"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 they might have to teach us more than half a century
after they defied Hitler.
In 1996, 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 war, the author became deeply interested in what the
rescuers have done with their lives since, and where their moral compasses
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