Drawing from twenty-five years of original research, Sir Martin Gilbert re-creates the remarkable stories of non-Jews who risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust
According to Jewish tradition, "Whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved the entire world." Non-Jews who helped save Jewish lives during World War II are designated Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust archive in Jerusalem. In The Righteous, distinguished historian Sir Martin Gilbert, through extensive interviews, explores the courage of those who-throughout Germany and in every occupied country from Norway to Greece, from the Atlantic to the Baltic-took incredible risks to help Jews whose fate would have been sealed without them. Indeed, many lost their lives for their efforts.
Those who hid Jews included priests, nurses, teachers, neighbors and friends, employees and colleagues, soldiers and diplomats, and, above all, ordinary citizens. From Greek Orthodox Princess Alice of Greece, who hid Jews in her home in Athens, to the Ukrainian Uniate Archbishop of Lvov, who hid hundreds of Jews in his churches and monasteries, to Muslims in Bosnia and Albania, many risked, and lost, everything to help their fellow man.
According to Laqueur, word started to spread soon after extermination began. But there is no easy, straightforward answer to the wider question of why there was a failure to read and correctly interpret the signs in 1941; why so many individuals and governments actually chose to deny the reality of genocide when faced with incontrovertible evidence. A probing and disturbing work, "The Terrible Secret" explores one of the most perplexing aspects of the Holocaust, a political and psychological riddle of general significance to the understanding of the history of our times.
Winston Churchill was a young man in 1894 when Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was convicted of treason and sent to Devil's Island. Despite the prevailing anti-Semitism in England as well as on the Continent, Churchill's position was clear: he supported Dreyfus, and condemned the prejudices that had led to his conviction.
Churchill's commitment to Jewish rights, to Zionism—and ultimately to the State of Israel—never wavered. In 1922, he established on the bedrock of international law the right of Jews to emigrate to Palestine. During his meeting with David Ben-Gurion in 1960, Churchill presented the Israeli prime minister with an article he had written about Moses, praising the father of the Jewish people.
Drawing on a wide range of archives and private papers, speeches, newspaper coverage, and wartime correspondence, Churchill's official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, explores the origins, implications, and results of Churchill's determined commitment to Jewish rights, opening a window on an underappreciated and heroic aspect of the brilliant politician's life and career.