Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler’s Army

As a young adult in wartime Vienna, Georg Rauch helped his mother hide dozens of Jews from the Gestapo behind false walls in their top-floor apartment and arrange for their safe transport out of the country. His family was among the few who worked underground to resist Nazi rule. Then came the day he was drafted into Hitler’s army and shipped out to fight on the Eastern front as part of the German infantry—in spite of his having confessed his own Jewish ancestry.

The Boy On The Wooden Box

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory – a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List. This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancour, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read.

The Smart One: A Grandfather’s Tale

The future is often foretold in stories of the past. As families flee the Debaltseve in Eastern Ukraine in 2015, Ken Goodman’s The Smart One: A Grandfather’s Tale takes us back to families fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe at the turn of the Twentieth Century. It is a compelling story of Jewish migration to America, which begins in Smorgon, now in Belarus, a former Soviet Republic, but at the time Smorgon was in Vilnius, a district of Lithuania, and a part of the Russian Empire.

The Little Boy Star: An Allegory Of The Holocaust

A young Jewish boy is given a star to wear. At first he is proud of the decoration, but soon finds the star overshadowing him no one sees the boy, only the star. Lonely, frightened, and helpless, he watches as other star-wearers are led away into the night. This affecting allegory, rich with symbolism, educates children about the events of the Holocaust in a way that young minds can easily grasp.

Mister Doctor

November 1940. A circus parade walks through the streets of Warsaw, waving a flag and singing. They are 160 Jewish children, forced by the Nazis to leave their beloved orphanage. It’s a sad occasion, but led by Doctor Korczak, their inspirational director, the children are defiantly joyful. Their new home is in the ghetto, a prison for Jews. Day by day, more people arrive. Some are forced to live on the street and freeze to death. Others die of disease and starvation. Though they lack food, warmth, and freedom, the children’s spirits are sustained by the steadfast respect and kindness of “Mister” Doctor. But these children will never grow up: in August 1942, they board the train that will carry them away to the death camps. Offered his freedom, Doctor Korczak refuses to abandon the children and proudly joins them on their last journey.

Hidden Like Anne Frank

Fourteen unforgettable true stories of children hidden away during World War II. Jaap Sitters was only eight years old when his mother cut the yellow stars off his clothes and sent him, alone, on a fifteen-mile walk to hide with relatives. It was a terrifying night, one he would never forget. Before the end of the war, Jaap would hide in secret rooms and behind walls. He would suffer from hunger, sickness, and the looming threat of Nazi raids. But he would live. This is just one of the incredible stories told in HIDDEN LIKE ANNE FRANK, a collection of eye-opening first-person accounts that share what it was like to go into hiding during World War II. Some children were only three or four years old when they were hidden; some were teenagers. Some hid with neighbors or family, while many were with complete strangers. But all know the pain of losing their homes, their families, even their own names. They describe the secret network of brave people who kept them safe. And they share the coincidences and close escapes that made all the difference.