In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer

In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer

by Irene Gut Opdyke
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Random House Children's Books
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In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer

Irene Gut was just seventeen in 1939, when the Germans and the Russians divided and devoured her native Poland. In an instant her life would be transformed—distilled to flight, capture, escape, and hiding.
After being rounded up outside of church one Sunday, Irene was put to work for the German Army. Her blond hair, her blue eyes, her youth—these bought her the relative safe job of kitchen helper and waitress in an officers' dining room. But behind this Aryan mask, Irene began to wage her own war. She picked up snatches of conversation along with the Nazi's dirty dishes and passed the information to Jews in the ghetto. She raided the German Warenhaus for food and blankets. She smuggled Jews from the work camp into the forest. And , when she was made the housekeeper for a Nazi Major, she managed to hide twelve people in the basement of his home and to keep them safe there until the Germans' defeat.
Irene Gut Updyke has received many honors for her actions: Israel's Medal of Honor, recognition from the Vatican, a permanent place in the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. But this memoir, masterfully written by Jennifer Armstrong, strips away the laudatory titles—Holocaust Rescuer, Righteous Gentile—and reveals the woman herself. Just a girl, really. A girl who saw evil around her and chose to defy it. A girl who proves that the actions of one good person can make a difference; that the will to protect is every bit as powerful as the will to destroy.
Ms. Opdyke began to share her story onlyrecently—after hearing the holocaust denounced as a hoax, or propaganda. She now travels the country, speaking about her experiences. Her favorite audience is young people—people who are now the same age she was when the war began. These are the people who are now the same age she was when the war began. These are the people Irene most hopes to empower with the message that each of us can, and must, decide for ourselves what is good and what is evil, and behave accordingly.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900553538846
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 03/08/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288

Table of Contents

Part 1I Was Almost Fast Enough3
Part 2Finding Wings69
Part 3Where Could I Come to Rest?207
Polish: A Rough Guide to Pronunciation239
German: A Rough Guide to Pronunciation241
Some Historical Background243
A Note on the Writing of This Book247

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In My Hands; Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have had this book for maybe more than 6 months and in those 6 months I have read this book at least 7 or 8 times. I lvoe this book its one of my favorites! It tells a tale of a couragous women and her determination to help hide Jews from the Nazi's! This book I highly reccomend!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had moved me som uch! I loved it! I couldn't put it down! It was so suspenful. It kept me on the edge of my seat I definetly recommend other people to read this! You'll love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Incredible story. A friend loaned me this book and I enjoyed it so much that after I returned it to my friend, I bought it in hard cover to have and read again in the future. Being Jewish, I have read many Holocaust accounts, however, none from a Catholic point of view. The book was amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a must-read book that tells the bravery of Irene Gut Opdyke. so many should know of this tale and feel the need then themselves to stand up for what they believe in. Irene's story is very inspiring
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was shocked and amazed by irene's horrifying but accurately described recount of her past.I didn't know, of many holocaust resceurs -those that did something great, deserve to be commended, just like Irene. The story takes you to the heart of poland, where Irene finds herself lost in her job- friendless. By the end of the story irene is a herione who has saved many lives,[ always putting her life on the line], with frienDs that last a life time. the novel shows you that even in the worst of times some of the greatest people live.and that we truely must learn from our past or we'll be doomed to repeat it - as so said santyana
Guest More than 1 year ago
the most realstic book I have ever read i sya this book gets a rating of 5 stars due to the great literature and the realisticness you should read this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hearing of the concentration camps and the innocent people locked inside them breaks my heart. This book gives a story told by someone outside the camps, still making sacrifices as great as those inside. Irena Gut tells her story as if it were happening now. It made yearn to go to Germany to help this poor girl solve her problems which were told as if I were there. Her happy childhood in the mountains to separation while at school led to Irena's story. She struggled as a young women among many men soldiers. Having to withstand rape, asult, and being used, without one friend she could openly talk to, made her want her jewish friends to see freedom even more. She saved countless lives by slipping them away from the ghetto camps and letting them go free, then risked her own life and heart to keep the secret of her friends hiding from the army. This book made me realize what great sacrifices are made from the heart for those who one truely loves. It never bored me! I definitely recommend you to pick up a copy to see what war does to people, even the innocent ones.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The intriguing book In My hands by Irene Opdyke is a must read. This book shows in great detail what Irene went through in order to hide the Jews and keep them safe from danger. Irene saved at least 12 Jews during the time of the Holocaust. Irene is a hero and is respected for all of her life struggles she went threw to try to save her friends. Irene still fights for equal rights for all. If you only read one book a year this is the one for 2000. This book really shows the torture the Jews went through and how one girl became the only one they could rely on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is an unfortunate and unfair stereotype about Poles not doing enough for Jews during World War II. This book helps set the record straight by first showing that Poles were also victims of the Germans. In addition, unlike in other German-occupied countries, Poles were given the death penalty for the slightest aid to Jews. Despite all this, the heroine of this historical account risked her life every day to hide a group of Jews right under the nose of a German officer whom she was forced to serve.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have researched the Holocaust for a long time, and I have read many books about the struggles of survival. Never has a book touched me so deeply. I recommend it for anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is really interesting, i read it all in one sitting, i just couldn't put it down
Guest More than 1 year ago
Irene is a wonderful human being who gives the word moral courage a new meaning---Irene should receive The Congressional Medal of Honour from the USA as a first citizen of the USA ----she puts many of us to shame---what if we were in her shoes? What would we do? This is a lesson to teach future generations.........