"No matter how many Holocaust stories one has read, this one is a must, for its impact is so powerful."--School Library Journal, starred
I did not ask myself, "Should I do this?" but "How will I do this?"
Through this intimate and compelling memoir, we are witness to the growth of a hero. Much like The Diary of Anne Frank, In My Hands
has become a profound testament to individual courage.You must understand that I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a defierof the SS and the Nazis, all at once.
When the war began, Irene Gut was just seventeen: a student nurse, a Polish patriot, a good Catholic girl. Forced to work in a German officiers' dining hall, she learns how to fight back.One's first steps are always small: I had begun by hiding food under a fence.
Irene eavesdropped on the German's plans. She smuggled people out of the work camp. And she hid twelve Jews in the basement of a Nazi major's home. To deliver her friends from evil, this young woman did whatever it took--even the impossible.
March 8, 2016
14 and up
Grade 9 & Up
Irene Gut Opdyke (1922–2003) was named by the Israeli Holocaust Commission one of the Righteous Among the Nations, a title given to those who risked their lives by aiding and saving Jews during the Holocaust. She was granted the Israel Medal of Honor, Israel’s highest tribute, in a ceremony at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. The Vatican honored her with a special commendation. And her story is part of the permanent exhibit at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Armstrong is an award-winning author, perhaps best known for her books of history and historical fiction. Those books include The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History
, and Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World
"Powerful and life-affirming, this is the kind of exciting memoir that marks a reader forever." -- The Plain Dealer
"Even among WWII memoirs--a genre studded with extraordinary stories--this autobiography looms large, a work of exceptional substance and style." --Publishers Weekly,
"Opdyke uses simple direct language to demystify the concept of heroism and depict courage as a matter of basic human decency well within the capabilities of ordinary humans." -- The Washington Post Book World