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The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust Paperback – February 1, 2004
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
--Frederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Thus it is a nice complimentary effort to his other book entitled "The Boys", which narrated the stories of the several hundred children who survived the horrors of the Nazi death camps.
The only reason why I did not award it a 5 star rating is because each incident is invariably condensed in one or two paragraphs. This was perhaps made necessary by the sheer number of acts of rigteousness that the author had to cover. In my opinion, he could have covered fewer number of situations but covered them in greater depth.
Nevertheless, the book astonishes the reader by narrating the acts of supreme courage shown by the rescuers when they perfectly understood that they could lose their lives if their acts of kindness were discovered.
But the Joy in this work, the proverbial Silver Lining is there were good people during this period. Many of whom happily risked their lives for strangers. Opening thier pockests and their homes to the hunted with no expectation of rewards of any kind. Some of these heroes were actually anti-semites who drew a line within thier own souls to do good for those they did not like. Just as many of the villeins were mercenaries who did what they did for just money, not caring who thier victims were. And the Author admits he can not tell the stories of all these heroes but just the few mentioned here.
Besides the noble deeds of the great humanitarian scoundrel Oskar Schindler, who so reminds me of the hero of the Film The Music Man, and the simple Dutch farmsers the Bogaards who turned their farm into a sanctuary hiding Jews from the Dutch police, We hear of an SS man who hides a Jewish inmate from one of his superiors in Dachau. A gypsy family who hides a Jewish Girl. Nuns and priests who hid Jewish children. So many risked their lives and liberty for strangers. And many paid for those lives with thier own. So many heroes, just not enough to do any real effective damage to the beast at work.
It is good to know some good people did exist during these evil times, and that is the joy of this book.
I must also say I do not like the Israili supreme court changing their designation from Righteous Gentiles to Righteous Persons.
It cheapens these heroes and prevents the casual observer knowing the full extent of their nature. There are Men. There are Women. And then there are 'persons'.
Each chapter contains scores of tales and anecdotes of rescue. The author does little to link them up. He provides scant analysis contrasting his different anecdotes or establishing patterns of rescue (e.g. those who did it for money vs. those who acted out of religious belief or ideology, cities vs. villages, etc.). The chapters are arranged by country or geographical region of Europe, but there is hardly any discussion explaining why some countries had higher rates of rescue than others. It doesn't seem as if Gilbert has a working thesis that he wishes to defend through his evidence. Rather, it seems that he went to the Yad Vashem archive and collected as many interesting tales of rescue as he could find and then categorized them by country for his book.
Because it is filled with many, many interesting stories, this book will chiefly be of interest to "lay readers" or armchair historians with an interest in Holocaust studies. Professional historians and scholars of the Holocaust may use this book as a resource (esp. for teaching), but they will quickly stumble upon this book's limits.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stringing hundreds of individual stories without summary and analysis does not have much effect. The key is 6 million died and 20 thousand were saved. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
I thought this book was well written, and believe that it is important to have people do the right thing in times of evil.Published 3 months ago by Bernice Decker
Good read from the finest Holocaust Historian that ever published. He died this year. Great lossPublished 8 months ago by Linda Crowe
astounding, sad, only wish there were more righteous, is history repeating itself?Published 14 months ago by D. Cook
A book that needed to be written, based on painstaking, meticulous research of a little known subject. Highly recommendedPublished 17 months ago by Ernest Stock
An important work. Reads like a fine novel, but all the more powerful because these are stories of real people. I fine myself still haunted by this book. Read morePublished 22 months ago by dean Seppelfrick