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All Our Brothers and Sisters

Jews Saving Jews during the Holocaust

Edited By Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz and Alan Schneider

The book focuses on the heroism of Jews throughout Europe who risked their lives to save their coreligionists under Nazi rule. The contributors discuss and analyze the actions of Jews who rescued other Jews from the hands of the Nazis. These actions took place, to different degrees, in Germany, in Axis states and all across Nazi-occupied Europe, from the early stages of persecution until the war’s end, in the framework of collaborative efforts and individual initiatives. The Jews who rescued other Jews during the Holocaust came like their non-Jewish counterparts from different backgrounds: men and women, old and young, religious and secular, wealthy and poor, educated and uneducated. The rescue missions took place in ghettos, areas without ghettos, jails, camps, hospitals, children’s homes, schools, monasteries, in hiding. This book focuses on these rescue missions and the people behind them, reminding us of their courage and willingness to act, even when it put their own lives in danger.

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Hiding in Plain Sight: Gender, Faith, and the Conflicted Legacies of a Dutch Rescuer

Extract

By: Raymond C. Sun

A train pulled into the Central Station in Amsterdam. A young woman in a blue-and-white German nurse’s uniform hurried along the platform carrying a two-year-old boy in her arms. German soldiers stopped and questioned her. She answered that the boy was sick, and she was taking him to the nearby hospital. The soldiers let her pass. The train soon moved on to the transit camp at Westerbork, its passengers a fraction of the 98,000 Dutch Jews who between July 1942 and September 1944 were shipped by the SS from Westerbork to their deaths in Auschwitz, Sobibor, Bergen-Belsen, and Theresienstadt.2 But the “German nurse” was actually a member of the Dutch Resistance, and the boy was her cousin. Tipped ←87 | 88→off that the Germans had placed her Aunt Alie3 and her five children in the train in Rotterdam, Carla Olman Peperzak disguised herself in the nurse’s uniform she had bought as a medical technician, took along her stolen German identity papers, raced to the station, and searched the train cars until she found her relatives. Her aunt immediately gave up the baby; taking the older children was impossible, as they might say something incriminating. Fortunately, little “Loetje” (Louis) recognized Peperzak and remained calm. Passed from house to house, Loetje survived the war but lost his entire family, a fate representative of Dutch Jewry as a whole, 75 % of whom –102,000 – were murdered in the Holocaust – the highest rate in Western Europe.4...

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