Hiding to Survive: Fourteen Jewish Children and the Gentiles Who Rescued Them from the Holocaust

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First-person accounts of fourteen Holocaust survivors who as children were hidden from the Nazis by non-Jews.

First person accounts of fourteen Holocaust survivors who as children were hidden from the Nazis by non-Jews.

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Overview

First-person accounts of fourteen Holocaust survivors who as children were hidden from the Nazis by non-Jews.

First person accounts of fourteen Holocaust survivors who as children were hidden from the Nazis by non-Jews.

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Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Richard F. Abrahamson
Imagine being part of a Jewish family in Europe during the Holocaust. Children, of course, wanted to stay with the parents, but parents knew that staying together increased the risk that all would be killed. Many made the gut-wrenching decision to hand their children to Gentiles, hoping these strangers would hide their children from the Nazis. Some of those children, now in their fifties and sixties, met in 1991 at an international conference to tell their stories. Rosenberg has collected fourteen first-person accounts of these survivors. What shines through is the children's will to survive and the courage it took to hide them. The survivor's tales of hiding in hen houses and above ceilings; of trying to keep two-year-old siblings from crying out; and of receiving messages telling them of dead mothers and fathers make the artificial horror in books by Pike and Stine seem tame. Seldom in one book do you find such graphic examples of the horrendous evil human beings are capable of juxtaposed against the incredible acts of goodness some of us can achieve.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-This anthology tells the stories of 14 Jewish children who were hidden by non-Jews during the Holocaust. Despite the different settings-Poland, France, Belgium, Lithuania, Germany, and Holland-these first-person accounts show that the survivors share vivid memories and feelings that still haunt them. Rosenberg spoke with each of them, but unfortunately narrates their recollections in an understated, matter-of-fact style with a sameness that obscures the highly individualized nature of each experience. Still, the heroism of the people involved makes for compelling reading. Milton Meltzer's Rescue (1991) relates similar stories from the viewpoints of the youngsters' rescuers, while his Never to Forget (1976, both HarperCollins) includes some stories of children who were hidden along with many other first-person survivor accounts. Elaine Landau's We Survived the Holocaust (Watts, 1991), Ina Friedman's Escape or Die (Yellow Moon, 1991), and David Adler's We Remember the Holocaust (Holt, 1989) all deal with the subject from the perspectives of young people who were saved by hiding as well as those who escaped from camps; there are also many full-length memoirs that cover the same territory, sometimes with more dramatic impact than that found in Rosenberg's book. Despite its stylistic uniformity, this volume, illustrated with black-and-white photographs of the subjects, is an adequate addition for libraries without comparable titles in their collection.-Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
Hazel Rochman
The telling is restrained; there are no histrionics in these 14 first-person accounts by Jewish Holocaust survivors who were hidden from the Nazis as children. In fact, some of the narratives are almost flat; it's as if the speakers don't want to make a fuss, as if the suffering is too unbearable to talk about. The survivors are Americans now, most of them in their fifties and sixties, remembering. Each oral history includes a heartbreaking photo of the child and family in wartime and then a photo of the survivor today. A brief postscript summarizes what the child didn't know at the time and what has happened since to the survivors and those who hid them. Perhaps because the speakers are adults looking back, their accounts don't have the immediacy of the child's viewpoint that makes Ida Vos' "Hide and Seek" (1991) so compelling. Nor do these stories have the candor and the graphic intensity of Greenfeld's "Hidden Children" The drama here is in the children's relationships with the righteous Gentiles who saved them. It's an inspiring story of ordinary people who risked death to rescue strangers. They hid children for all kinds of reasons, some of which they didn't know themselves. They created secret hideouts in convents, in homes, in chicken coops. These quiet accounts also make you imagine what it must have been like for the child who spent months crouching in a hayloft, who had to hide that he was circumcised, who was suddenly wrenched from his parents. One survivor does remember how he felt as a teenager ("I wanted to be with girls. I was furious that I wasn't able to. I hated being locked up"). Or there's the woman who remembers her reunion with her father in the U.S.: when he finally recognizes her, "he hugged me so tightly, I was nearly black and blue." Remembering is hard.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395650141
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/18/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.76 (d)

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