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When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945
 
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When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945 [Paperback]

Esther Gitman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 3, 2011
A historical study of the treatment of Jews in Yugoslavia after Nazi ideology was adopted, with an emphasis on the ways Jews survived and were rescued by those who put their own lives in great peril. When Courage Prevailed examines the ways Jews were rescued and survived in a country which the Ustaše, with their roots in Yugoslavia's nationality conflicts and politics, adopted the Nazi ideology which emphasized that there could be no compromise in regard to the Jewish Question and the Final Solution: no Jews deserved rescue. Survival of Jews was complicated by Yugoslavia's dismemberment at the hands of the Axis Powers; Germany and Italy and its satellites and puppets. The Nazi propaganda machine advocated that Jews must be exterminated for the good of the Aryans which included the Volksdeutsche, (Yugoslav of German ancestry), the Croats and the Muslims. Those who dared to defy German commands suffered severe penalties.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Faced with genocide, it's shocking that only a few dared to stand agaisnt the will of the state. When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945 tells the story of the Nazi force that spread to other countries in Europe, and the oppression of the Jewish people that was felt in this country alongside the other minorities of the region, where racial tension seemed to be strong throughout the twentieth century. When Courage Prevailed is a fascinating read of survival under continuing oppression --The Midwest Book Review

Book Description

A historical study of the treatment of Jews in Yugoslavia after Nazi ideology was adopted.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon House; 1 edition (March 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557788944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557788948
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Courage Prevailed November 14, 2011
By Ina
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It has been several months since Dr Esther Gitman's book "When Courage Prevailed - the Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia" was published. It was an enlightening and warm experience reading this book. Enlightening because it revealed to me the truth about Croatian people during WWII - i.e. that there were, indeed, many who helped Jews survive the Holocaust period. I felt warm after reading the book because amidst all that terrible tragedy that ensued against the Jews during World War II there were lots of stories of real hope and survival.
One could almost extract a kind of a "Schindler's list"/"Schindler's Ark" from Esther Gitman's book only the events were in Croatia and not in Poland, and while Schindler's list has been written about extensively the list we could extract from Gitman's book has, until her book, remained in the dark, in dusty and forgotten archives.
Using scientific arguments and discovered original documents, Gitman presents the evidence of the courageous and honourable Croatian people who had placed their own lives at peril in order to help the Jews. In essence, this is a historical study based on documented facts with the emphasis on the ways Jews survived and were rescued in the Independent State of Croatia (1941 - 1945) by Croatians, among others, who put their own lives in great peril in order to help Jews.
Usually, when reading books on historical and factual findings, one expects not to enjoy reading such a book as one would a novel or a non-fiction of desired genre. Esther has broken that mould; When Courage Prevailed was a delight to read.
Esther Gitman was born to a Jewish family in Sarajevo from which she fled with her mother during 1941.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring history April 24, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Esther Gitman has turned a mammoth amount of research into a well written narrative of personal courage and generosity. Her interviews reveal how the horrors of the Holocaust has a countering image of ordinary people putting their own safety at risk for the rescue of both friends and strangers.
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The book has some good detail. Although it is convincing that all or Croatia was not anti-Jewish during World War II, the book feels one-sided. We need not demonize all Croats, but the sympathy here seems a bit overdone.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read and a story worth telling March 20, 2011
By bchejt
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading Dr. Esther Gitman's book. I learned so much. My knowledge of the former Yugoslavia is not up to snuff, so there was much information that was new to me in the basic history of the period between World War I and World War II. I thought she did a good job of presenting a summary of that very complicated situation. I was also very interested in the archbishop's story, and in better understanding how the Catholic church dealt with the brutality of the Nazis. I had no idea of Italy's important role in rescuing Jewish refugees. It was very, very interesting.

What a very positive book it is. The rescue stories were fascinating in shedding light on what it takes to survive in a dangerous and constantly shifting environment. The stories of kindness and courage were uplifting. How good to memorialize not only the victims of the Holocaust, but also the heroes. Through the whole book, I wondered how Esther's family fared and what her story is.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and inspirational book - a must read November 8, 2011
Format:Paperback
"When Courage Prevailed" gives a unique and fascinating glimpse of an important piece of history that had been previously missing from WWII literature. Esther Gitman has synthesized a tremendous amount of research and first hand accounts into a very readable narrative, which creates a tangible and accessible history for the reader. The book describes the triumph of the individual spirit despite living in a brutal political era and pays tribute to the countless and often nameless rescuers who sacrificed a great deal in order to save a human life. The book is timeless and truly inspirational.
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