Sheltering the Jews: Stories of Holocaust Rescuers

Sheltering the Jews: Stories of Holocaust Rescuers

Sheltering the Jews: Stories of Holocaust Rescuers

Sheltering the Jews: Stories of Holocaust Rescuers

Synopsis

From the riveting testimonies and files housed at Yad Vashem, Holocaust historian Mordecai Paldiel presents dozens of stories of the circumstances and odds facing Jews inside Nazi-dominated Europe and those who would help them. Highlighting the aid and assistance of non-Jews, Paldeil demonstrates that the awesome efficiency of the Nazi death machine did not rule out heroism by ordinary people, in spite of risks. Stories and photos focused on conditions of sheltering, movement of people across borders, passing as a gentile, rescues of children, an dangers of detection epitomize the radical altruism, courage, and ingenuity that helped some Jews to survive the darkest moment in history.

Excerpt

Franklin H. Littell

Mordecai Paldiel has held for more than a decade the best listening post in the world for identifying and honoring rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust: he has been director of the office at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem dealing with “the Righteous among the Nations.” in that office he has heard and/or read all of the records, prepared the analyses and rejections or recommendations for the final decision of the public committee, and himself led many of the services in which the rescued and rescuers celebrate their reunion in Jerusalem.

Himself a “hidden child,” although he holds a doctorate in Holocaust Studies from Temple University he has never let his scientific interest drown out his human compassion and sensibility.

No one is in a better position than Dr. Paldiel to select the tales that need to be told about sacrifice and heroism among the gentiles (including some Christians) who—in the belly of the beast—defied the killing machines of the Nazi Third Reich. in addition to moving stories about persons, his keen analysis of the factors that made rescue dangerous, difficult, and heroic contributes substantially to our understanding of life and death in Hitler's Europe.

When Dr. Paldiel was doing his graduate work in Holocaust Studies at Temple University, he wrote one of his major papers on “Hitlerism and Manichaeism.” in it . . .

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