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The Children of La Hille: Eluding Nazi Capture during World War II (Modern Jewish History) Paperback – November 19, 2015
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Walter Reed provides a gripping account of the experiences which the children of La Hille endured as targets of the Nazis’ murder machine – experiences which marked their lives and influenced their attitudes and behaviors. Through poignant description, Reed shares both the horrors and loss and the camaraderie of children who came together in their quest to live against the backdrop of the Holocaust. (Susan L. Abrams, CEO of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center)
Walter Reed has done an admirable job of reconstructing the collective biography of the Children of La Hille, a group of some 100 youngsters, of which he was one, sent from Nazi Germany... riveting, inspiring and moving. (Michael Berenbaum, Director Sigi Ziering Institute)
This stands by itself among the very few books and films that address the stories of children who survived the Holocaust. Reed’s story tells his own tale; but along with it comes the constant and poignant tale of those Jewish parents, including his own, who knew they were virtually certain to die and wanted only the chance that their children might survive. (Richard P. Unsworth, senior fellow at the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith College)
The book underscores the challenges overcome by all―parents, children, rescuers―in making it possible for most of these children to survive . . . a singularly detailed account of collective survival, and a fascinating one. (Pierre Sauvage, producer and director of the award-winning documentary film Weapons of the Spirit)
Reed is to be commended for the careful archival work and the wide range of primary sources he was able to gather to reconstruct the stories of the nearly 100 children that sought refuge at La Hille as well as the adults that cared for them and helped facilitate their survival. (Shannon L. Fogg, author of The Politics of Everyday Life in Vichy France: Foreigners, Undesirables, and Strangers)
The Children of La Hille offers the treasure of an insider’s intimate knowledge with the key added dimension of deep research. Drawing upon archival records, documents in private collections that have never been used before, as well as his own recollections, Walter Reed has pieced together a stunning rescue story that arced over the Atlantic. (Debórah Dwork, Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University)
The Children of La Hille is an authentic historical portrayal of how an unusual group of children was persecuted, rescued, protected and saved from deportation and murder by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
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This book should be an important addition to the library of those who want to know the truth about the evil of Nazism and the heroic resistance to it which a few people mounted.
Unfortunately, Walter Reed passed away unexpectedly in January 2016 just before his 92nd birthday.