To Save a Life

To Save a Life : Stories of Holocaust Rescue

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Description

The Holocaust takes on a riveting immediacy in these true stories of an everyday, understated heroism that saved thousands of Jews from annihilation at the hands of the Third Reich. Combining personal interviews with contemporary and vintage photographs, "To Save a Life" pairs the stories of a handful of rescuers with those of people they saved. Ellen Land-Weber creates a moving, multidimensional picture of the evasive strategies and heart-stopping close calls that filled the years of the Holocaust for both rescuers and rescued. In matter-of-fact tones, the rescuers describe how and why they put their lives on the line to protect Jews from the Nazis, committing daily acts of resistance that ranged from providing hiding places to procuring false passports and papers, from arranging for medical treatment to interceding with the Gestapo for Jews who had been arrested. The rescuees narrate their growing awareness of the tightening circle of Nazi terror, their experiences in hiding, often being shunted from one safehouse to another, and their hair's-breadth separation from friends and family who did not escape. These stories of courage and risk, set in Holland, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, represent a great many other stories of rescue that will never be documented. Rescuers came from every walk of life - teachers, students, shopkeepers, factory workers, housewives, farmers - and were quite unexceptional in most ways. However, by their heroic response to the extraordinary circumstances of Nazi control, these individuals helped reduce the devastation of the Holocaust, sometimes by a single person, sometimes more. "On a certain day, I vanished from the earth," one of the rescuees recalls in "To Save a Life". The human courage and determination that orchestrated the disappearance and consequent survival of these near victims of the Holocaust makes for gripping and inspiring reading.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 162.3 x 211.6 x 30.2mm | 756.42g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252025156
  • 9780252025150

Review quote

"A book that anyone interested in the history of World War II should know about. But it is more about the human capacity for selfless action and about memory than about history in any narrow sense. It should be read by a far wider audience, by anyone willing to entertain the possibility of hope." -- Alissa Leigh, Houston Chronicle "Extraordinarily moving. The spareness of the narratives makes the stories more believable." -- Multicultural Review ADVANCE PRAISE "With a photographer's eye for the telling detail, Ellen Land-Weber has gathered remarkably heartfelt and vivid accounts of human bravery and compassion. By recording how some of us behave in extremis, To Save a Life can be measured alongside the great documentary projects of Lewis Hine, Walker Evans and James Agee, and Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor." -- Andy Grundberg, author of Crisis of the Real "If we want to cultivate persons of a higher and better moral caliber, then the examples of persons in this book should serve as excellent role models. Hopefully, Ellen Land-Weber's book will serve this good purpose." -- Mordecai Paldiel, director, Department for the Righteous, Yad Vashem, Jerusalemshow more

Rating details

4 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
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4 0% (0)
3 25% (1)
2 0% (0)
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