Dutch survivors of the Holocaust remember their years as hidden children.
During Hitler’s reign of terror, paths to survival for Jews were few and involved secrecy, danger, vigilance, and the kindness and bravery of strangers. Fourteen men and women recall their experiences with amazing clarity, detail and honesty. There are several commonalities in the accounts. Most began their ordeal at very young ages and had to take on heavy responsibilities and new identities, enduring frequent moves, incidents of near discovery, and unending fear and uncertainty. Some found compassion and love among their rescuers, and others were treated callously by sponsors who accepted them only for the stipend that the resistance organizations paid. After the war, most of them found that nearly all their family members had been killed, relationships with surviving parents were awkward, their homes had been given to other people, and postwar authorities were slow to help them resettle. The accounts are told in a matter-of-fact tone, with no attempt at sentimentality or self-pity. Photos of the survivors before the war and of some of their temporary homes and families accompany the text, and photos as they are now are shown at the end. Each memoir is poignant and heartrending on its own, and the compilation gives the reader a stunning sense of the horror of the Holocaust.
Terrifying, haunting and powerful. (foreword, glossary) (Collective memoir. 12 & up)