

Overview

The Holocaust is filled with true tales of treachery and brutality. So heinous and pervasive were the crimes of the Holocaust that this period of history could arguably be used to prove that evil can and does ultimately win out over good in the souls of human beings.

But a closer look at the Holocaust reveals a different understanding. For every crime against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis and their followers, it seems there is an amazing act of heroism and bravery carried ...

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Overview

The Holocaust is filled with true tales of treachery and brutality. So heinous and pervasive were the crimes of the Holocaust that this period of history could arguably be used to prove that evil can and does ultimately win out over good in the souls of human beings.

But a closer look at the Holocaust reveals a different understanding. For every crime against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis and their followers, it seems there is an amazing act of heroism and bravery carried out by someone else. Some German citizens sheltered Jews and other would-be victims from Nazi thugs. Entire countries, under the leadership of rulers like King Christian X of Denmark, adopted a position of resistance to Nazi policies. Underground groups, spurred by religious and political organizations, staged daring rescues and provided assistance to the vulnerable. Government officials working far from home wielded their power to usher victims to safety. Individual citizens risked and even gave their lives in an effort to save other human beings from the waves of hatred and genocide that swept Europe during World War II.

The Jews, the most numerous of the Nazis' victims, did not sit idly by and watch the Holocaust unfold. Stories of heroism from the ghettoes, and of sabotage of the Nazi war effort and rebellion from the concentration camps show that the six million victims the Nazis did succeed in taking did not go quietly.

All of these heroes performed their amazing feats at incredible risk to themselves and their loved ones. Indeed, it is the very goodness of human nature suggested by the heroes of the Holocaust that is perhaps our best hope that such atrocities will not happen again.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This title in "The Holocaust" series by the same author provides a broad overview of those who resisted the Nazi plan to exterminate European Jews. An entire chapter is devoted to German anti-Nazis. Gottfried recounts Countess Von Maltzan's sheltering of sixty Jews in her home, the story of Oskar Schindler, and the work of Pastor Bonhoeffer under the auspices of a religious group known as The Confessing Church. However, he does not mention Pastor Niemoller, founder of the Confessing Church and a widely quoted opponent of Hitler. Other chapters praise the countries who exhibited united resistance and the underground organizations that mobilized to save Jews. Individuals such as Jan Karski, who unsuccessfully tried to alert the allied countries of Nazi atrocities, and Irene Sendlerowa, a Polish woman who helped sneak 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto, are briefly sketched. Final chapters recall Jewish rebellion in the ghettos and camps. While the book provides no more than a glimpse of most of its subjects, the inclusion of heroic Gentiles and Jews in the same book makes it worthwhile and unique. All quotes are footnoted and a glossary, chronology, bibliography and list of Internet sites are provided. 2001, Twenty-First Century Books, $28.90. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Jackie Hechtkopf
VOYA
Gottfried adds four more titles to his Holocaust series, following Nazi Germany (2000/VOYA June 2001) and Martyrs to Madness (2000/VOYA June 2001). Children of the Slaughter does a credible job of discussing the effect of the Holocaust not only on the Jewish children but also on the German youngsters who were forced to join the Hitler youth and on the offspring of Holocaust survivors. The plight of the Jews did not end when World War II was over. Displaced Persons chronicles the atrocities against those who survived Nazi terrorism. In their desperate search for a homeland, many Jewish survivors sought refuge in Palestine, a journey described by Gottfried here. Deniers of the Holocaust provides an in-depth look at the people and organizations that claim the Holocaust never happened. This book looks at the rise of Nazi-affiliated groups, explores the technique of moral relativism, and examines the current use of the Internet by the ring of deniers. This volume is devoted to topics often overlooked or treated briefly in other Holocaust series. Heroes of the Holocaust shares many stories of people, religious or political organizations, and countries that sheltered Jews, resisted Nazi policies, and rescued victims destined to die. It also tells of the heroic efforts by many from the Jewish population itself. Text in each book is written in a straightforward, easy-to-read manner. The material will be useful for research reports as well as personal reading for those interested in the subject. Similar in format, each book is set in large type with wide margins, and one clear black-and-white photograph per chapter. Chapters are titled with subheadings attractively set off by a contrasting colorthat coordinates with the end papers and book jacket. The dramatic cover artwork, end papers, and chapter dividers compliment the series. Glossary. Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P J S (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Twenty-First Century, 112p. PLB
— Mary Ann Capan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Some misleading statements and important omissions mar this book. Gottfried accurately describes Germany's dire economic condition after World War I but makes no mention of why the Versailles Treaty was so harsh. Although he states that Jews were not the only people labeled inferior by Hitler, he fails to note that they were the only group targeted for eradication. Also, Hitler used the word racial in relation to the Jews, not ethnic. The author also fails to present a full record of the Confessing Church, which did not object to the removal of Jewish civil servants, Kristallnacht, or even (at first) to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, and only began to object when Hitler demanded that all Christian pastors with Jewish ancestors be removed from office. In addition, readers may find the Nazi-associated Gothic type that is used throughout the book and some of the two-color artwork disconcerting. Black-and-white photos are also included. This book contains far too many inaccuracies to be considered for purchase.-Marcia W. Posner, Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761317173
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Series: The Holocaust Ser.
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The Road to Genocide 11
2 The Righteous Germans 21
3 Countries of Conscience 33
4 Organized to Save Lives 41
5 The Heroic Impulse 55
6 Three Valiant Consuls 65
7 Jews Who Fought Back 73
8 The Death Camp Rebellions 85
Afterword 95
Chronology 99
Chapter Notes 102
Glossary 107
For More Information 109
Index 111
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