I took World History my junior year in high school. The only thing I can remember is that the teacher, Mr. Bogle, got a lot of flack from parents for displaying a Nazi flag in his classroom. I don’t remember learning about Hitler’s rise to power or his strategies to systematic take over ALL of Europe.
I still wouldn’t call myself any kind of an authority on WWII history, but I learned a lot from reading My Brother’s Keeper by Rod Gragg. I checked the book out of the library after hearing an interview with the author on the radio.
Each of 30 chapters in this book tell the story of an individual, family or church who willingly risked their own lives to protect Jews from the Nazis.
Most of the stories are about Europeans who helped their Jewish neighbors and countrymen. Hiding the Jews in safe homes. Leading them through wintery forests to safe borders where they would be out of harms way. One is of a teen girl who shared her lunch with a starving Jewish girl about her own age that was forced to work at a labor camp.
People from other countries did what they could too; a Chinese diplomat issued exit visas to every Jew who came to him for help.
A school teacher from Indiana moved to France where she ran a home where she could minister to sick and orphaned children affected by Nazi rule. Some set out to perform the heroic roles others rose to the occasion when they saw what was happening around them. When a captured American sergeant was ordered to identify the Jewish members of his troop he ordered all his men to report to the parade ground and explained “we are all Jews”.
All the stories were inspiring. Though the subject matter is dark I found this book an easy read that neither dwelt on Nazi atrocities nor glossed over them. I highly recommend My Brother’s Keeper.