From Publishers Weekly
Asked why she helped save Jewish children during Germany's occupation of Holland in WWII while so many others stood by, Clara Dijkstra replies, "The heart has reasons." Klempner, a folklorist and oral historian, attempts to explore some of those reasons through interviews with 10 Dutch resisters who rescued Jews from the Nazis. Each of the chapters includes a short introduction, a first-person narrative from the rescuer, followed by a question and answer format and historical information. The result is often choppy; a straight and more integrated narrative throughout each chapter would serve these powerful stories better. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, the author uses the book to come to terms with his family's past and figure out what to do with his life. The dual objectives of profiling rescuers and wrestling with personal issues don't always work well together; the narrative often shifts uncomfortably between a focus on the rescuers and the author's focus on himself. But the summary chapter, which explores the lessons learned from the resisters and the application of those lessons for today's world is a highlight. (Mar.)
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Klempner examines the lives of 10 Dutch rescuers who saved Jewish children during the Nazi occupation of their country during World War II. Some of them were primarily involved in helping to find safe addresses for the young people and then transporting them to those addresses. Three rescuers took Jewish children into their homes. One rescuer made regular visits to the houses where the children were hiding, bringing the host families food, ration coupons, and money. Another helped to raise money and one of them stole large supplies of ration coupons from government offices. One of them developed intricate security measures to ensure that the whereabouts of the children would not be found out, even if he or other members of the Amsterdam Student Group were arrested. All together, the 10 people profiled here, and other children's rescuers throughout the Netherlands, were able to save more than 4,000 young lives. These poignant stories shed light on one of the darkest episodes in the twentieth century. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved