In a book that is the very model of excellence in nonfiction, Rappaport dispels the old canard that the Jews entered the houses of death as lambs led to the slaughter.
Although "[t]he scope and extent of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust cannot possibly be contained in one book," Rappaport offers an astonishing and inspiring survey. By shining a spotlight on individuals and their involvement in given situations—Kristallnacht, deportations, guerrilla resistance, among others—throughout Europe, she creates intimate personal snapshots of the years of the Nazi occupation. She tells of people who committed acts of destruction as well as those whose resistance was in the simple act of celebrating and maintaining their faith in impossible conditions. Well-known events—the escape from Sobibor, the battle for Warsaw—share space with less-familiar ones. Short biographies introduce readers to those involved, some of whom the author has interviewed. Archival images help readers envision the people and places that are mentioned: partisan forest hideaways, concentration camps, the ovens, barracks, groups of people on their way to death, diagrams of camps and more.
Thorough, deeply researched and stylistically clear, this is a necessary, exemplary book. (pronunciation guide, chronology, notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)