The Righteous The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust review ¾ 6
Martin Gilbert Í 6 review
Jews included priests nurses teachers neighbors and friends employees and colleagues soldiers and diplomats and above all ordinary citizens From Greek Orthodox Princess Alice of Greece who hid Jews in her home in Athens to the Ukrainian Uniate Archbishop of Lvov who hid hundreds of Jews in his churches and monasteries to Muslims in Bosnia and Albania many risked and lost everything to help their fellow ma Inherently hopeful this book is a welcome flash of light in the darkness of Holocaust histories A simple and straightforward collection of anecdotes of Gentiles who saved the Jews with no religious bias toward Catholic Protestant or secular heroism The tone is one of simple admiration and respectful remembrance I didn't care for the format; Gilbert launches straight into the recollections arbitrarily organized by geographic location with little framing narrative Still the raw material of the book is a valuable addition to the clinical and cynical sort of Holocaust records that seem to be prevalent
review The Righteous The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust
Shem the Holocaust archive in Jerusalem In The Righteous distinguished historian Sir Martin Gilbert through extensive interviews explores the courage of those who throughout Germany and in every occupied country from Norway to Greece from the Atlantic to the Baltic took incredible risks to help Jews whose fate would have been sealed without them Indeed many lost their lives for their effortsThose who hid uintessential Martin Gilbert The book focuses on by country many of the non Jewish people who risked their lives to try save Jews during the Holocaust There were regular people clergy government officials and even sometimes German soldiers Using direct Yad Vashem testimony diaries letters to the author and actual interviews Gilbert provides heart rending views of the fear and horror facing the Jews but also of their 'saviors' It is dense and at times somewhat tedious since some episodes are just short snippets Where the book shines is in the longer detailed events with about the people involved Of course that is all dependent on the amount of information availableBut these stories also illustrate what humanity is all about The people in the book and the thousands of others not are truly the Righteous Among the Nations Throughout the book and especially in the afterword philosophical uestions of morality and humanity are raised What would you have done in the face of such deadly persecution knowing you were risking your family's lives those you tried to save and possibly your neighbors'?
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The Unsung Heroes of the HolocaustDrawing from twenty five years of original research Sir Martin Gilbert re creates the remarkable stories of non Jews who risked their lives to help Jews during the HolocaustAccording to Jewish tradition Whoever saves one life it is as if he saved the entire world Non Jews who helped save Jewish lives during World War II are designated Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Va Martin Gilbert is the greatest historian on the subject of the holocaust out there and is one of the most prolific historians of todayIn The Righteous Gilbert describes the many cases of righteous gentiles throughout Nazi occupied Europe who risked their lives and all they had to save Jews many of them children from certain death at hte hands of the Nazi killing machineGilbert describes the heroic actions of those brave and righteous gentiles by region describing the action of the unsung heroes in Eastern Galicia Vilna Lithuania Poland Warsaw Western Galicia Germany and Austria Central Europe and the Balkans Norway Finland and Denmark France Belgium and Luxembourg Holland Italy and the Vatican and Hungary as well as in the Camps and on the death marchesIn some cases entire nations came together to say no to Nazi evil and to save the Jews of their countryDenmark Bulgaria and Albania stand out in this regardIrene Grunbaum wrote in her memoirs that one day she would tell the world how the Albanians 'protected a refugee and wouldn't allow her to be harmed even if it meant losing their lives The gates of your small country remained open Albania your authorities closed both eyes when neccesary to give poor persecuted people another chance to survive the most horrible of all wars We thank you'Morechaie Paldiel writes that 'An overwhelming majority of the Albanian population Muslim and Christian gave refuge to two thousand Jews in their midst resulting in the almost total rescue of the Jewish community'While Gilbers describes the hroism of the Danish and Bulgarian people he does not write enough on the very special and noble roles to save Jews taken by King Christian X of Denmark and King Boris III of BulgariaDespite the collaborators and local anti Semites in these nations whole towns and villages came togehter in some cases in France Belgium Holland and Greece to save their Jews from Nazi anihilationNazi Germany's allies Italy and Hungary rejected Nazi genocide of Jews and did what they could to save the Jews Italian occupied zones in Francethe Balkans etc were safe zones for Jews Only after direct Nazi ocupation were the Jews of these countries taken to the death camps Finland also protected her Jews and the neutral countries like Spain Portugal and Sweden played a role in saving a number of Jewish refugeesMany Jewish children were taken in by Christian families throughout Europe and looked after them as their ownIn Poland and the East the penalty for just having contacted a Jew was deathThere are many accounts of the recue and care of Jewish children by saintly people and families during the warI will mention a few of themIn the Novogrudok region which is today in Belarus one of those saved was a baby Bella Dzienciolska 'Her parents had entrusted her to a farmer to hide She was blonde and did not look like a Jewish child but at two years old she already spoke Yiddish So the farmer made a hole under the floor and kept her there during the day for a year until she forgot to speak He then took her out and told the neighbours that a relatives child was staying with them'Bella Dzienciolska suvived the war and fifty years later returned to the farm and found the hole under the floorboards where she had been hiddenOther children were hidden and raised by nuns and churchmen in abbeys monasteries churches and hospitals and schools run by the Church In the small town of Licskowke in Eastern Galicia Father Michael Kujita hid eight year old Anita Helfgott a fugitive from the ghetto of Skole in his parsonage Later a Catholic couple Josef and Paulina Matusiewicz gave her sanctuary She survived the war In Czêstochowa in Poland Genowefa Sta