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In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer (1999)

de Irene Gut Opdyke

Altres autors: Jennifer Armstrong

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9192018,844 (4.3)1 / 46
Recounts the experiences of the author who, as a young Polish girl, hid and saved Jews during the Holocaust.
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This is the true story of a Polish girl during WWII. She was underage but left home to study to be a nurse. War breaks out. She spends several years being sent to different areas and working for different groups. She's raped and goes hungry sometimes. She becomes a spy of sorts, sneaking food to Jews, hiding them and helping them to escape. It's a truly inspiring story and gave me the feels. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Feb 17, 2021 |
Memoir of Irene Gut Opdyke, a Polish girl during WWII who worked to help save Jews. ( )
  Kristelh | Aug 22, 2020 |
I listened to this audio, which was excellent, and the story is fascinating. I also listened to it thinking it was a YA book, which isn't accurate I guess. I think I'll bring it to our schools anyway, because Irene is a teenager for a good part of the story, and it's so compelling I think they'll find it interesting. It does touch on very dark things as well as very hopeful things, but it didn't feel too graphic for our middle school students.

It also has stark parallels to several current situations, and I found her very first acts to help Jewish people in the ghettos encouraging for when you're overwhelmed by a situation. That moment of "I can't fix this, but I can offer a small act," is such a good reminder that small things count even if you sometimes feel like nothing you can do will matter. ( )
1 vota bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |
This book was pretty good but not amazing. I read it two years before writing this review, and I would have liked the story well enough - and perhaps given it 3 stars - if not for the content. It's a true story, so it really happened, but it made me uncomfortable to read about certain things.

Some of the major things that bothered me most were sleazy and creepy Nazi soldiers preying on women, the author's rape by Russian solders (a real threat to so many women in Europe during the war), and her willingly becoming a mistress to a Nazi officer in order to save her Jewish friends. The rape was not described at all and happened off-screen, and none of the book was explicit, but there were details about the other things and how it took place, and the mistress part was especially uncomfortable for me. I know it really happened to the author and other women, which I don't mind knowing, but it made me feel icky to read a dramatized account of it. It's just a matter of personal preference and my comfort zone.

There were also descriptions of other atrocities of war that got very gruesome at times, including the brutal killing of babies in horrible, inhuman ways. That was not my preference to read about, either, even though I'm okay with some violence.

Another thing that I didn't like about the book - that was merely annoying to me - was that it was written in a bit of a melodramatic fashion, as if the author and co-author were trying to sound like a beautiful novel. I don't prefer to read fiction that is overly descriptive or "novel-like" in its writing, and I definitely don't prefer it in an autobiography. I love autobiographies, and the good ones are just as gripping as a novel, but they're gripping enough when the writing is tight and quality and plain - they don't need to try so hard to be good.

This is an amazing story, and I was very inspired by the author's immense courage and the way she saved Jews with unflinching determination - despite being, as someone told her condescendingly, "just a girl." But the content issues took away from my enjoyment of the book, and I don't recommend it. I give it 1.5 or 2 stars. I love World War II autobiographies, but I prefer to stick with the ones that are comfortable for me. ( )
  Aerelien | Mar 23, 2020 |
Wow! In spite of the travails Irena Gut (later Opdyke) encountered during and after World War II, this book ends up being uplifting. It shows that even a young person can make a huge positive difference in the lives of numerous people. I am in awe of what Irene accomplished and hope that bother people will read this book and be similarly inspired. ( )
  ErstwhileEditor | Dec 24, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Opdyke, Irene Gutautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Armstrong, Jenniferautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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To my daughter, Janina.

And for the young people, who can accomplish the impossible and can achieve greatness by finding the strength in God and in the goodness of the human spirit. I dedicate my life story to encourage them to find hope and strength within themselves. Courage is a whisper from above: when you listen with your heart, you will know what to do and how and when. With all my life.

Irene Gut Opdyke
I dedicate this book with love and respect to Irene.

Jennifer Armstrong
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Kozienice is a small village in eastern Poland.
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Recounts the experiences of the author who, as a young Polish girl, hid and saved Jews during the Holocaust.

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Mitjana: (4.3)
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