Biography Michael Leapman Witnesses to War

ISBN 13: 9780141308418

Witnesses to War

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9780141308418: Witnesses to War

A book of biographies giving accounts of the experiences of eight children from different parts of occupied Europe during World War II, who were either forced to hide, to flee, to assume a new identity or were taken prisoner in a concentration camp.

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About the Author:

Michael Leapman is a journalist and author of eleven books.

From Booklist:

Gr. 8^-12. Many thousands of children in Europe during World War II were stolen from their parents, screened in racial tests, and then selected for "Germanization" and adoption by German families; many never saw their parents again. Their experiences make up a significant part of this powerful collective biography, written without sensationalism by a British journalist who directed a BBC film about the Nazis' selective breeding program. Also included is a harrowing story, one that is seldom told, about a Gypsy child in Auschwitz. Then there is the boy from Lidice, the Czech town where all the men and most of the children were massacred by the Nazis. Each chapter begins with general historical background and then describes what happened to one child, often based on Leapman's interview with the adult survivor. Some of the other chapters--about children in hiding, and about those on the Kindertransport--will be more familiar from other Holocaust memoirs. Their painful stories show that even for those who found their families after the war, the reunion was sometimes difficult, as in the case of the Jewish child who did not want to give up the faith of the Catholics who had kept her safe. Unfortunately, the book's typeface is small and cramped, with almost no margins, but black-and-white photos document the gripping text, and the family snapshots break your heart. Hazel Rochman

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