Under the noses of the German military and French police, Georges Loinger smuggles Jewish children out of occupied France into Switzerland. In Belgium, Youra Livchitz and two other resisters ambush a train destined for a death camp, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the cattle cars. Four brothers lead more than 1,200 ghetto refugees deep into the Byelorussian forest, where they build a partisan fighting force and self-sufficient village. Forced to make detonators for German bombs, Estusia Wajcblum smuggles out gunpowder, grain by grain, to be used to blow up the crematoriums in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Despite debilitating wounds to both his feet, fourteen-year-old Idel Kagan helps dig an escape tunnel out of a forced labor camp in Poland. Sarika Yehoshua forms an all-girl unit of guerrilla fighters in the mountains of Greece, teaching them to shed their traditional ways and become soldiers. And twelve-year-old Motele Shlayan entertains German officers with his violin moments before setting off a bomb.
Through meticulously researched and stirring accounts—some well-known and some chronicled here for the first time—Doreen Rappaport brings to light the defiance of tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. These resisters answered the genocidal madness and unspeakable depravity that was Hitler’s Holocaust with the greatest weapons of all—courage, ingenuity, the will to survive, and the resolve to save others or to die trying.
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