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The Hidden Children: The Secret Survivors of the Holocaust

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They hid wherever they could for as long as it took the Allies to win the war -- Jewish children, frightened, alone, often separated from their families. For months, even years, they faced the constant danger of discovery, fabricating new identities at a young age, sacrificing their childhoods to save their lives. These secret survivors have suppressed these painful memori They hid wherever they could for as long as it took the Allies to win the war -- Jewish children, frightened, alone, often separated from their families. For months, even years, they faced the constant danger of discovery, fabricating new identities at a young age, sacrificing their childhoods to save their lives. These secret survivors have suppressed these painful memories for decades. Now, in The Hidden Children, twenty-three adult survivors share their moving wartime experiences -- some for the first time. There is Rosa, who hid in an impoverished one-room farmhouse with three others, sleeping on a clay pallet behind a stove; Renee, who posed as a Catholic and was kept in a convent by nuns who knew her secret; and Richard, who lived in a closet with his family for thirteen months. Their personal stories of belief and determination give a voice, at last, to the forgotten. Inspiring and life-affirming, The Hidden Children is an unparalleled document of witness, discovery, and the miracle of human courage.


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They hid wherever they could for as long as it took the Allies to win the war -- Jewish children, frightened, alone, often separated from their families. For months, even years, they faced the constant danger of discovery, fabricating new identities at a young age, sacrificing their childhoods to save their lives. These secret survivors have suppressed these painful memori They hid wherever they could for as long as it took the Allies to win the war -- Jewish children, frightened, alone, often separated from their families. For months, even years, they faced the constant danger of discovery, fabricating new identities at a young age, sacrificing their childhoods to save their lives. These secret survivors have suppressed these painful memories for decades. Now, in The Hidden Children, twenty-three adult survivors share their moving wartime experiences -- some for the first time. There is Rosa, who hid in an impoverished one-room farmhouse with three others, sleeping on a clay pallet behind a stove; Renee, who posed as a Catholic and was kept in a convent by nuns who knew her secret; and Richard, who lived in a closet with his family for thirteen months. Their personal stories of belief and determination give a voice, at last, to the forgotten. Inspiring and life-affirming, The Hidden Children is an unparalleled document of witness, discovery, and the miracle of human courage.

30 review for The Hidden Children: The Secret Survivors of the Holocaust

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    In Nazi-occupied Europe the pre-war Jewish child population came to about 1.6 million. During the war an estimated 1.5 million Jewish children where killed , leaving only 6 to 7 percent of them alive at the end of the war. Through 60 interviews with former child survivors, the author puts togehter a fascinating book that traces the story of a few of the Jewish children who survived the Holocaust , hiding in attics , convents , sewers and forests. In some cases they where helped by having fair hai In Nazi-occupied Europe the pre-war Jewish child population came to about 1.6 million. During the war an estimated 1.5 million Jewish children where killed , leaving only 6 to 7 percent of them alive at the end of the war. Through 60 interviews with former child survivors, the author puts togehter a fascinating book that traces the story of a few of the Jewish children who survived the Holocaust , hiding in attics , convents , sewers and forests. In some cases they where helped by having fair hair and looking less 'obviously Jewish'. It provides a compassionate and inspiring account , always reminding us of the humanity and childhood of the hidden children. It also deals with the lives of hidden children , after the war , as it traces their adult lives , and the effects of having to hide their identity , living in fear , and often , seeing their loved ones murdered. They where often faced with the imminent threat of discovery and saved by a series of miracles. These accounts are important to preserve in an age where genocide continues in places like Darfur in the Sudan , and has taken place in Cambodia , Rwanda and Kurdistan. Today influential voices are calling for an end to the State of Israel (which was in many cases built by holocaust survivors), which would certainly lead to a second holocaust aginst the Jews living there. It is up to us to prevent a second holocaust from occuring, by fully supporting Israel in her struggle to survive and fighting anti-Israel prejudice.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    A collection of short essays by people deftly named Hidden Children who were as the name suggests, hidden from mainstream view during the Second World War. Their stories are brought together by the author who held meetings starting in the early nineties for survivors to share their stories. This is a relevant and powerful book for those interested in Jewish history, the holocaust and the war. The editing of the book is frustrating at times; there are far more exclamation marks than are necessary. A collection of short essays by people deftly named Hidden Children who were as the name suggests, hidden from mainstream view during the Second World War. Their stories are brought together by the author who held meetings starting in the early nineties for survivors to share their stories. This is a relevant and powerful book for those interested in Jewish history, the holocaust and the war. The editing of the book is frustrating at times; there are far more exclamation marks than are necessary. Nonetheless, many of the stories are particularly harrowing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    This awful time in our history has affected so many even long after this war ended. The children who were left have suffered unbelievable trials and still to this very day cope with the concepts, the things they witnessed, and the guilt of being left behind and in so many ways the loss of their identities. Truly an awful, horrendous situation and one that should never be forgotten nor denied that it never happened. With the spate of Antisemitism recently seen in our current times, this is a relev This awful time in our history has affected so many even long after this war ended. The children who were left have suffered unbelievable trials and still to this very day cope with the concepts, the things they witnessed, and the guilt of being left behind and in so many ways the loss of their identities. Truly an awful, horrendous situation and one that should never be forgotten nor denied that it never happened. With the spate of Antisemitism recently seen in our current times, this is a relevant book to read to remind all that this event truly happened and that as humans we need to understand and accept our shared history with compassion and the intelligence to see that the Holocaust will never happen again.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Powerful and incredibly moving. This book is testament to the healing power in sharing our stories. Telling your story may be the most powerful medicine on earth. I read these stories over a six-to-eight-week period. It's not the kind of book that you consume in one sitting. The subject matter is intense... heavy... deeply disturbing... and stories of this nature can weigh you down so that you have to take a break in between. But they are such important stories and ones that have to be told as a Powerful and incredibly moving. This book is testament to the healing power in sharing our stories. Telling your story may be the most powerful medicine on earth. I read these stories over a six-to-eight-week period. It's not the kind of book that you consume in one sitting. The subject matter is intense... heavy... deeply disturbing... and stories of this nature can weigh you down so that you have to take a break in between. But they are such important stories and ones that have to be told as a reminder of what these children endured. I urge you to read this book. We need to be reminded of this terrible period in history. Especially now.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Phelps

    This book tells the story of 23 children who were hidden during the Holocaust, whether by posing as Christian children or by physically hiding (or both). It was incredibly interesting and enlightening. Of course I would recommend this book to anyone. Whether you enjoy history or not, even if you won't enjoy this book, doesn't really matter. What matters is that these people's stories are heard. That being said, though, I would especially recommend this to anyone in my own generation. Being only 1 This book tells the story of 23 children who were hidden during the Holocaust, whether by posing as Christian children or by physically hiding (or both). It was incredibly interesting and enlightening. Of course I would recommend this book to anyone. Whether you enjoy history or not, even if you won't enjoy this book, doesn't really matter. What matters is that these people's stories are heard. That being said, though, I would especially recommend this to anyone in my own generation. Being only 17, I've never really thought about much of the event of the recent past. I wasn't even alive for the Cold War. In history we learn about all of these events, but it take a book like this to make us get it - though of course we could never fully understand. Many people don't want to talk about the atrocities of the past, especially when children are involved, but it's important to do so to avoid a future plagued by the same problems.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Every participant in this book healed through meeting other "hidden children". It reinforces the concept of sharing our pain to heal. Every participant in this book healed through meeting other "hidden children". It reinforces the concept of sharing our pain to heal.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Dawson

    I must admit, after all the books I’ve read on World War Two, I never once contemplated the fate of the children who became orphans when their parents were killed. I definitely didn’t think about those who were abandoned. This story provides an excellent insight to one of the most heart-wrenching sagas in anyone’s life. I can’t imagine having to give up any of children in hopes that someday I’ll be reunited with them only to find out, they don’t want to part of our once happy lives. They were le I must admit, after all the books I’ve read on World War Two, I never once contemplated the fate of the children who became orphans when their parents were killed. I definitely didn’t think about those who were abandoned. This story provides an excellent insight to one of the most heart-wrenching sagas in anyone’s life. I can’t imagine having to give up any of children in hopes that someday I’ll be reunited with them only to find out, they don’t want to part of our once happy lives. They were left with those who the parents thought would best be able to raise them and keep them out of the hands of the Gestapo. As a child, what would your thoughts be about being left behind and forced to eck out an existence at the hands of others: sleeping in basements, hiding under straw in a barn, eating only what you can scavenge, never being allowed to go outside and play for years! How would you feel? What if you were dropped off at a nunnery with no explanation. Would you really want to see your parents after three year of solitude? If you are still questioning how you’d answer those questions, then don’t waste another minute and read this story from those who lived the life. Last note. In today’s world, the airwaves are filled with “it’s not fair, we won’t more, where’s mine, etc.etc.etc. These men and women who were only children in the late thirties and forties only wanted a chance to excel and live. They came from absolutely NOTHING and persevered. It is this attitude of determination and pride that allowed them to take nothing for granted and fight for what they wanted. We could use a lot of more of their grit today. Five Stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Powerful, heartbreaking, informative and enlightening. I cannot, nor do I wish to, imagine what these people (children!) had to endure. I am grateful that I know now.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    An Awakening I have read on her books of the Holocast including Anne Frank. However, I never realized to the extent the Jewish went into hiding. This book brought it all into reality. I wish to thank all who took part in this book. I believe this book should be mandatory reading I high school to keep the stories of the Holocast alive.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Annie Brady

    Read it because you should. Especially now. These stories need to continue to be heard.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    "One of the great untold stories of the Holocaust was that of the thousands of children who, like me, survived by hiding or being hidden from the Nazis. Many were still emotionally “in hiding” until fifty years later when we at last revealed our stories at the First International Gathering of Children Hidden During World War II in May 1991 in New York City. Some 1,600 of us from around the world together broke the silence about how we survived Hitler’s killing machine. "We exchanged stories about "One of the great untold stories of the Holocaust was that of the thousands of children who, like me, survived by hiding or being hidden from the Nazis. Many were still emotionally “in hiding” until fifty years later when we at last revealed our stories at the First International Gathering of Children Hidden During World War II in May 1991 in New York City. Some 1,600 of us from around the world together broke the silence about how we survived Hitler’s killing machine. "We exchanged stories about our hiding places: how we lived for months in sewers, closets, barns, and fields; how we joined the partisans and fought the enemy; how we stayed alive. We examined the guilt that continues to haunt us; the pain we felt at losing our loved ones; our anger; our inability to speak of these experiences with our family; our identity crises; and our confused, frightening, lost childhoods." "When I was an infant growing up in German-occupied Poland, I was called Henryk Stanislas Kurpi. To all the world, Bronislawa Kurpi was my mother. Actually, she was my Polish Catholic nanny who promised my parents she would take care of me. I was baptized and raised as a Catholic. My parents survived the camps and returned to claim me. A custody battle with my nanny ensued but my parents won. Eventually, my family and I moved to the United States." "Many thousands of us are still in virtual hiding. Some, particularly in Eastern Europe, are still afraid to admit they are Jews because of rampant anti-Semitism. Others may not even be aware of their true identities because their Jewish families perished during the war and their adoptive parents chose not to reveal their backgrounds. "We should remember that many rescuers were ostracized by their countrymen for saving Jews during the Holocaust. Today, it is still an uncomfortable subject in some countries." ............ The book began from an article assigned by an editor to Jane Marks to do, from which came a gathering of the hidden children, which she attended. "What surprised me initially was who the former hidden children were: highly successful, super well educated, upscale—and very charming! Perhaps I’d expected cold people, who would say in effect, “You don’t understand. Leave me alone with my suffering.” Instead I found them extraordinarily open. If some were hesitant as they began to tell their stories, it was not because they wanted to shut out the listener but because it was painful to relive what they had been through." "I remember one particularly moving workshop, “The Hidden-Child Experience.” At one point a woman who had been speaking stopped suddenly and stared at another woman who had just come in. “Oh, my God!” the one who had been talking cried out as they ran to embrace each other. “I came here for you,” the other woman said. They were friends who hadn’t seen each other in more than forty years. "For others that workshop was stirring and important in other ways. One man, recounting his own hiding experience, said, “My mother wasn’t very maternal—she gave me up.” "“Don’t you believe it!” another member of that workshop told him earnestly. “Your mother was maternal! She saved your life.” The man looked startled. “I hadn’t thought of it that way,” he admitted. Another woman movingly reminisced about her closest childhood friend—whose name was Anne Frank!" An African American couple attended. She had read the article and wanted to be there. "I used to hear my dad talk about “the six million Jews.” When he told me what that meant, something in my soul trembled. From that day on, my world became different. The horror of the pictures he showed me was forever burned into my being. How could people do such things to one another? They were all white!! Somehow this validated my belief that the institution of slavery went far beyond color." ............ Discussing the Hidden Children, one point made by Eva Fogelman in The Psychology Behind Being A Hidden Child is the following:- "Other traumatized groups, such as victims of incest, torture victims, and victims of racial bigotry, do not have this kind of identity conflict." She's discussing holocaust survivor hidden children with other groups such as survivors of Cambodia or Vietnam or Lebanon, or physically abused children. So far as she's seen, it's true; however, the immediate analogous similar people are obvious to those for whom they are not invisible - India, and particularly Hindus of India, who have been at the butt of every possible ridicule when not worse by not only the invading and colonising conquistadores but all who were in sympathy with the latter more than with the subjugated, that is, India and more particularly Hindus of India. When not ridiculed, they were seen as epitomising ills and castigated as everything bad or stupid or evil, although, with the slightest honesty one can see that those qualities are far more evident in those pointing the fingers. For example, India is castigated for her caste system, with an unspoken assumption to the effect equating the very word caste with India and Hindus. This is fraud, in that the word caste existed in Europe before Europe and arrived in India, and it related to castes of Europe until the Macaulay policy of breaking down India was implemented. It's only that castes elsewhere are based on power, wealth, landed property, royal blood and titles bestowed by royalty, race, and of course, gender. In India, it's about categorised classification of vocation of males, with women not held beneath or less. It seems arbitrary to those used to the primitive castes elsewhere, but so does civilisation to anyone uncivilised every time there is a confrontation, and the bully can always rape the artist or scientist. That's no proof of superiority. Nor is it obvious why monotheism, another point held against India, should be considered superior, since most religious wars and massacres are due to intolerance by monotheistic perpetrated against everyone else, other monotheists or others. What is obvious in face of such intolerance is the stupidity of monotheistic system when it results in intolerance and wars rather than an automatic assumption that everyone is equal precisely if God is one and unique. Alternative is the existing situation where every monotheist preacher states the certainty of all others going to hell, which, summed up, amounts merely to everyone going to hell because all these Gods of various monotheistic are sending followers of every other God to hell. ............ Nicole David and her parents fled Belgium as Germans invaded, and were in France for a while. "“In France the Germans occupied part of the country, but they were not yet deporting Jews. Outside a shop one day some German soldiers gave another little girl and me some chocolate. As we ate it, the soldiers stood there, bragging to my father about how strong and well organized their army was: ‘With us an order is an order,’ one said, ‘For example, if we were ordered to shoot these children’—he patted my head—‘why, we would do it!’" ............ Rosa Sirota and her mother, from Lvov, were helped by Marysia, Rosa's aunt's maid, who got her priest's consent for saving their lives. "“Even talking to the priest had been a risk for Marysia, because so many priests were against the Jews. To most Polish people being anti-Semitic was perfectly okay and did not detract from a person’s good moral character. Anti-Semitism was very popular. People who were sympathetic to Jews or were helping them had not only the Germans to fear, they also had to keep those sympathies secret from relatives and friends." ............ Kristine Keren was in Lvov and her father used to hide her and her bother. "“We lived in Poland, in the ghetto of Lvov. My father was always looking for places to hide my little brother, Pavel, and me because the Germans were intent on getting rid of all the Jewish children. One hiding place was a small, empty space, three feet long and one foot deep, below the window, which my father had camouflaged to look like the wall. I remember having to sit in there with Pavel for hours, struggling for air and being so scared! Tears were running down my cheeks, but I didn’t dare make a sound for fear the Germans would find us. But silently I’d pray for my father to come and let us out. Each time he came back, I begged him, ‘Daddy, please let this be the last time.’ I didn’t think I could take it anymore. "“My parents had to work in the labor camp, so I was often left alone with my brother. Several times when the Germans came, I had to hide Pavel in a suitcase under the bed while I hid in the closet, behind my mother’s long, rust-colored satin robe. I was only seven or eight years old at the time, but I could recognize the German footsteps. I had to hide myself and then wait a few more minutes for fear they’d come back again. Then I ran back to let my brother out of the suitcase so he could breathe again. "“He was good! He was only three and a half years old, but he never made a fuss. He understood, as I did, that we just had to be quiet and do what we were told. Life was getting scarier by the day. "“One day I heard a noise—like somebody gasping for air—and I looked out the back window. There I saw some Polish teenagers swinging bats and hitting a Jewish man, who was begging them to stop. But they kept it up until he lay there, dead. I’ll never forget that choking sound he made. I was just stunned." The father dug down through the basement, and the family escaped as German soldiers closed in. "“We all stayed there for a few days. Some people couldn’t take the stench and the darkness, so they left, but ten of us remained in that sewer—for fourteen months!" The descriptions are as horrible as can be expected, even when one is only reading it close to eight decades later. "“All this time nobody had to tell us to be quiet. I felt like an animal, ruled by instinct. I never spoke above a whisper. But after a few months of this life I was very, very depressed, and I didn’t want to eat or talk to anybody. "“That was when Leopold Socha picked me up and took me through the tunnels and said, ‘Look up.’ I saw the daylight, and he said to me, ‘You have to be very strong, and one day you will go up there and live a life like other children.’ At my father’s suggestion Mr. Socha brought books so my father could teach me to read and count. This way, they said, I’d be ready for school when the war was finally over. "“From then on I’d always watch for Mr. Socha when he would come every other day with our food. Always the first thing I’d see was his smile: a radiant smile with perfect teeth. He was such a cheerful man—and thoughtful too! He managed to get my mother candles for the Sabbath, and he’d always share his own lunch with Pavel and me."" Socha told them they could come out when Russian troops had arrived, but now they were without means in cold winter. Kristen went to school without footwear until the parents bought her boots. Socha was hit by a drunken driver and died. The family moved to Krakow. "But even though the war was over, anti-Semitism in Poland was not. My mother and even the school principal, a thoughtful woman named Mrs. Zajac, agreed that I must pose as a Christian. Can you imagine? Even after the war I had to hide my identity! In many ways the anti-Semitism I experienced after the war was more painful than anything that happened in the sewer. I remember how mortified I was when some neighborhood children taunted me and wrote Kristine, the Jew in huge letters on a wall. Even when my mother took us for a little vacation in the country, the lady we rented from said, ‘Hitler made one mistake: He didn’t kill all the Jews.’" They moved to Israel in 1957, and Kristine enrolled in medical/dental school, but she knew neither Hebrew nor English, and despaired despite having been a good student. Her father assured her she'd do well. She worked hard, translating word by word, till she began to get it. Her first exam was chemistry and she did well, and was congratulated by her professor. "“Actually I had a little trick I used then—and used until recently. Whenever anything was difficult, I would imagine myself in a concentration camp with a German soldier standing next to me pointing a gun. If I didn’t do whatever I was supposed to do, he would kill me. It was a painful way of motivating myself, but it was effective. It certainly got me through a lot." She got over much, but hasn't forgotten the cousin and other family members who were taken to the concentration camps. "“The experience stays with me in small ways or daily things. All I have to do is smell old fat, and it makes me nauseous—not because it’s spoiled but because I remember this as a taste from during the war. When we bought our house fifteen years ago, I noticed that the entrance to the attic was camouflaged in a bookshelf. I thought, What a good place to hide! I also can’t stand to see fear in someone’s eyes, especially when it’s a child. That’s why I am an extraordinarily gentle dentist. Believe me, none of my patients are afraid. If anyone shows fear, I have to stop." Kristine had never hidden her past, but her son's were shocked to realise how small she had been when she had undergone those times. ............ "RENEE ROTH-HANO "“I was born in Mulhouse in 1931. Germany, moving fast after France lost the war, annexed Alsace, where we lived. A few days later, we were expelled. We took refuge in Paris, but it wasn’t any real sanctuary. Fourteen major anti-Semitic decrees were passed between 1940, when we arrived in Paris, and 1942, when we had to go into hiding. The one that bothered me most was the one that said I had to wear the Star of David. I was ten years old. I had always been a very inquisitive, outgoing kid, but wearing the star was like the final straw, the most damaging of all; it made me feel ashamed. I became very withdrawn. "“Six weeks later fourteen thousand Jews were arrested in a roundup. A secret maid’s room was found for my parents to hide in. Meanwhile my two sisters and I were sent off to a convent called ‘La Chaumière,’ or ‘The Cottage,’ in Flers, a small town in Normandy. I resented the fact that my parents hadn’t found another way to hide us. I knew that friends of ours and even relatives had managed to stay together as a family. I really felt abandoned, but I couldn’t say so. As the eldest in the family, I understood that it was my job to maintain the family honor and take care of my two little sisters, Denise and Lily. It was a stiff-upper-lip kind of thing: I felt cornered and very burdened, but I had to make the best of it." Renee felt abandoned, but knew she shouldn't question the adults' decision, and had to look after her younger sisters. They didn't mention being Jewish and had to blend in, attend church and so on. "What I loved most was the singing. It made me feel like I belonged, which I....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    "One of the great untold stories of the Holocaust was that of the thousands of children who, like me, survived by hiding or being hidden from the Nazis. Many were still emotionally “in hiding” until fifty years later when we at last revealed our stories at the First International Gathering of Children Hidden During World War II in May 1991 in New York City. Some 1,600 of us from around the world together broke the silence about how we survived Hitler’s killing machine. "We exchanged stories about "One of the great untold stories of the Holocaust was that of the thousands of children who, like me, survived by hiding or being hidden from the Nazis. Many were still emotionally “in hiding” until fifty years later when we at last revealed our stories at the First International Gathering of Children Hidden During World War II in May 1991 in New York City. Some 1,600 of us from around the world together broke the silence about how we survived Hitler’s killing machine. "We exchanged stories about our hiding places: how we lived for months in sewers, closets, barns, and fields; how we joined the partisans and fought the enemy; how we stayed alive. We examined the guilt that continues to haunt us; the pain we felt at losing our loved ones; our anger; our inability to speak of these experiences with our family; our identity crises; and our confused, frightening, lost childhoods." "When I was an infant growing up in German-occupied Poland, I was called Henryk Stanislas Kurpi. To all the world, Bronislawa Kurpi was my mother. Actually, she was my Polish Catholic nanny who promised my parents she would take care of me. I was baptized and raised as a Catholic. My parents survived the camps and returned to claim me. A custody battle with my nanny ensued but my parents won. Eventually, my family and I moved to the United States." "Many thousands of us are still in virtual hiding. Some, particularly in Eastern Europe, are still afraid to admit they are Jews because of rampant anti-Semitism. Others may not even be aware of their true identities because their Jewish families perished during the war and their adoptive parents chose not to reveal their backgrounds. "We should remember that many rescuers were ostracized by their countrymen for saving Jews during the Holocaust. Today, it is still an uncomfortable subject in some countries." ............ The book began from an article assigned by an editor to Jane Marks to do, from which came a gathering of the hidden children, which she attended. "What surprised me initially was who the former hidden children were: highly successful, super well educated, upscale—and very charming! Perhaps I’d expected cold people, who would say in effect, “You don’t understand. Leave me alone with my suffering.” Instead I found them extraordinarily open. If some were hesitant as they began to tell their stories, it was not because they wanted to shut out the listener but because it was painful to relive what they had been through." "I remember one particularly moving workshop, “The Hidden-Child Experience.” At one point a woman who had been speaking stopped suddenly and stared at another woman who had just come in. “Oh, my God!” the one who had been talking cried out as they ran to embrace each other. “I came here for you,” the other woman said. They were friends who hadn’t seen each other in more than forty years. "For others that workshop was stirring and important in other ways. One man, recounting his own hiding experience, said, “My mother wasn’t very maternal—she gave me up.” "“Don’t you believe it!” another member of that workshop told him earnestly. “Your mother was maternal! She saved your life.” The man looked startled. “I hadn’t thought of it that way,” he admitted. Another woman movingly reminisced about her closest childhood friend—whose name was Anne Frank!" An African American couple attended. She had read the article and wanted to be there. "I used to hear my dad talk about “the six million Jews.” When he told me what that meant, something in my soul trembled. From that day on, my world became different. The horror of the pictures he showed me was forever burned into my being. How could people do such things to one another? They were all white!! Somehow this validated my belief that the institution of slavery went far beyond color." ............ Discussing the Hidden Children, one point made by Eva Fogelman in The Psychology Behind Being A Hidden Child is the following:- "Other traumatized groups, such as victims of incest, torture victims, and victims of racial bigotry, do not have this kind of identity conflict." She's discussing holocaust survivor hidden children with other groups such as survivors of Cambodia or Vietnam or Lebanon, or physically abused children. So far as she's seen, it's true; however, the immediate analogous similar people are obvious to those for whom they are not invisible - India, and particularly Hindus of India, who have been at the butt of every possible ridicule when not worse by not only the invading and colonising conquistadores but all who were in sympathy with the latter more than with the subjugated, that is, India and more particularly Hindus of India. When not ridiculed, they were seen as epitomising ills and castigated as everything bad or stupid or evil, although, with the slightest honesty one can see that those qualities are far more evident in those pointing the fingers. For example, India is castigated for her caste system, with an unspoken assumption to the effect equating the very word caste with India and Hindus. This is fraud, in that the word caste existed in Europe before Europe and arrived in India, and it related to castes of Europe until the Macaulay policy of breaking down India was implemented. It's only that castes elsewhere are based on power, wealth, landed property, royal blood and titles bestowed by royalty, race, and of course, gender. In India, it's about categorised classification of vocation of males, with women not held beneath or less. It seems arbitrary to those used to the primitive castes elsewhere, but so does civilisation to anyone uncivilised every time there is a confrontation, and the bully can always rape the artist or scientist. That's no proof of superiority. Nor is it obvious why monotheism, another point held against India, should be considered superior, since most religious wars and massacres are due to intolerance by monotheistic perpetrated against everyone else, other monotheists or others. What is obvious in face of such intolerance is the stupidity of monotheistic system when it results in intolerance and wars rather than an automatic assumption that everyone is equal precisely if God is one and unique. Alternative is the existing situation where every monotheist preacher states the certainty of all others going to hell, which, summed up, amounts merely to everyone going to hell because all these Gods of various monotheistic are sending followers of every other God to hell. ............ Nicole David and her parents fled Belgium as Germans invaded, and were in France for a while. "“In France the Germans occupied part of the country, but they were not yet deporting Jews. Outside a shop one day some German soldiers gave another little girl and me some chocolate. As we ate it, the soldiers stood there, bragging to my father about how strong and well organized their army was: ‘With us an order is an order,’ one said, ‘For example, if we were ordered to shoot these children’—he patted my head—‘why, we would do it!’" ............ Rosa Sirota and her mother, from Lvov, were helped by Marysia, Rosa's aunt's maid, who got her priest's consent for saving their lives. "“Even talking to the priest had been a risk for Marysia, because so many priests were against the Jews. To most Polish people being anti-Semitic was perfectly okay and did not detract from a person’s good moral character. Anti-Semitism was very popular. People who were sympathetic to Jews or were helping them had not only the Germans to fear, they also had to keep those sympathies secret from relatives and friends." ............ Kristine Keren was in Lvov and her father used to hide her and her bother. "“We lived in Poland, in the ghetto of Lvov. My father was always looking for places to hide my little brother, Pavel, and me because the Germans were intent on getting rid of all the Jewish children. One hiding place was a small, empty space, three feet long and one foot deep, below the window, which my father had camouflaged to look like the wall. I remember having to sit in there with Pavel for hours, struggling for air and being so scared! Tears were running down my cheeks, but I didn’t dare make a sound for fear the Germans would find us. But silently I’d pray for my father to come and let us out. Each time he came back, I begged him, ‘Daddy, please let this be the last time.’ I didn’t think I could take it anymore. "“My parents had to work in the labor camp, so I was often left alone with my brother. Several times when the Germans came, I had to hide Pavel in a suitcase under the bed while I hid in the closet, behind my mother’s long, rust-colored satin robe. I was only seven or eight years old at the time, but I could recognize the German footsteps. I had to hide myself and then wait a few more minutes for fear they’d come back again. Then I ran back to let my brother out of the suitcase so he could breathe again. "“He was good! He was only three and a half years old, but he never made a fuss. He understood, as I did, that we just had to be quiet and do what we were told. Life was getting scarier by the day. "“One day I heard a noise—like somebody gasping for air—and I looked out the back window. There I saw some Polish teenagers swinging bats and hitting a Jewish man, who was begging them to stop. But they kept it up until he lay there, dead. I’ll never forget that choking sound he made. I was just stunned." The father dug down through the basement, and the family escaped as German soldiers closed in. "“We all stayed there for a few days. Some people couldn’t take the stench and the darkness, so they left, but ten of us remained in that sewer—for fourteen months!" The descriptions are as horrible as can be expected, even when one is only reading it close to eight decades later. "“All this time nobody had to tell us to be quiet. I felt like an animal, ruled by instinct. I never spoke above a whisper. But after a few months of this life I was very, very depressed, and I didn’t want to eat or talk to anybody. "“That was when Leopold Socha picked me up and took me through the tunnels and said, ‘Look up.’ I saw the daylight, and he said to me, ‘You have to be very strong, and one day you will go up there and live a life like other children.’ At my father’s suggestion Mr. Socha brought books so my father could teach me to read and count. This way, they said, I’d be ready for school when the war was finally over. "“From then on I’d always watch for Mr. Socha when he would come every other day with our food. Always the first thing I’d see was his smile: a radiant smile with perfect teeth. He was such a cheerful man—and thoughtful too! He managed to get my mother candles for the Sabbath, and he’d always share his own lunch with Pavel and me."" Socha told them they could come out when Russian troops had arrived, but now they were without means in cold winter. Kristen went to school without footwear until the parents bought her boots. Socha was hit by a drunken driver and died. The family moved to Krakow. "But even though the war was over, anti-Semitism in Poland was not. My mother and even the school principal, a thoughtful woman named Mrs. Zajac, agreed that I must pose as a Christian. Can you imagine? Even after the war I had to hide my identity! In many ways the anti-Semitism I experienced after the war was more painful than anything that happened in the sewer. I remember how mortified I was when some neighborhood children taunted me and wrote Kristine, the Jew in huge letters on a wall. Even when my mother took us for a little vacation in the country, the lady we rented from said, ‘Hitler made one mistake: He didn’t kill all the Jews.’" They moved to Israel in 1957, and Kristine enrolled in medical/dental school, but she knew neither Hebrew nor English, and despaired despite having been a good student. Her father assured her she'd do well. She worked hard, translating word by word, till she began to get it. Her first exam was chemistry and she did well, and was congratulated by her professor. "“Actually I had a little trick I used then—and used until recently. Whenever anything was difficult, I would imagine myself in a concentration camp with a German soldier standing next to me pointing a gun. If I didn’t do whatever I was supposed to do, he would kill me. It was a painful way of motivating myself, but it was effective. It certainly got me through a lot." She got over much, but hasn't forgotten the cousin and other family members who were taken to the concentration camps. "“The experience stays with me in small ways or daily things. All I have to do is smell old fat, and it makes me nauseous—not because it’s spoiled but because I remember this as a taste from during the war. When we bought our house fifteen years ago, I noticed that the entrance to the attic was camouflaged in a bookshelf. I thought, What a good place to hide! I also can’t stand to see fear in someone’s eyes, especially when it’s a child. That’s why I am an extraordinarily gentle dentist. Believe me, none of my patients are afraid. If anyone shows fear, I have to stop." Kristine had never hidden her past, but her son's were shocked to realise how small she had been when she had undergone those times. ............ "RENEE ROTH-HANO "“I was born in Mulhouse in 1931. Germany, moving fast after France lost the war, annexed Alsace, where we lived. A few days later, we were expelled. We took refuge in Paris, but it wasn’t any real sanctuary. Fourteen major anti-Semitic decrees were passed between 1940, when we arrived in Paris, and 1942, when we had to go into hiding. The one that bothered me most was the one that said I had to wear the Star of David. I was ten years old. I had always been a very inquisitive, outgoing kid, but wearing the star was like the final straw, the most damaging of all; it made me feel ashamed. I became very withdrawn. "“Six weeks later fourteen thousand Jews were arrested in a roundup. A secret maid’s room was found for my parents to hide in. Meanwhile my two sisters and I were sent off to a convent called ‘La Chaumière,’ or ‘The Cottage,’ in Flers, a small town in Normandy. I resented the fact that my parents hadn’t found another way to hide us. I knew that friends of ours and even relatives had managed to stay together as a family. I really felt abandoned, but I couldn’t say so. As the eldest in the family, I understood that it was my job to maintain the family honor and take care of my two little sisters, Denise and Lily. It was a stiff-upper-lip kind of thing: I felt cornered and very burdened, but I had to make the best of it." Renee felt abandoned, but knew she shouldn't question the adults' decision, and had to look after her younger sisters. They didn't mention being Jewish and had to blend in, attend church and so on. "What I loved most was the singing. It made me feel like I belonged, which I .....

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    This book is a sensitive exploration of the Jewish children hidden from the Nazis. It's heart-breaking to read the recollections of people who were told their stories were unimportant because they were lucky to have survived. As children, they suffered terror, separation, grief, hunger, cold, and other untold hardships that are brought to light in this collection. Perhaps made more bright by the darkness of their past, the stories of their courage and hope as they begin their new lives after war This book is a sensitive exploration of the Jewish children hidden from the Nazis. It's heart-breaking to read the recollections of people who were told their stories were unimportant because they were lucky to have survived. As children, they suffered terror, separation, grief, hunger, cold, and other untold hardships that are brought to light in this collection. Perhaps made more bright by the darkness of their past, the stories of their courage and hope as they begin their new lives after war are so uplifting. I really recommend this book. We must ensure that the past is not repeated. The best way to do that is to remember what happened.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    This collection of mini-memoirs of children who survived the Holocaust by hiding was as gripping as you'd expect it to be. I couldn't help but put myself in the shoes of the children (or perhaps their parents) who hid, and wonder whether I would have realized that the tickets to the work camps were one way. It's interesting that all of the survivors Marks interviewed were so successful later in life. I wonder whether she selected only successful survivors, or whether, as one of the survivors mus This collection of mini-memoirs of children who survived the Holocaust by hiding was as gripping as you'd expect it to be. I couldn't help but put myself in the shoes of the children (or perhaps their parents) who hid, and wonder whether I would have realized that the tickets to the work camps were one way. It's interesting that all of the survivors Marks interviewed were so successful later in life. I wonder whether she selected only successful survivors, or whether, as one of the survivors mused, the experience of hiding for months or years put everything else in his life forever after in stark perspective.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Neetha Philip

    This book was paticularly interesting because it highlighted the fact that sometimes it takes years for people to get over a traumatic experience. We make a big "ruckus" when we hear of injustice in the news, however as soon as it goes off the news we forget about the people who have been subject to injustice, regardless of whether we wrote letters or were even actively involved in protesting. The book is a story of those who were determined to live, and provides enough food for thought to last This book was paticularly interesting because it highlighted the fact that sometimes it takes years for people to get over a traumatic experience. We make a big "ruckus" when we hear of injustice in the news, however as soon as it goes off the news we forget about the people who have been subject to injustice, regardless of whether we wrote letters or were even actively involved in protesting. The book is a story of those who were determined to live, and provides enough food for thought to last a few weeks, months or even, if you learnt anything from the book,a lifetime.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Amazing true stories of survival during the holocaust . Children were hidden in all sorts of places underground holes, forests, wardrobes or openly living amongst non Jews sometimes not even aware of their jewish origins. Some of these stories will stay with you forever. I was particularly moved by the children who were completely happy whilst living with their "hiding families" who's horror began after the war when they were uprooted from their familiar surroundings to be reunited with blood rel Amazing true stories of survival during the holocaust . Children were hidden in all sorts of places underground holes, forests, wardrobes or openly living amongst non Jews sometimes not even aware of their jewish origins. Some of these stories will stay with you forever. I was particularly moved by the children who were completely happy whilst living with their "hiding families" who's horror began after the war when they were uprooted from their familiar surroundings to be reunited with blood relatives that they cold not remember and did not even know existed. A very enlightening read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hayley

    This book contains some incredibly moving accounts from people who survived the Holocaust as children, although distressing in parts the accounts show some wonderful acts of kindness and demonstrate the bravery of those who were willing to help rescue Jews despite the threat to their own lives. The book really made the Holocaust seem that more real to me while I was studying Nazi Germany as part of a history GCSE and I would recommend this book to nobody who has an interest in that period.

  18. 4 out of 5

    cameron

    Wonderful read about terrible deeds. I don't know how much longer I can read about the Jewish children in Germany. Though, of course, it's important to remember, the impact of these stories is almost more than I can bear. Each story here becomes so personal that it breaks my heart but at the same time makes me incredulous at what the young spirit can endure. These children are my heroes. Wonderful read about terrible deeds. I don't know how much longer I can read about the Jewish children in Germany. Though, of course, it's important to remember, the impact of these stories is almost more than I can bear. Each story here becomes so personal that it breaks my heart but at the same time makes me incredulous at what the young spirit can endure. These children are my heroes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book at first. It was not a style I typically like (brief stories) but it ended up making it's point very well. A nice take on the hidden jewish children (who you typically think of as "the lucky" ones), turns out they weren't so lucky. I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book at first. It was not a style I typically like (brief stories) but it ended up making it's point very well. A nice take on the hidden jewish children (who you typically think of as "the lucky" ones), turns out they weren't so lucky.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anissa

    I actually did not finish this book. It was very hard to follow the characters and keep them straight. It was more a book of facts than a story. Great research, just not what I had in mind.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tommy

    very moving book - the first half is better than the second. each chapter is a different survivor's story. these stories are incredible. very moving book - the first half is better than the second. each chapter is a different survivor's story. these stories are incredible.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gerry

    so many stories and so many heartbreaking twists and turns

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Johnson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book tells the true-life stories of child victims of the Holocaust. These were not the children who were murdered in the concentration camps or killed in the ghettos. These are the hidden children...the children who were sent into hiding to homes of Christians, orphanages, and Catholic convents by their parents, with hopes of saving their lives. These were also the children who went into hiding with their families. Whether it be the forest, an attic, a hidden space behind a closet, an under This book tells the true-life stories of child victims of the Holocaust. These were not the children who were murdered in the concentration camps or killed in the ghettos. These are the hidden children...the children who were sent into hiding to homes of Christians, orphanages, and Catholic convents by their parents, with hopes of saving their lives. These were also the children who went into hiding with their families. Whether it be the forest, an attic, a hidden space behind a closet, an underground bunker, or in the sewers....the families did what they could to try to preserve the lives of their children, and themselves when possible. Sadly, when the war ended, many of the children’s parents had been killed. If their parents survived, and went to retrieve their children, the children did not remember their parents and were fearful of them. Hidden children may have physically survived the war, but they carried the emotional, physical and mental scars of fear and hiding. This book compiles a number of those children’s stories and how they moved on with their lives. I found this book to be very informative. It definitely shone a light on a subject of with which I was not familiar. Everyone should read this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristal

    23 incredible survivor testimonies of children who survived the Holocaust by hiding in various ways. I was surprised to learn about the “gate keeping” many people had with regards to Holocaust survivors (I.e. you weren’t actually a survivor unless you went through the camps or were in the ghetto). Shockingly, only around 6-7% of Jewish children survived the Holocaust, which I suppose makes sense given that they were sent straight to the gas chambers...so, most likely the vast majority of childre 23 incredible survivor testimonies of children who survived the Holocaust by hiding in various ways. I was surprised to learn about the “gate keeping” many people had with regards to Holocaust survivors (I.e. you weren’t actually a survivor unless you went through the camps or were in the ghetto). Shockingly, only around 6-7% of Jewish children survived the Holocaust, which I suppose makes sense given that they were sent straight to the gas chambers...so, most likely the vast majority of children who went through the Holocaust and survived had to have been hidden children, and their experiences are indeed valid. I was also surprised to see how many of the interviewees became physiatrists! And how girls fared better than boys in hiding due to circumcision, and how kids who looked “Aryan” could hide easier in plain sight. This is a really unique perspective which brought to light many aspects of the Holocaust which I never would have considered.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca From Florida

    3.75 stars for a few reasons... 4 stars because this book is filled with insights, stories about children hidden in plain sight or in places like a sewer during the Holocaust for survival. Both the stories and the psychological effects of hiding during the Holocaust are intense and well worth reading. 3 stars to the chapters... I wanted more! They were brief, and in many cases, too brief for me. I wanted more information, but also this isn’t MY story to tell, and I’m grateful these survivors cho 3.75 stars for a few reasons... 4 stars because this book is filled with insights, stories about children hidden in plain sight or in places like a sewer during the Holocaust for survival. Both the stories and the psychological effects of hiding during the Holocaust are intense and well worth reading. 3 stars to the chapters... I wanted more! They were brief, and in many cases, too brief for me. I wanted more information, but also this isn’t MY story to tell, and I’m grateful these survivors chose to tell their stories in the first place.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    They hid wherever they could for as long as it took the Allies to win the war -- Jewish children, frightened, alone, separated from their families. For months, even years, they faced the danger of discovery, fabricating new identities at a young age, sacrificing their childhoods to save their lives. These secret survivors have suppressed these memories for decades. This sounds more compelling that it is. After the first few stories, it was the same thing over and over. I am sure there are better They hid wherever they could for as long as it took the Allies to win the war -- Jewish children, frightened, alone, separated from their families. For months, even years, they faced the danger of discovery, fabricating new identities at a young age, sacrificing their childhoods to save their lives. These secret survivors have suppressed these memories for decades. This sounds more compelling that it is. After the first few stories, it was the same thing over and over. I am sure there are better books regarding this topic.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    This is an emotionally revealing account of children who went into hiding during the holocaust and the aftermath for them personally of their experience. Anne Frank is the well known prototype. Since each tells his or her own story, the raw trauma of the situation is very evident. Those who were rescuers are described realistically, some saints, some not so much.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mindy Konczal

    Deeply disturbing yet incredibly informative This is not an easy read for anyone who has a heart. It is disturbing and questions Humanity on so many deep levels. However the author, a hidden child himself, gives us an incredible bird's eye view and first-hand look into the Holocaust from its most innocent victims. Deeply disturbing yet incredibly informative This is not an easy read for anyone who has a heart. It is disturbing and questions Humanity on so many deep levels. However the author, a hidden child himself, gives us an incredible bird's eye view and first-hand look into the Holocaust from its most innocent victims.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Dorsett

    Wow. I'm afraid I may not have the vocabulary to adequately describe this book. It contains deeply moving stories of adults who were hidden as children during the holocaust. Recommended for anyone interested in the holocaust, anyone who is interested in how others persevere through extremely difficult circumstances, and all high school history classes. Wow. I'm afraid I may not have the vocabulary to adequately describe this book. It contains deeply moving stories of adults who were hidden as children during the holocaust. Recommended for anyone interested in the holocaust, anyone who is interested in how others persevere through extremely difficult circumstances, and all high school history classes.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pam F

    This book is truly a book that portrays what it means to be one of the “hidden children”. It is different than others in that the people experienced different things but things that were horrific to a human being. This goes well beyond Anne Frank and the book “Night” but revolves around what it was like to be a Jew during the Holocaust.

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