The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust Paperback – 1 Feb 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
In The Righteous, Gilbert describes the many cases of righteous gentiles, throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, who risked their lives and all they had to save Jews, many of them children, from certain death at hte hands of the Nazi killing-machine.
Gilbert describes the heroic actions of those brave and righteous gentiles, by region describing the action of the unsung heroes in Eastern Galicia, Vilna, Lithuania, Poland, Warsaw, Western Galicia, Germany and Austria, Central Europe and the Balkans, Norway, Finland and Denmark, France, Belgium and Luxembourg, Holland, Italy and the Vatican and Hungary as well as in the Camps and on the death marches.
In some cases, entire nations came together to say no to Nazi evil, and to save the Jews of their country.
Denmark, Bulgaria and Albania stand out in this regard.
Irene Grunbaum wrote in her memoirs that one day she would tell the world how the Albanians 'protected a refugee and wouldn't allow her to be harmed even if it meant losing their lives. The gates of your small country remained open, Albania. your authorities closed both eyes, when neccesary, to give poor persecuted people another chance to survive the most horrible of all wars. We thank you'.
Morechaie Paldiel writes that 'An overwhelming majority of the Albanian population, Muslim and Christian, gave refuge to two thousand Jews in their midst, resulting in the almost total rescue of the Jewish community'.
While Gilbers describes the hroism of the Danish and Bulgarian people, he does not write enough on the very special and noble roles, to save Jews, taken by King Christian X of Denmark and King Boris III of Bulgaria.Read more ›
The heroic deeds of the few thousand gentile rescuers were all the more praiseworthy because they did it despite their societies, despite the anti-semitism that was often part of their own cultural background.
Most people were with few exceptions such as in Denmark willing to sacrifice their jewish communities without protest or worse. The nazis in many places could only carry out the Holocaust so efficiently because of the collaboration of the local populace such as in Ukraine and the Baltic countries. In the Ukraine the locals were known to be worse than the Germans, in that they were happy to be able to torture the jews before killing them.
But there were many wonderful people in all the occupied countries prepared to risk not only discovery by the germans but also being informed on by their neighbours. Being betrayed by locals was a very real risk and led to many deaths.
The Holocaust happened because it was allowed to happen. Most people know about Denmark saving all but 50 or so of their Jewish citizens, but how many know about Bulgaria (of all places) who said 'No' after the first transportation '-we're not allowing deportation of any more Jewish Bulgarians'. If only other countries had been so brave.
The Righteous is very well written and set out in such a way that its possible to dip in and out without becoming confused. The maps are helpful and Martin Gilbeert demonstrates yet again why he is one of our foremost Holocaust historians. An absolute must for anyone interested in this terrible time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Extremely well researched, thought provoking and definitely a book to be kept.Published 23 months ago by Janet F.