About The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers and Their Stories of Courage
“You can’t let people be treated in an inhuman way around you.... Otherwise you start to become inhuman.”
So speaks rescuer Hetty Voûte in The Heart Has Reasons, a remarkable book that provides both a fresh look at the “righteous gentiles,” and a meditation on what these Holocaust heroes might have to teach us more than half a century after they defied Hitler.
Mark Klempner sought out some of the last surviving Dutch rescuers of Jewish children to better understand how and why they made their courageous choices. Inspired by their willingness to risk everything to help others during the Nazi occupation of Holland, he became deeply interested in what the rescuers have done with their lives since, and where their moral compasses point today.
What emerges is both a window to the past and a vision for the future. If the rescuers could remain committed to making a difference while under the boot of the Nazi regime, we surely have something to learn from them about taking a stand against injustices, about maintaining an open heart, and about not giving in or giving up. Framed by Klempner’s quest for meaning, their words resonate across generations, providing insightful guidance as to how people of conscience can navigate ethically in an increasingly complex world.
Click to read a press release from the Religion News Service
About Author Mark Klempner
Mark Klempner is a folklorist, historian, and social commentator. The son of an immigrant who barely escaped the Holocaust, Klempner spent nearly a decade talking with and getting to know the Dutch rescuers in order to write The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers and Their Stories of Courage. Klempner grew up in New York, and attended Cornell University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1997, and winning a J. William Fulbright Fellowship. In 2000, he received an M.A. in folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Klempner’s articles have appeared internationally in professional publications such as the Oral History Reader, as well as in mainstream newspapers like the Christian Science Monitor and the Baltimore Sun. He has also been featured as a commentator on Morning Edition, and has been interviewed on NPR, and other broadcast media. Online, Klempner is a blogger for The Huffington Post and has also contributed to Alternet.org and CommonDreams.org.
Click to read a newspaper article about Mark Klempner entitled Tales of Courage Changed His Life: Klempner's Meetings With Holocaust Rescuers.
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