Books by Howard Greenfield

THE HIDDEN CHILDREN by Howard Greenfield
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

Milton Meltzer described the Holocaust's heroic gentiles in Rescue (1988); now, the author of Books (1976, 1989) and several artists' biographies presents the experiences of some of those saved—children, hidden in Europe, who later emigrated to the US. Greenfeld interviewed them, and the experiences of 15—including Nobel-winner Roald Hoffmann—appear here. The book is organized chronologically, with different accounts interleaved with enough historical summary for context. Events that drove various children into hiding are discussed together; experiences in hiding follow a logical sequence related to placement (convents, homes, etc.; frequent moves were common) or other similarities; the joy of liberation was typically tempered by a sense of guilt for having survived, and by others' underestimation of their deprivation. Despite excellent quotes from the survivors, and touching period photos, the arrangement makes it a little hard to keep individuals straight; however, their stories can be pieced together with the help of the index, and the format is effective in conveying the range of their experiences. Not all hosts were benign, not even the nuns; some children were well fed, others hungry; some led near- normal lives, more were confined or in terror; some few were eventually reunited with relatives. Not as comprehensive as Meltzer's book; instead, an intimate look at the telling individual memories of a handful of the conjectured 10,000 to 100,000 hidden children (a confounding possible range). Further reading; index. (Nonfiction. 9+) Read full book review >