A Place to Hide

True Stories of Holocaust Rescues
Book cover: 'A Place to Hide: True Stories of Holocaust Rescues'
Author(s): 
Jayne Pettit
Copyright: 
1993
Publisher: 
Scholastic
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
114 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This book contains true stories of remarkable people (mostly Christians, including many Catholics) who saved the lives of Jews from the Nazis in World War II. According to this book, despite six million Jews killed by the Nazis, it is estimated that two million Jewish children were saved by rescuers such as the sampling presented in these stories. It is estimated that the number of rescuers (those who harbored Jews in their homes, transported them to safety, etc.) is anywhere from fifty-thousand to five hundred thousand.

The stories here include:

  • Miep Santrouschitz, who hid Anne Frank and her family in a tiny apartment above a business in Holland.
  • Oskar Schindler (subject of the recent movie Schindler's List) who spent his fortune bribing the Nazis in order to save over one thousand Jews from the death camps.
  • The story of Denmark, under its remarkable king Christian X, and its resistance against the Nazis. It's difficult to sum up all the remarkable pieces of this story in a few words, but the Danes ferried over 8,000 Jews to safety in Sweden (under the noses of enemy warships) over the coure of three months.
  • Andre and Magda Trocme and the city of Le Chambon, France, who provided a place of refuge for many Jews.
  • Padre Niccacci of Assisi, Italy, who rescued many Jews, even hiding them in the cloistered convents.

The book is thoughtfully done - accurately and fairly portraying Christian beliefs (and really showing Christianity at it's best - standing up in the face of evil) and delicately handling topics that would be sensitive for children. The author's intent is that "this account of the rescuers and their 'conspiracy of goodness' will serve as a tribute to all of those remarkable people who, in Abraham Foxman's words, 'seemed to be ordinary people living typical lives, but each was blesed with a touch of greatness.'" It is also beautiful to read that the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers (who are largely responsible for the content of the book) have turned around and tried to give aid, where needed later in life, to those who risked so much to accomplish these heroic rescues.

Review Date: 
1-12-01
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