Author(s): Irene Gut Opdyke
IRENE GUT WAS just 17 in 1939, when the Germans and Russians devoured her native Poland. Just a girl, really. But a girl who saw evil and chose to defy it. No matter how many Holocaust stories one has read, this one is a must, for its impact is so powerful. School Library Journal, Starred A Book Sense Top Ten PickA Publisher s Weekly Choice of the Year s Best Books A Booklist Editors Choice"
I did not ask myself, "Should I do this?" but "How will I do this?"
Through this intimate and compelling memoir, we are witness to the growth of a hero. Much like The Diary of Anne Frank, In My Hands has become a profound testament to individual courage.
You must understand that I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a defierof the SS and the Nazis, all at once.
When the war began, Irene Gut was just seventeen: a student nurse, a Polish patriot, a good Catholic girl. Forced to work in a German officiers' dining hall, she learns how to fight back.
One's first steps are always small: I had begun by hiding food under a fence.
Irene eavesdropped on the German's plans. She smuggled people out of the work camp. And she hid twelve Jews in the basement of a Nazi major's home. To deliver her friends from evil, this young woman did whatever it took--even the impossible.
Irene Gut Opdyke (1922 2003) was named by the Israeli Holocaust Commission one of the Righteous Among the Nations, a title given to those who risked their lives by aiding and saving Jews during the Holocaust. She was granted the Israel Medal of Honor, Israel s highest tribute, in a ceremony at Jerusalem s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. The Vatican honored her with a special commendation. And her story is part of the permanent exhibit at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Jennifer Armstrong is an award-winning author, perhaps best known for her books of history and historical fiction. Those books include The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History, Shattered, and Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World. From the Hardcover edition."