Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust

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Who are the rescuers, the men and women whose gripping personal narratives make up the core of this remarkable book? Why did they risk everything - their livelihoods, their homes, their lives, and even those of their families - to save Jews marked for death during the Holocaust? Are they ordinary people, as they themselves claim, or truly heroic? Malka Drucker and Gay Block spent three years visiting 105 rescuers from ten countries. Their psychologically revealing interviews and photographs speak directly to us in powerful words and images. Block's full-page color portraits accompany each narrative, inviting us to look at these men and women as they are today, people whose faces resemble our own. Would we act as they did? In their own words, forty-nine of the rescuers present a vivid picture of their lives before, during, and after the war as they grapple with the question of why they acted with humanity in a time of barbarism - and whether they would do it again. Their stories - infused with the deep memory that engages a terrible past - are unforgettable. Louisa Steenstra relives the Nazis' murder of her husband and of the Jews they were hiding in their attic in the Netherlands; Antonin Kalina of Czechoslovakia relates how he deceived the SS to save 1,300 children in Buchenwald. Others recall how they smuggled Jews out of the ghettos; worked in resistance movements; forged passports and baptismal certificates; hid Jews in cellars, barns, and behind false walls; shared their meager food rations; secretly disposed of waste; and raised Jewish children as their own. A landmark volume that includes maps, historic photographs from family collections, and a comprehensive introduction by Malka Drucker, Rescuers makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust, of the complex factors that made some people refuse the role of passive bystander, and of the profound psychological and ethical issues that still perplex us. When asked about the prospects for
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A welcome addition to Holocaust literature, this work presents a series of 49 personal reminiscences of non-Jewish citizens in various European nations who risked their lives to hide resident Jews from the Nazi horror. Most of those interviewed felt their actions were done out of friendship and for people caught in a web of hatred and anti-Semitism. They did not feel that they were acting heroically but that they were doing what was right. Portraits by Block of each of the rescuers accompany the text. These 49 are representative of the 9,295 rescuers honored at the Yad Vashem in Israel. This is recommended for general readers as well as for college and university libraries.-- Charles Abshire, Mt. Hood Community Coll. Lib., Gresham, Ore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780841913233
  • Publisher: Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 817,130
  • Age range: 10 - 17 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Netherlands 19
Johannes DeVries 22
Arie van Mansum 27
Marion P. van Binsbergen Pritchard 33
Bert Bochove 42
Marguerite Mulder 48
John Weidner 52
Louisa Steenstra 58
Arnold Douwes and Seine Otten 62
Pieter and Joyce Miedema 68
Semmy Riekerk 72
Aart and Johtje Vos 78
Tina Strobos 84
Belgium 90
Germaine Belinne and Liliane Gaffney 94
Esta Heiber 98
Andree Geulen Herscovici 102
Marie Taquet 106
France 110
Marc Donadille 114
Emilie Guth and Ermine Orsi 118
Ivan Beltrami 124
Marie-Rose Gineste 128
Germany 132
Gitta Bauer 136
Fritz Heine 142
Gertrud Luckner 146
Helene Jacobs 149
Maria Countess von Maltzan 153
Poland 158
Zofia Baniecka 163
Gertruda Babilinska 166
Jan Karski 170
Agnieszka Budna-Widerschal 176
Stefania Podgorska Burzminski 180
Alex and Mela Roslan 186
Irene Gut Opdyke 192
Stefan Raczynski 197
Czechoslovakia 202
Antonin Kalina 204
Libuse Fries 208
Hungary 212
Malka Csizmadia 215
Gustav Mikulai 220
Yugoslavia 224
Ivan Vranetic 226
Bulgaria 230
Mihael Michaelov 232
Soviet Union/Ukraine 235
Jean Kowalyk Berger 237
Orest Zahajkewycz and Helena Melnyczuk 241
Amfian Gerasimov 246
Faces: An Afterword 251
Appendix: Righteous Among the Nations by Country and Ethnic Origin 252
Select Bibliography 253
A Note from the Photographer 254
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