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Did the Children Cry: Hitler's War Against Jewish and Polish Children, 1939-45 (Hitler's War Against Jewish and Polish Children, 1939-1945) Paperback – July 1, 2001
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About the Author
Richard C Lukas has authored and co-authored nine books. He earned his Ph.D. in history from Florida State University, and in recognition of his scholarship, Alliance College granted him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 1987. He resides in Florida.
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My mother never saw her father again because he was in a Prisoner of War Camp in Dusseldorf, Germany for the Polish Home Army and did not see him until she was 19 years old in America. On top of that, my mother's farm animals and livestock were murdered as well as the invasion of Nazis in her home.
My parents were never really the children that they were supposed to be because of the War. The war against the children of Poland whether they were Jewish or Catholic remains forgotten among the books about the Holocaust and World War II. My father died a month after he finally admitted to the slaughter. It was only after my research that I learned that his friends and neighbors were Jews. My aunt recalls her first boyfriend who was shot to death for delivering newspapers. My father also remembered his parents talking about how the Nazis were going to kill all of them and since Treblinka was a train stop away, it was a possible reality that they would all be next to the gas chambers. The children were witnesses to great horror during World War II such as the bodies of soldiers, friends, neighbors, and relatives among their midst as well as the destruction of their own community. The author does a superb job in helping us understand the children's plight. Unlike adults, the children were innocent victims and now many are in their seventies and they haven't discussed the horrors of war with the younger generations. Unlike the concentration camp survivors, many Poles don't talk about the war. After World War II, there was communism which was an improvement since instead of being killed that you were arrested. The psychological horrors from World War II can be argued forever. The truth is that a holocaust is happening somewhere. The Polish countryside that was once littered with crops turned to a killing fields of rotting corpses and death.
I really did not learn much except the scope of the slaughter of children from this book. Lukas repeats some of the narrative that he wrote in The Forgotten Holocaust, almost word for word. So that was a bit disappointing.
What was quite surprising to me was that I found mention of my mother, her fiance, and the youngster who made up their little trio of saboteurs/couriers in the Sokol battalion during the Warsaw Uprising. The reference was unmistakeable, as he referred to them by name, but the translation from the original Polish reference was not well articulated. I don't know if he used Google translator or just a bad human translator, because the translation was pretty concrete and with better interpretation could have been a bit more comprehensible.
All in all, this is a book that really does not add THAT much to the repertoire of WW II literature or to the Holocaust literature. Lifton and other Holocaust writers have dealt with this subject already, although admittedly they did conflate the Gentile and Jewish numbers. It is this conflation that obscures the fact that there were more than Jewish children who suffered and died. The fact that Lukas broke them out and discussed the context for the deaths of each set of children is the value of this small book.