The Book Smugglers is the nearly unbelievable story of ghetto residents who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts--first from the Nazis and then from the Soviets--by hiding them on their bodies, burying them in bunkers, and smuggling them across borders. It is a tale of heroism and resistance, of friendship and romance, and of unwavering devotion--including the readiness to risk one's life--to literature and art. And it is entirely true.
The book tells the inspiring story of the Danish resistance group the Elsinore Sewing Club. During the winter of 1943-44 they played a crucial role in maintaining the connection between occupied Denmark and the free Sweden by daily illegal transports over the narrow strait, the Sound. The bookbinder Erling Kir defied his seasickness and sailed back and forth, day and night, through the tightly patrolled, ice-cold and mined waters. Illegally transporting refugees, resistance fighters, spies, courier post, weapons and other compromising material. Kir and the Sewing Club are especially well-known for their efforts in the rescue of the Danish Jews. It is estimated that they transported around 700 Jews to Sweden.
At Leizer Bart's funeral, one of the mourners told his son Michael that the gravestone should include a reference to the Freedom Fighters of Nekamah, to honor his late father's involvement in the Jewish resistance movement in Vilna (now Vilnius), Lithuania, at the end of World War II. Michael had never heard his parents referenced as Freedom Fighters. Following his father's death, and with his mother in failing health, Michael embarked on a ten-year research project to find out more details about his parents' time in the Vilna ghetto, where they met, fell in love, and married, and about their activities as members of the Jewish resistance.
Love in a Time of Hate tells the gripping tale of Magda and Andr Trocm , the couple that transformed a small town in the mountains of southern France into a place of safety during the Holocaust. At great risk to their own lives, the Trocm's led efforts in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon to hide more than three thousand Jewish children and adults who were fleeing the Nazis.
Suzanne Spaak was born into the Belgian Catholic elite and married into the country's leading political family. Her brother-in-law was the Foreign Minister and her husband Claude was a playwright and patron of the painter Renée Magritte. In Paris in the late 1930s her friendship with a Polish Jewish refugee led her to her life's purpose. When France fell and the Nazis occupied Paris, she joined the Resistance. She used her fortune and social status to enlist allies among wealthy Parisians and church groups. Under the eyes of the Gestapo, Suzanne and women from the Jewish and Christian resistance groups "kidnapped" hundreds of Jewish children to save them from the gas chambers. In the final year of the Occupation, Suzanne was caught in the Gestapo dragnet that was pursuing a Soviet agent she had aided. She was executed shortly before the liberation of Paris. Suzanne Spaak is honored in Israel as one of the Righteous Among Nations.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. A year later, all parties but the Nazis had been outlawed, freedom of the press was but a memory, and Hitler's dominance seemed complete. Yet over the next few years, an unlikely clutch of conspirators emerged - soldiers, schoolteachers, politicians, diplomats, theologians, even a carpenter - who would try repeatedly to end the Fuhrer's genocidal reign. This dramatic and deeply researched book tells the full storyof those noble, ingenious, and doomed efforts.
America has long been criticized for refusing to give harbor to the Jews of Europe as Hitler and the Nazis closed in. Now a lauded Holocaust historian tells the extraordinary story of the War Refugee Board, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's little-known effort late in the war to save the Jews who remained. In January 1944, a young Treasury lawyer named John Pehle accompanied his boss to a meeting with the president. For more than a decade, the Jews of Germany had sought refuge in the United States and had been stymied by Congress's harsh immigration policy. Now the State Department was refusing to authorize relief funds that Pehle wanted to use to help Jews escape Nazi territory. At the meeting, Pehle made his best case--and prevailed. Within days, FDR created the War Refugee Board, empowering it to rescue the victims of Nazi persecution, and put John Pehle in charge.
Under the noses of the military, Georges Loinger smuggles thousands of children out of occupied France into Switzerland. In Belgium, three resisters ambush a train, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the cattle cars. In Poland, four brothers lead more than 1,200 ghetto refugees into the forest to build a guerilla force and self-sufficient village. And twelve-year-old Motele Shlayan entertains German officers with his violin moments before setting off a bomb. Through twenty-one meticulously researched accounts -- some chronicled in book form for the first time -- Doreen Rappaport illuminates the defiance of tens of thousands of Jews across eleven Nazi-occupied countries during World War II. In answer to the genocidal madness that was Hitler's Holocaust, the only response they could abide was resistance, and their greatest weapons were courage, ingenuity, the will to survive, and the resolve to save others or to die trying.
Irena Sendler was a young Polish woman living in Warsaw during World War II with an incredible story of survival and selflessness. And she's been long forgotten by history. Until now. This young readers edition of Irena's Children tells Irena's unbelievable story set during one of the worst times in modern history. With guts of steel and unfaltering bravery, Irena smuggled thousands of children out of the walled Jewish ghetto in toolboxes and coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through the dank sewers and into secret passages that led to abandoned buildings, where she convinced her friends and underground resistance network to hide them. In this heroic tale of survival and resilience in the face of impossible odds, Tilar Mazzeo and adapter Mary Cronk Farrell share the true story of this bold and brave woman, overlooked by history, who risked her life to save innocent children from the horrors of the Holocaust.
"I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, and a defier of Nazis all at once. First steps are always small: I began by hiding food under a fence. Now I was smuggling Jews to the Janowka forest." Irene Gut Opdyke was a teenager when the German army invaded Poland in 1939. She was forced to work in an ammunition factory, and then a laundry for the army. At the same time, she began helping Jews to escape from the Nazis. 'Resistance to the Nazis' shows how Irene Gut Opdyke was just one of many ordinary people who found ways to resist Hitler's armies in Europe, and to save people from the Holocaust.