Once Jacob Gutgeld lived with his family in a beautiful house in Warsaw, Poland. He went to school and played hide-and-seek in the woods with his friends. But everything changed the day the Nazi soldiers invaded in 1939. Suddenly it wasn’t safe to be Jewish anymore.One afternoon, eight-year-old Jacob slipped through a hole in the ghetto wall to meet Alex Roslan, a kind Christian man who agreed to be his new “uncle.” The Roslan family, at the risk of their own lives, kept Jacob’s identity as a Jew hidden.Every day of hiding meant a new danger and a threat of discovery. Jacob worried about his real family and longed to go to school and play outside like the Roslan children. Yet the fear, the hardships, and the hunger brought Jacob closer and closer to all the Roslans–until at last the time of hate and war came to an end and a new chapter began in all their lives.
During the days of Nazi terror in Europe, many Jewish children were taken from their families and hidden. Régine Miller was one such child, who left her mother, father, and brother when she was 10 years old. Utterly alone as she is shunted from place to place, told to tell no one she is Jewish, she hears that her mother and brother have been taken by the SS, the German secret police. Only her desperate hope that her father will return sustains her. At war’s end she must learn to live with the terrible truth of “the final solution,” the Nazi’s extermination camps. The people who sheltered Régine cover a wide spectrum of human types, ranging from callous to kind, fearful to defiant, exploitive to caring. This is a story of a brave girl and an equally brave woman to tell the story so many years later.
In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family’s flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America.
In the spring of 1942 Hannelore received a letter from Mama at her school in Berlin, Germany–Papa had been arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Six weeks later he was sent home; ashes in an urn. Soon another letter arrived. “The Gestapo has notified your brothers and me that we are to be deported to the East–whatever that means.” Hannelore knew: labor camps, starvation, beatings. How could Mama and her two younger brothers bear that? She made a decision: She would go home and be deported with her family. Despite the horrors she faced in eight labor and concentration camps, Hannelore met and fell in love with a Polish POW named Dick Hillman. Oskar Schindler was their one hope to survive. Schindler had a plan to take eleven hundred Jews to the safety of his new factory in Czechoslovakia. Incredibly both she and Dick were added to his list. But survival was not that simple. Weeks later Hannelore found herself, alone, outside the gates of Auschwitz, pushed toward the smoking crematoria.
The woman describes her childhood and her Aunt Anna and Uncle Billy, who lived in a wonderful mansion filled with beautiful carpets, vases, and paintings. Most special of all were four ebony elephants that she loved to played with. When World War II began, she was sent to live in Canada and, while she was gone, her aunt, uncle, and father died. After hearing the story, Annie wants to visit the old country, and her mother agrees that it is time. Annie is determined to find the elephants, but it is not until they visit a restaurant on their last night that she discovers the figurines in a glass case and hears the story of how Uncle Billy left them there for his niece to find.
Johanna’s grandfather founded the largest clothing store in town and built up his wealth with his own hands–at least that’s the family legend. But when Johanna travels to Israel for a class project, she finds out that the family of Meta Levin originally owned the store. She learns that her grandfather legally acquired the company during the Nazi regime according to the anti-Semitic laws of the Third Reich. Johanna is worried: her family’s wealth is obviously founded on injustice. Should she keep silent, or should she wake the sleeping dogs?
A heartbreaking story of loss and love.As autumn turns toward winter in 1938 Berlin, life for Marianne Kohn, a young Jewish girl, begins to crumble. First there was the burning of the neighbourhood shops. Then her father, a mild-mannered bookseller, must leave the family and go into hiding. No longer allowed to go to school or even sit in a café, Marianne’s only comfort is her beloved mother. Things are bad, but could they get even worse? Based on true events, this fictional account of hatred and racism speaks volumes about both history and human nature.
Susie Weksler was only eight in 1941 when Hitler’s forces invaded her Lithuanian city of Vilnius, a great center for Jewish learning and culture. Soon her family would face hunger and fear in the Jewish ghetto – but worse was to come. When the ghetto was liquidated, some Jews were selected for forced labor camps; the rest were killed. Susie would live – because of the courage and ingenuity of her mother. It was her mother who carried Susie, hidden in a backpack, to the group destined for the labor camps; who disguised her as an adult in makeup and turban to fool the camp guards; who fed her body and soul through gruesome conditions in three concentration camps and a winter “death march”; who showed her the power of the human spirit to endure.
The true story of a girl who posed as a boy during World War II–and dared to speak up for her fellow prisoners of war. With the Japanese army poised to invade their Indonesian island in 1942, Rita la Fontaine’s family knew that they and the other Dutch and Dutch-Indonesian residents would soon become prisoners of war. Fearing that twelve-year-old Rita would be forced to act as a “comfort woman” for the Japanese soldiers, the family launched a desperate plan to turn Rita into “Rick,” cutting her hair short and dressing her in boy’s clothes. Rita’s aptitude for languages earned her a position as translator for the commandant of the prisoner camp, and for the next three years she played a dangerous game of disguise while advocating against poor conditions, injustice, and torture. Sixty-five years later, Rita describes a war experience like no other — a remarkable tale of integrity, fortitude, and honor.
Ten-year-old Bamse and his Jewish friend Anton participate in the Danish Resistance during World War II.