Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Heroic Children by Hanoch Teller

This is a book that recounts the ordeal of the survival of certain children during the Holocaust.  Rabbi Teller utilizes his storytelling talents and skill in describing the true events of people who have gone on to lead successful and Jewish lives.

There are some conclusions one may glean from this contribution.  The survivors seem to have had a healthy suspicion toward the Nazis.  There was a natural tendency not to believe what they were being told.  This means that orders were not followed - if the community was told to gather in the a certain place certain individuals did the opposite - they fled.  How did they come to such suspicion when most of the Jewish world naively obeyed is a mystery.  Perhaps one may speculate that because these stories seemed to have occurred from the middle and toward the end of the war when possibly the Final Solution was already widespread these people understood if not intuitively that they were in a fight for survival.

Another point gleaned is that there were gentiles whose hearts were touched by these children and their humanity overcame their fear of the Nazi threat.  Some gentiles offering hiding places, some offered food.  Rabbi Teller does point out that most of these kindnesses were perpetuated on a minimum level like recommending stables or sties for hiding places or offering minimum staples and meager portions of food.

The author bluntly and accurately recounts the brutality of the Nazis, however, the book is resplendent in lessons in faith, a very worthwhile read.