Friday, May 29, 2009
In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke
I am in awe of Irene Gut, the author of this book. She lived in Poland during World War II and rather than giving in to Hitler and the German army she fought to save the lives of the Jews around her. She was only 17 when war broke out and she was separated from her family and traveling with the Polish army as a nurse. Russian soldiers attacked and raped her and she later was forced to work for the German army as a cook and a housekeeper. Her first act of resistance was to pass food into a ghetto. From there she slowly took more and more risks to save Jewish lives until finally she was transporting Jews to a hideout in the forest, hiding them in her workplace, and harboring them in the basement of the home where she was living and working as a housekeeper for a Nazi commander. She was always fearful for her life but never stopped doing what she thought was right. It was heartening to read about numerous others who also were helping in a time of unbelievable horrors. I would recommend this to 8th graders on up through adults.