The righteous

Author : Martin Gilbert

Available : Rented
Age Group :Adults
Books have been written about individuals who risked their own safety to aid Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. Yet this comprehensive examination by noted historian Gilbert (The First World War, etc.), recounted largely through first-person accounts by the Jews they rescued, is an important contribution. These thumbnail sketches of rescuers, their methods and, in some cases, the horrors they endured as a result of their courageous choices haven´t previously been gathered in one volume. The result of 25 years of research sparked by witnessing Oskar Schindler´s 1974 funeral procession in Jerusalem, Gilbert´s country-by-country examination reveals as much about quiet dissent in Nazi-occupied Europe as it does about the human spirit. ´´For anyone who is honoured today for saving Jewish lives, there were ten or more who did the same,´´ says one rescuer. In Vilna, a German officer, Maj. Karl Plagge, protected Jews from 1939 until 1944, by employing them in his Motor Vehicle Repair Park. In Germany, a young slave laborer, her feet frozen from working outdoors in the snow, was given a pair of shoes by an elderly couple in a remote wooded area; she never learned their names. The number of accounts is overwhelming, and fitting them all in one volume requires that each, to a degree, be given short shrift. But the very fact that there were so many tales of courage is reason to take heed of this heartening aspect of one of history´s darkest moments. 32 pages of b&w photos, 20 maps.

Books have been written about individuals who risked their own safety to aid Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. Yet this comprehensive examination by noted historian Gilbert (The First World War, etc.), recounted largely through first-person accounts by the Jews they rescued, is an important contribution. These thumbnail sketches of rescuers, their methods and, in some cases, the horrors they endured as a result of their courageous choices haven´t previously been gathered in one volume. The result of 25 years of research sparked by witnessing Oskar Schindler´s 1974 funeral procession in Jerusalem, Gilbert´s country-by-country examination reveals as much about quiet dissent in Nazi-occupied Europe as it does about the human spirit. ´´For anyone who is honoured today for saving Jewish lives, there were ten or more who did the same,´´ says one rescuer. In Vilna, a German officer, Maj. Karl Plagge, protected Jews from 1939 until 1944, by employing them in his Motor Vehicle Repair Park. In Germany, a young slave laborer, her feet frozen from working outdoors in the snow, was given a pair of shoes by an elderly couple in a remote wooded area; she never learned their names. The number of accounts is overwhelming, and fitting them all in one volume requires that each, to a degree, be given short shrift. But the very fact that there were so many tales of courage is reason to take heed of this heartening aspect of one of history´s darkest moments. 32 pages of b&w photos, 20 maps.

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