Your Life is Worth Mine: How Polish Nuns Saved Hundreds of Jewish Children in German-occupied Poland, 1939-1945
For the first two years of the German occupation of Poland in World War II, Hitler's policy was to suppress all potential Polish resistance by indiscriminate killing and deportations. Although the Jewish population was forced to wear the Star of David and to move into ghettos, it generally escaped the worst of the terror meted out to the Christian Poles. After the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, however, a systematic killing of the Polish Jews began; and by the end of the war, three million Polish Jews had perished at the hands of the Germans.
Three million Christian Poles had also lost their lives. Non-Jewish Poles were warned that any aid or shelter they provided to the Jews would be punished by an automatic sentence of death. Only in Poland did the Germans carry out their threat to kill entire families caught helping the Jews. A partial post-war record lists 704 names of Poles executed for helping Jews. Over 4,500 Polish names appear on the roll at Yad Vashem of Righteous Gentiles who saved Jews - by far the largest national group to be so honored.
Defying German orders, and risking their lives, thousands of Poles did save Jewish lives. Among the most effective of these rescuers were the female Catholic religious orders. Polish nuns, in nearly 200 religious institutions, including schools and orphanages, saved over 1200 Jewish children. These children arrived at the convents and orphanages in many different ways; some were brought by desperate relatives, family friends, or members of the underground; others were found wandering the streets; still others were abandoned at doorsteps. When taking in these children, the nuns had to weight the risk to themselves and the other children - to decide that the lives of the children were worth their own.
22 pages matching religion in this book
Results 1-3 of 22
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Time of the Holocaust
Attitudes Toward the Tragedy
11 other sections not shown
admitted adult Jews Albertine Sisters asked aunt author's private collection baptism baptized Bartoszewski Blessed Virgin Mary camp Catholic certificate Christian Church Congregation of Sisters convent homes Cracow Czestochowa daughter death diocese Emanuel Ringelblum Family of Mary father Felician Sisters Franciscan Sisters Germans Grey Ursulines hiding Holocaust Holy Immaculate Stara Wies interview Irena Israel Jesus Jewess Jewish child Jewish children Jewish nation Judenrats knew lives Lublin Lwow Magdalene Sisters Mary Immaculate Pleszew Mary Immaculate Stara mother superior Nazi nuns occupation organizations orphanage Otwock Pleszew Poland Poles Polish convents Polish Jews Polish nuns Polish order established pray priests Przemysl Rabbi Rachela religion religious remember rescuing Jewish children saving Jewish children sent Servants of Mary Sisters of Charity Sisters of Mary Sisters of St sisters saved Sisters Servants Social Welfare Department stay survived Teresa territories told took Ukrainian wanted Warsaw ghetto Wilno woman Zegota