The Righteous The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust Read î 6

The Righteous The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust

Review The Righteous The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust

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 hidd Bruder Kemal 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 Řídících Márinka (Řídících Márinka, under the floor and kept her there during the day for a year あばれんぼハニー (Abarenbo Honey) Vol.02 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 Labors Giant Step under the floorboards where she had been hidd

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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' Oklahomeland 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 An Introduction To Practical Biochemistry 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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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


10 thoughts on “The Righteous The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust

  1. says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book On the one hand it was nothing if not thorough full of thousands of tales of human decency and tender courage in the face of death I believe people have a duty to remember the heroes of history and the Righteous Gentiles were certainly heroes There are so many inspirational and touching tales in hereOn the other hand thoughI was kind of disappointed by the book too Martin Gilbert is an internationally recognized historian and I've been impressed by other books of his I've read His analyses are spot onBut this book HAD no analyses There was no attempt to interpret the stories to try to explain why the Righteous acted as they did and so many others didn't Neither did Gilbert compare and contrast the Righteous Gentiles in different countries although each country does have its own sectionInstead of that it's just story after story after heroic story Almost like a list Such and such family got saved by these guys who hid them in a shed And this guy was saved by this person and in the same town So and so saved fifteen Jews I confess the stories rapidly began to run together and I struggled to finish the bookFor what it's worth I probably couldn't have done any better After all the stories ARE basically the same someone at great personal risk does the right thing and saves lives I don't know how to provide a comprehensive history of Righteous Gentiles without being repetitive I just wish it didn't have to be like that


  2. says:

    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 Starczewka Korczak gave sanctuary to a little Jewish girl Celina Berkowitz shortly before her parents were killed When the Nazis executed Genowefas husband she was forced to place her Jewish charge and her own two daughters in a Catholic orphanage But each weekend she brough all three girls home In the Siedlce region east of Warsaw a poor peasant widow gave shelter to two Jewish girls Eva aged 11 and Batja aged 5 sisters who had escpaed from the Warsaw ghetto and wandered for several moths through the Polish countrysideFearing betrayal the peasant woman took Ester and Batja for sanctuary to Sister Stanislawa Jozwikowska in the Heart of Jesus convent near the village of Skorzec 'I was dirty ill weak and full of lice' Batja recalled years later 'The nuns washed me thoroughly put me into soft pajamas and put me in a clean bed'Despite the convent being occupied by German soldiers nobody knew of the girls Jewish identity except the Mother Superior andSister Stanislawa Jozwikowska Sixty years after having been given shelter Batja recalled Mother Superior Beata Bronislawa Hryniewicz healed me; she recovered my soul by great love; she pampered me as her own child; she dressed me nice and neat; she combed my hair and tied ribbons in my plaits; she taught me manners she was from an aristocratic noble family She was strict but fair with my duties; to pray to study to work on my character to obey etc but every step was with love love love'Children who were rescued by righteous gentiles included Israel Lau later Chief Ashkenazic rabbi of Israel and Aharon Barak out of the Kovno Ghetto in a suitcase as a child and hidden by a Lithuanian farmer later President of the Supreme Court of Israel from 1995 until the middle of 2006Many people chose to help out of moral reasons or out of love for their charges These people were SaintsThese stories are being re examined at a time when some like Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei deny the Holocaust happened while working to carry out a real holocaust against the Jews while others forget history and aim to dismantle the Jewish State built to a large extent by Holocaust survivors


  3. says:

    Another on the Holocaust I know I know I've got to move on But this was very uplifting though tedious at the same time because so many of the stories were similar Someone at great risk helped a Jew to survive And yet the author methodically moves from one country to another describing the heroic acts there and how a whole Jewish agency Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority was established to chronicle these acts and name those who helped others as Righteous Among the Nations See the website Probably three things stood out for meThat Italy and Italians never had a racial animosity towards Jews though they were certainly infected with militarism And the author singled out Norway Denmark Belgium and Italy for principled and widespread resistanceSweden Switzerland were two countries that somehow positioned themselves as neutral but that was a wonderful status and many underground movements developed human pipelines through which to send Jews to a haven of survivalI had not heard of instances in Albania and Kosovo where the Muslim population had many righteous helping Jews survive On the island of Rhodes in the mediteranean one story was given of an Imam at a Mosue offering a Rabbi a safe place to story some holy Jewish writings The Rabbi agreed the sacred texts hidden by the Imam and returned to him after the warThe book ends with an afterword where the author muses on how so many acuiesced to the propaganda or participated in the terror and yet everywhere there were always some who did resist through the act of being compassionate to those being hunted down What is it in human nature that can so dramatically sink so low and yet in direct opposition examples of such high moral acts


  4. says:

    I read this book as a companion piece to Martin Gilbert's The Boys which I have reviewed on Goodreads After reading in February 2015 that Mr Gilbert had died and was considered one of the leading historians of the 20th Century he's mainly known as Winston Churchill's biographer although has written over 80 history books I decided to give both books a read I'm so glad I did I'm interested in WWII my family are British and all of my aunts and uncles and both my parents did their bit for the war effort even as young teenagers for instance from the age of 15 my dad went to school in the mornings then turned a lathe at Parnall's Airplane Factory helping to build Lancaster gun turret parts in the afternoonThe Boys tells the survival stories of 732 children who somehow miraculously survived the concentration camps and death marches of Nazi Germany to recuperate in English sanitoriums from 1945 on Almost all the children were between the ages of 12 16 at the end of the war although some were a bit older I highly recommend reading that book if you are interested in the truth about child Holocaust survivors and accounts of human survival against all oddsThis book The Righteous chronicles the Righteous Among Nations those individuals across Europe who hid protected fed or otherwise somehow helped to save the life or in many cases lives of Jewish men women and children during the Holocaust The book is separated into countries and is a grind through very difficult material although well organized since the book is over 500 pages long and consists of first person or third person accounts of survival testimonial Mr Gilbert assembled the letters of thousands of Jewish survivors and parsed them by country But as you read each survivor's story page after page after page you realize that the stories are remarkably similar in one thing ordinary people farmers neighbours strangers will often go to the most incredible and dangerous lengths to save a fellow human I think by the end you realize that the Jewish population of Europe those who were saved from the Nazis in hiding which numbered in the tens of thousands I believe were largely saved in ones and twos in basements attics stoves haylofts beneath farm yards there were a LOT of dugouts beneath animal troughs for instance because people uickly learned that the Nazis disliked getting their uniforms covered in animal filth and in churches orphanages and among the nuns and monks of hundreds of convents and monasteries The book leaves the reader with a very real sense of the immense stress and terror that the entire population of Europe existed with for six very long years Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler are in there too and there is a little known story about Schindler Apart from saving Jewish workers he also re routed a train car of dying concentration camp survivors by lying to a guard One thousand people were removed from the car and although some were past saving most of them were nursed back to health by his wife in his factory under the noses of German guardsMr Gilbert raises interesting uestions a few times not one gas canister meant for the gas chambers ever went astray Why he wonders? It would have been easy to reroute or lose a shipment with regularity Messing up the supply chain wouldn't have been that hard He also mentions that only one train engineer driver ever refused to do his job All the others continued to shunt trainloads of prisoners and deportees to the concentration camps and death pitsIn the end Mr Gilbert saves the words of the Righteous themselves for the last chapter To the uestion Why did you do it? Why did you save Jews you didn't know at great personal risk to your life and the life of your family?' each Righteous answered the same thing it was the right thing to do One man put it this way I had no choice They were children What would you do?Indeed I asked myself that uestion all the way through the book


  5. says:

    Not a Holocaust perspective that gets a lot of attention Martin Gilbert has done an outstanding job of painstakingly chronicling the efforts of non Jews throughout Europe and beyond to save their Jewish communities and refugees from deportation and death during World War II actions which earned most of these individuals acknowledgment as Righteous Among The Nations by the Yad Vashem Gilbert moves through these rescues country by country and highlights the gestures ordinary and extraordinary though in this context nothing is ordinary of these determined individuals to refuse to cave to the chaos and destruction of this aspect of the war When I read The Hiding Place back in fifth grade I remember thinking Would I have been able to do what Corrie ten Boom and her family did or would fear have kept me from helping? Certainly not a uestion that can be accurately answered in a time country and circumstance so far removed from the actual events but it returned to my mind while reading this book More importantly in my mind What were the ualities demonstrated by those who DID assist for a moment an hour a month or years? I decided to focus on the ualities and circumstances of the rescuers that Gilbert reveals and I think it would be a good exercise for me to try to develop and strengthen these key traits in my own life whether they ever become urgently needed in life or not One of the reviews mentioned that the book discusses one of the few bright spots in the darkness of the Holocaust but make no mistake the efforts of these individuals cost many of them their lives as well as those for whom they tried so determinedly to save It's a fitting acknowledgment of undaunted day in day out effort by individuals who deserve every honor they've been given


  6. says:

    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'?


  7. says:

    This was one of those books that you're happy that you're reading because you believe you are learning something of importance but that is hard to get through none the less In this particular instance the reason it was difficult to get through wasn't necessarily the horrific though heroic subject matter It was the terrible style in which it was written Mr Gilbert tries to present a sampling of cases concerning the actions of The Righteous in Europe during the Holocaust Not a bad idea certainly not a bad idea for a book The problem is in the execution There is no flow from story to story the examples provide scant details and the writing is just bad I enjoyed the book because of it's premise and it's stories of the fight against evil in an environment that did not support such ventures The presentation though leaves a lot to be desired


  8. says:

    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


  9. says:

    The only reason I rated the book a three is because it is not easy to read repetition after repetitionMany thoughts went through my mind as I read First I am thankful that there are good people in the world but immediately also disgusted by the fact that there are not many good people Then the very important realization that there are good and bad people on all sides it's not religion or nationality that makes bad people but character and choiceWhat will I do when something similar happens again and it does every day In South Africa there is peace at the moment sort off xenophobia is a big problem here Am I willing to hide a person from another country? Gender violence is also a big problem in South Africa am I willing to put my life and the lives of my wife and children in danger to intervene when I see a husband abuse his wife? And what if we are suddenly at war am I willing to hide people perceived as the enemy by my people?Someone once said the world is not a bad place due to what bad people do it is a bad place due to good people doing nothing


  10. says:

    InspiringOver 19000 Righteous What if that number were doubled or tripled? How many lives would have been saved? This book is extremely well written extremely well researched and among one of Gilbert's best Having said that I also have to say that there were rescuers he made little to no mention of or wrote not at all about them Schindler gets his story told again and that is just It deserves to be told again However there is little written of Irena Sendler who saved 2500 children from almost certain death in the Warsaw ghetto A heroine recently nominated for the Nobel peace prize Corrie Ten Bloom got no mention at all Miep Giesp who rode her bycicle all over the country trying to find food for the Frank family got only a brief tag And let us not forget the true treasure this woman saved when she hid Anne Frank's diary Very good important book but so much should have been said