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Whosoever saves a single life...

The Holocaust is a history of overwhelming horror and enduring sorrow. Sometimes it seems as though there is no spark of human concern or kindness, no act of humanity, to lighten that dark history. Yet there were acts of courage and kindness during the Holocaust that can offer us some solace about our past and hope for our future. Archives such as those of the United States Holocaust Museum contain records of rescuers and those whom they saved; Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem, has honored nearly 21,000 rescuers, and many additional cases await the ir consideration.

This bibliography lists works in English which discuss the lives and actions of rescuers during the Holocaust. Individuals, groups, and in the case of Denmark, almost an entire country, reached out. Bulgaria was also active in protecting its Jewish population.

People like Andre Trocmé, the minister and spiritual leader of the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, probably fit most closely to our stereotypes of those who will help. Trocmé was clearly motivated by ethical and religious convictions. Yet many others, who could have been expected to hold similar beliefs, failed to act. Less expected is an Oskar Schindler, the opportunistic businessman who made a fortune using Jewish slave labor?and spent that fortune again to save the lives of those in his factory. What did they have in common?

What was it that lead some people to reach out and help others, while most of the population around them did not? What was it, about individuals and societies, that led them to act on behalf of strangers? Perhaps, if we can begin to answer these questions, we can start to build societies in which such actions are more likely to happen, and in which genocide is less likely to occur.


One of the only books written about rescue in Norway. See also Cohen.
This oversize almost-coffee-table book contains brief narratives from 49 European rescuers. Each chapter opens with photos of the rescuer from the time of the war, plus a short narrative or interview, followed by Block?s full-page color portrait.
Corrie ten Boom was a devout Christian whose family rescued Jews in Holland during the war. Her narrative memoir, written with the help of John and Elizabeth Sherill, is a classic work, especially belove d by other Christians, who find in ten Boom someone who truly embodied the ideals of their faith.
One of the few books available about rescue in Norway. In sharp contrast to the infamous Nazi doctors in Germany, Norway's physicians were instrumental in leading the rescue efforts there. For more on rescue in Norway, see Abrahamsen.

Described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as "a unique blend of passionate engagement and clear, level-headed analysis."

Translation of Solidaritaet Unerwuenscht, Erinnerungen 1933-1940 (Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1992).

A social psychologist and former director of the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers, Dr. Fogelman presents many short vignettes about individuals who risked their lives to rescue Jews throughout Europe. Drawing on the research she conducted for her doctoral dissertation, she classifies the rescuers into five categories based on their motivations and examines how the act of rescuing affected the rescuers' self-image and identity, both during and after the war.

Th is was one of the first books about the rescuers, the result of ten years of research involving early interviews with both rescuers and survivors. Currently out of print; some copies available in libraries and through used book dealers.

Simple, understated, yet morally humbling account by one of the most celebrated Holocaust rescuers.
Publishers Weekly describes this book as a "comprehensive examination by a noted historian, recounted largely through first-person accounts by the Jews they rescued.... These thumbnail sketches of rescuers, their methods and, in some cases, the horrors they endured as a result of their courageous choices haven?t previously been gathered in one volume." Walter Laquer writing for the New York Times finds that the book is strong on breadth but weak on depth, noting only brief entries for each rescuer, and almost no interpretation.

A young person's biography of Sugihara by the woman who helped Miep Gies write Anne Frank Remembered.

Goldberger, Leo (Ed.) The Rescue of the Danish Jews: Moral Courage Under Stress . New York: New York University Press,1987.

An interdisciplinary collection of essays, including first-person accounts, which explore the question of why the Danes risked their lives to rescue their Jewish population. The effect, according to Dennis B. Klein, is to "show in uniq ue fashion the preconditions, or the possibilities, of collective courage."

This book describes the experiences of Jewish children who were forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust, and survived to tell about it. Includes many photographs and reminiscences of the "hidden children."

A brilliantly orchestrated account of those who rescued Jews in Hitler's Berlin.

In this well-documented and authoritative book, Gushee explores the full range of Gentile responses to the plight of the Jews from overt hostility and obscene brutality to altruistic rescue, the better to understand the achievements of truly righteous Gentiles.
Hellman uses a New Yorker-style nonfiction approach to profile five res cuers, each from a different European country. Now out of print, but see next listing.
Reissue of Avenue of the Righteous, with new foreward by the author.
Kahane was a Ukrainian Jew who survived the Holocaust by having been taken in by an archbishop, while his wife and daughter were hidden in convents. Library Journal describes his memoir as "a book notable for its intellectual and theological probing, its sensitive portraits of fellow Jews and the decent Ukrainians who sheltered him."

As he reaches the age of fifty, Keizer finds himself in a "dark wood" regarding his efforts throughout his life to be of help as a neighbor, husband, father, schoolteacher, and priest. He works through his personal conundrum by writing this brilliant (if sometimes a bit depressing) extended essay that examines help in all its forms. Chapter Five is devoted to Holocaust rescuers, and makes for rich philosophical reading.
A historical narrative that gives an overview of the organized and often armed resistance, including its attempts to rescue Jews.

This book deals with Holocaust rescuers in France.

An extraordinary rescuer whose story has just recently been unearthed, Sugihara issued thousands of visas to enable Jews to escape to Japan. This fine biography is by a sociologist who chairs the Judaic Studies department at Boston University.

A royal guardsman and member of the Danish resistance, Dyby helped to organize the rescue of the Danish Jews.
Short, moving, historically-accurate novel about the Danish rescuers that won the Newberry Medal. Suitable for ages 9 and up.
This book presents personal narratives of Italian rescuers and those they saved. It also attempts to defend Pope Pius XII, by claiming that the rescuers were acting under his orders, or doing what he would have wanted them to do. Pius XII has been severely criticized for his inaction during the Holocaust; contrasting viewpoints to Marchione's can be found in such books as Under His Very Windows (Zucotti), Hitler's Pope (Cornwall), and The Catholic Church and the Holocaust 1930-1965 (Phayer).

Luba was a Jewish woman who performed the almost unbelievable feat of rescuing, hiding, and nurturing forty-six children intended for death within the concentration camp where Anne Frank and many other children died. This short illustrated book is appropriate for young readers (ages 8 and up), as well as adults.

Described by Publishers Weekly as a "dense but fascinating treatise on moral psychology," this book also includes interview transcripts with five rescuers. Quite cerebral, but valuable for those wanting to understand where the values and ethical thinking of the rescuers fits in with currents of philosophical thought.

This book has an excellent chapter on rescue in the Netherlands which is set up and put into context by the other chapters, which are also excellent.
Opdyke's bestselling memoir of the Jews she saved in Poland is both a "thrilling adventure story" and also an inspirational "drama or moral choice and courage." Available in both adult and juvenile editions, and suitable for ages ten and up.
Forty-seven rescuer accounts from forty different countries, compiled by the director of the "Righeous Among the Nations" program at the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem.
Translated from the Danish, this is the story of rescue in Denmark by one of the Jews who were saved.
Translated from the Finnish, this is the only book we have come across about the rescue of Finland's Jews.
The author tells the story of his grandfather, Myrtil Frank, who, like Otto Frank, was also a German Jew that took his family into hiding in Holland. In contrast to the tragedy that ensued with Otto's family, all the members of Sanders' family survived the war. Sanders' painstaking research results in a thorough history of the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation, framed by the saga of his forbears in hiding.
Th e only book we've located about rescue in Albania.
Written by a journalist for Der Spielgel and translated from the German where it was more aptly titled "Silent Rebels," this book tells the story of the resistance in Belgium, and, in its last third, the tale of three Belgian resisters who mounted a guerilla attack on a train carrying 1,600 Jews to Auschwitz.
Dr. Tec, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, holds the special qualification of having herself been hidden in Poland as a child during World War II. Her book is focused on Christian rescuers in Poland, whom she interviewed and researched assiduously.
A biography of Sophie Scholl of the German White Rose movement, who opposed the Nazis and was executed by them.

Dr. Werner, a developmental psychologist and research professor at UC Davis, may have written the definitive tome about the Danish rescue of the Jews. According to Publishers Weekly, it "offers a wealth of first-person material, placed within a factually accurate, well-crafted text."
An excellent account of rescue efforts in Italy that saved approximately 85% of the Jewish population. Historian Zucotti draws on the testimony of scores of Italian survivors and their rescuers.

For a select list of articles about Holocaust rescuers, see https://hearthasreasons.com/rescuerarticles.html

For a select list of film, video, and DVD resources, see https://hearthasreasons.com/nonprintresources.html

These bibliographies were orignally compiled by Mary Mark, who maintained them until November 2000. With Mary's enthusiastic approval, they are now being maintained by Mark Klempner. Please contact him with suggestions, c orrections, or additions.


updated 6/2005