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In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer
by Irene Opdyke

Published: 2004-09-14
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
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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, ...
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Introduction

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 Pick

A Publisher’s Weekly Choice of the Year’s Best Books


A Booklist Editors Choice

Editorial Review

When World War II began, Irene Gutowna was a 17-year-old Polish nursing student. Six years later, she writes in this inspiring memoir, "I felt a million years old." In the intervening time she was separated from her family, raped by Russian soldiers, and forced to work in a hotel serving German officers. Sickened by the suffering inflicted on the local Jews, Irene began leaving food under the walls of the ghetto. Soon she was scheming to protect the Jewish workers she supervised at the hotel, and then hiding them in the lavish villa where she served as housekeeper to a German major. When he discovered them in the house, Gutowna became his mistress to protect her friends--later escaping him to join the Polish partisans during the Germans' retreat. The author presents her extraordinary heroism as the inevitable result of small steps taken over time, but her readers will not agree as they consume this thrilling adventure story, which also happens to be a drama of moral choice and courage. Although adults will find Irene's tale moving, it is appropriately published as a young adult book. Her experiences while still in her teens remind adolescents everywhere that their actions count, that the power to make a difference is in their hands. --Wendy Smith

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  "A Different Perspective of the Holocaust"by FtLaudGal (see profile) 02/26/10

Irene was a teenager studying Nursing in Poland when the Nazi's and the Russian's both invaded poland during WW II. Separated from her family, this is her story of survival. It is a true story and Irene's... (read more)

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