“They Were Just People is an important contribution to the literature of rescue during the Holocaust. Tammeus and Cukierkorn have brought to the fore many gripping stories never before told, forming an inspirational narrative of courage and survival. These are the experiences of people who had the courage to care and the courage to act in a time when caring for others meant endangering oneself and one’s family. A Reader’s Guide supplements the poignant stories and compels the reader to reflect and discuss the implications of choice and action. The stories are individual, the lessons universal.”
—Stanlee J. Stahl, Executive Vice President, The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous
“A wonderfully written, engaging book providing a perspective that sadly is often missing when reading about the Holocaust. It shows that at least a few people saved the honor of humankind and witnessed God, even in the midst of such terrible times.”—Dr. Carol Rittner, RSM, Distinguished Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
“By sharing these personal accounts, authors Bill Tammeus and Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn provide for their readers a glimpse into the dilemmas and decisions faced by Jewish victims of Nazi persecution in Poland and by non-Jews who played a role in their survival. This book offers a useful perspective for those wanting to learn more about the Holocaust and the context in which rare acts of rescue occurred.”
—Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
“They Were Just People is a clear-eyed documentation of compassion during the Holocaust. The harrowing hunt to capture and exterminate a Jewish population in Poland is recalled by a score of survivors aided by rescuers—family, friends, and strangers—whose moral code and humanity transcended their own fear of Nazi retribution. But the stories do not sentimentalize nor analyze. Each account, carefully researched and corroborated, bears witness both to the survivors’ will to live and their rescuers’ determination to do the right thing. Authors Bill Tammeus and Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn triumph in a journalistic achievement about the innate spiritual resilience of humanity.”— Suzette Martinez Standring, Past President, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
The authors wrote this book in a documentary format.
This assortment of stories is a testament to the human spirit of goodness, and offers much personal history of those who resisted evil.
Extensive notes, bibliography, and Reader's Guide make this an exceptionally useful book for personal reflection or group discussion.
This was an eye opener for me...I am a Polish-American and recognized some of the areas in the stories...I ask myself the question... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Polish Princess
I liked this book. I have always enjoyed reading the life and times of those who were affected by WWII. Very touching, yet sometimes sad, it told of what really went on.Published 12 months ago by Katheine B. Denning
I am acquainted with Polish American scholars who are petitioning University of Missouri Press to take this edition out of circulation because of its Poland bashing. Read morePublished on September 8, 2011 by Arthur
An excellent read. It tells of Jews on the run from the Germans and those Polish families who helped rescue and hide Jews rather than sending them to their death. Read morePublished on April 16, 2011 by lindy lou
The authors wrote this book in a documentary format. Each survivor interviewed concisely told his/her story through the prism of how life was before, during, and after the... Read morePublished on September 25, 2010 by Big East Coast
The views of one megalomaniacal leader are not those of his people. "They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust" is a story of those Europeans who... Read morePublished on November 16, 2009 by Midwest Book Review