It does not diminish the tragedy faced by Jews to also mention the acts of heroic resistance and rescue that took place during the Holocaust. Tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe were saved from death by their Christian neighbors. Christians who sheltered Jews faced great risks. In Western Europe, anyone caught assisting Jews was sent to a concentration camp. In Poland and in Russia, the penalty for helping Jews was death by hanging. Poles who helped Jews not only faced death themselves, but also risked the lives of their families. Indeed the Nazis hung children from balconies as a warning. In this atmosphere of fear, most people avoided unnecessary danger. Thus, those who risked their lives to shelter Jews provide a rare light amid the darkness. Their extraordinary courage and compassion deserves to be remembered, honored, and cherished in any history of the Holocaust. 

 

Additional Links:

France: The Case of Vichy France

France: Le Chambon

Testimony: Four Girls from Berlin