In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer

In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer

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"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553494112
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/14/2004
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

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, Shattered, and Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World.

Read an Excerpt

The Villa

The instant I was able to get away after breakfast, I walked to the villa as quickly as I could — quickly enough to put a stitch in my side and to break a sweat in the heat. I unlocked the door and burst inside, dreading the sound of painters bumping ladders against the furniture. But it was silent. I was in time — assuming that my friends were indeed waiting in the basement. The smell of cabbage and potatoes lingered in the air.

Almost fearing what I might find, I opened the basement door and clattered down the stairs, my shoes making a racket on the wooden steps. "Hoo-ee! It's Irene!" I called out.

The first room was empty. Trying not to worry, I opened the door to the furnace room, praying to find my six friends — and Henry Weinbaum. The door creaked as it swung open into the gloom, and I called out again.

"It's Irene!"

There was an almost audible sigh of relief. One by one, figures emerged from the shadows: Ida, Lazar, Clara, Thomas, Fanka, Moses Steiner, and a young, handsome fellow I took to be Henry Weinbaum. I shook hands with them all silently, suddenly overcome with emotion. They were all there; they were safe and alive. And then, to my surprise, I found three strangers, who greeted me with an odd mixture of sheepishness and defiance.

"I'm Joseph Weiss," the eldest of the three said. "And this is Marian Wilner and Alex Rosen. Henry told us."

For a moment I was at a loss. I had ten lives in my hands now! But there wasn't time for lengthy introductions. The soldiers from the plant were due any minute to start painting.

"Hurry, everyone," I said. "You'll have to stay in the attic until the house is painted. I'll check on you as often as I can. I don't need to tell you not to make any noise at all."

This was met with grim nods all around. Then we made our way upstairs. The attic was musty; dust swirled in a shaft of light from the high window, and the air smelled of mouse droppings. "Shoes off," I said. "Don't walk around unless you absolutely must."

I locked them in just as trucks ground to a halt out on the street.

I kicked the basement door shut on my way to let in the soldiers, and then unlocked the front door.

"This way," I said, stepping aside to usher them in with their painting equipment and drop cloths. When I glanced outside, I saw the major climbing out of a car.

"Guten Tag, Irene," he called cheerily.

I bobbed my head. "Herr Major."

"This is splendid," he said, rubbing his hands together as he came inside. "I'll move in in a week or so, when all the painting and repairs are finished, but in the meantime, I'd like you to move in right away, so that you can oversee things. Don't worry about your duties at the hotel — if you can serve dinner, Schulz can manage without you the rest of the time."

As he spoke, Major Rügemer strolled back and forth across the hallway, glancing into the rooms and nodding his approval. His footsteps echoed off the walls, and he muttered, "Ja, ja, ausgezeichnet," under his breath. Then, when another truckload of soldiers arrived, he went outside to meet them and show them around the garden: There were renovations to be made on the grounds, as well. I stood at the dining room window, watching him point out the gazebo and indicate which shrubs and trees should be removed and where new ones should be planted. Behind me, I could hear the painters beginning to shove furniture across the floors, exchanging jokes and commenting on the weather and the sour cabbagey smell left behind by the previous tenants. I heard one of them say "...the major's girlfriend."

I gritted my teeth and prepared to spend the day keeping the soldiers away from the attic.

For the next few days, while the soldiers swarmed around the villa — painting, repairing, replanting — I contrived to smuggle food upstairs to the attic. I took fruit and cheese, cold tea, bread and nuts. I also took up two buckets to use for toilets. The attic was stuffy with the heat of summer, but we were reluctant to open the one window high on the wall. The fugitives had accustomed themselves to much more discomfort than this. They were willing to sit in the stifling heat, not speaking, just waiting. At night, when the workmen were gone and I had returned from the hotel, I was able to give my friends some minutes of liberty. They used the bathroom, stretched their legs, and bathed their sweating faces with cool water. But we did not turn on any lights, and we were still as silent as ghosts.

It wasn't long before the servants' quarters had been completely refurbished; I had seen to that. Telling the workmen that the major had ordered the work to be done from bottom to top, I directed them to start with the basement. Then, when it was finished, I waited until dark and triumphantly escorted my friends to their new quarters, fresh with the smell of sawdust and new paint instead of old cooking.

It was the start of a new way of life for all of us. Several of the men, being handy and intelligent, were able to rig up a warning system. A button was installed in the floor of the front entry foyer, under a faded rug. From it, a wire led to a light in the basement, which would flicker on and off when I stepped on the button. I kept the front door locked at all times, and when I went to see who might be knocking, I had ample opportunity to signal to the people in the basement. One flash would warn them to stand by for more news. Two flashes meant to be very careful, and constant flashing meant danger — hide immediately. We had also found the villa's rumored hiding place: A tunnel led from behind the furnace to a bunker underneath the gazebo. If there was serious danger, everyone could instantly scramble into the hole and wait for me to give them the all clear. The cellar was kept clear of any signs of occupation. Once the men had killed all the rats living in the bunker under the gazebo, it could accommodate all ten people without too much discomfort.

There was food in plenty; Schulz kept the major's kitchen stocked with enough to feed a platoon, and once again, I could not help wondering if he had an inkling of what I was doing. I was also able to go to the Warenhaus whenever I needed to, for cigarettes, vodka, sugar, extra household goods, anything the major might conceivably need for entertaining in his new villa. Of course, the soldiers who ran the Warenhaus had no way of knowing that half of what I got there went directly into the basement, and I was certainly not going to tell them!

The basement was cool even in the intense summer heat; there was a bathroom, and newspapers, which I brought down after the major was finished with them. All in all, the residents of the basement enjoyed quite a luxurious hiding place.

And yet it almost fell apart when the major moved in at last.

"The basement is finished, isn't it?" he asked me when he arrived.

All the hairs on my arms prickled with alarm. "Do you have some plans for it, Major?" I asked, keeping my voice from showing my fear.

He unbuttoned the top button of his tunic. "I'm sure it will do very well for my orderly."

I felt the blood drain from my face, and Major Rügemer looked at me in surprise. "What is it?"

I did not have to fake the tears that sprang to my eyes. "Please don't move him in here," I pleaded. My mind raced with explanations. "I never told you this, but at the beginning of the war, I was captured by Russian soldiers and — and I was — " My throat closed up.

The major frowned at me. "You were what?"

"They attacked me, sir, in the way that men attack women."

Reading Group Guide

1. When Germany invades Poland, Irene is separated from her family and loses her country. She says, “In the war, everything was unnatural and unreal. . . .” What is life like during wartime? How does Irene react to her new circumstances? How does she manage to adapt to the new reality that is thrust upon her?

2. Irene asks “Was that girl me? In the war . . . we wore masks and spoke lines that were not our own.” Discuss the different masks that Irene wears during the war. How much do you think her flair for acting contributes to her survival? What role does she finally define for herself?

3. “I did not ask myself, Should I do this? But, How will I do this? Every step of my childhood had brought me to this cross-road; I must take the right path, or I would no longer be myself.” How does Irene grow into her role as a rescuer? What is her first small step? How does she gradually increase the risks she takes? What skills does she acquire that help her succeed? How does her telling her story now relate to her resistance during the war?

4. “How could I presume to be their savior? And yet I had promised. I had to do it.” What motivates Irene to take such incredible risks? Is it her religious belief? Her upbringing? Her anger at the cruelty all around her? Does she truly consider the alternatives–does she think it possible not to help?

5. Throughout the war, and for many years after, Irene is separated from her family--first by circumstance, but later as a direct result of having helped her friends. When does this separation weigh on her the most heavily? In what ways do the people whom she has helped become her family? Many years after the war, Irene meets Roman Haller–the child of two of the people she hid. How might he be considered a closer relative than her own nieces and nephews?

6. Discuss how being female affects Irene throughout the war. She often refers to herself as “only a girl.” For example: “I was only a girl, alone among the enemy. What could I do?” Yet a page later she says, “I was only a girl, nobody paid much attention to me.” What are some other advantages and disadvantages of her being “only a girl”? How do you think she views this status in the end?

7. Early in the story, Irene is raped, beaten, and left for dead by Russian soldiers. How does this change her feelings about herself? Her feelings about men?

8. Later in the story, Major Rügemer agrees that he will not turn the Jews hidden in his basement over to the Gestapo if Irene will become his mistress. She describes this relationship as “worse than rape.” In what ways is it worse? Does she believe she has any choice? What does she imagine the people she is hiding would want her to do?

9. 1.Irene often contrasts the major’s decent behavior with Rokita’s cruelty. But after the major forces her into a sexual relationship, she feels confused. “I wondered how the major’s honor would allow him to make such a bargain. I had always felt that behind the uniform was a decent man. I had never seen him do anything cruel or rash. . . .” Does Irene realize the full extent of the major’s feelings for her? How does she use his affection to her advantage? Is his eventual exploitation of her inevitable, as she implies?

10. What are Major Rügemer’s feelings for Irene? He both protects her and does her harm–how would you assess his behavior as a whole? Why does he take Irene to visit her “cousin”? When he leaves Irene alone at the hotel, do you think he knows that she will run from him? Do you find his actions forgivable? Is it possible to feel sympathy for him? Does Irene forgive him? What happens to him at the end of the war?

11. How would you contrast the major’s behavior with that of Herr Schulz? Irene calls him a “good, friendly man” and admits “he made hating the Germans a complex matter, when it should have been such a straightforward one.” Why does Irene suspect that he knows what she is doing? How much is he willing to help? Is Herr Schulz’s behavior understandable? Excusable? Laudable?

12. Irene faces the threats of torture and imprisonment in Siberia. She is raped by a Russian soldier, blackmailed by a German officer, and separated for years from her family. She knows that the fate of her Jewish friends is in her hands. What does she risk to help? What is her biggest sacrifice?

13. When the Jews whom Irene has been hiding escape into the forest, she is unsure what to do next. She explains: “Shouldn’t I have been happy? But I was oddly dejected, because my great and righteous undertaking was finished.” Then, on the very next page, she says she has found her calling. She throws herself into fighting for Poland by joining the resistance. After the war, does she continue her efforts? If so, how?

14. Irene often goes to church and confession. Does religion sustain her or fail her in her times of need? Discuss the different clergymen she encounters. How does she cope with their conflicting advice and admonitions?

15. Does Irene’s faith ever waver? Does she question God? At what point in the story? She ends her memoir with the words “Go with God.” How does she hold on to her belief in God when she has witnessed so much suffering and cruelty?

16. The book is framed by the sections “Tears” and “Amber.” How are these two pieces related? How do they reflect Irene’s growth from the beginning of the war to the end? How has the meaning of amber shifted by the end of the memoir?

17. Irene often says that she had no choice but to act as she did and that God put her in the right place to act. But in her epilogue she tells us, “God gave me this free will for my treasure. I can say this now. I understand this now. The war was a series of choices made by many people.” Were Irene’s actions predestined or the result of her free will? How is free will an important idea in understanding the Holocaust?

18. Images of birds permeate Irene’s memoir. Discuss what all these different birds might mean. Sparrows, hens, storks, pigeons . . . do any of these symbolize Irene? What else do the birds represent?

19. On the very first page of Irene’s story, an image of a bird represents a horrible scene she witnessed during the war: “There was a bird flushed up from the wheat fields, disappearing in a blur of wings against the sun, and then a gunshot and it fell to the earth. But it was not a bird. It was not a bird, and it was not in the wheat field, but you can’t understand what it was yet.” What does she need to make the reader understand? Why do you think she begins and ends her story with a reference to this incident?

20. The real scene represented by this image is one of the most indelible in the book: a soldier viciously throws a baby into the air and shoots it. The people Irene is with when she sees this happen turn away from the horror, but Irene continues to look. Why does she watch?

21. Irene and her companions do not discuss what they have seen, but keep the secret until they “could bring it out, and show it to others, and say, ‘Behold. This is the worst thing man can do.’” How does Irene “show it to others” and what does she hope to accomplish by doing so?

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In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 164 reviews.
KS24 More than 1 year ago
The book In My Hands: Memoires of a Holocaust Rescuer, tells the inspiring tale of a young Polish girl, Irene Gut, and how she became a Holocaust rescuer. Irene was a seventeen-year-old, Catholic girl living in Poland at the time of Hitler's invasion in 1939. As the war progressed, Irene's family, country and life apart began to be torn apart Through small actions at first, Irene strived to help the Jews. She began with simply smuggling food to the Jews in the neighboring ghetto. Irene's impact quickly turned into much more when she ultimately risked her own life in order to save the lives of 16 other Jews. This book displayed the horrors of World War II, but also the compassion of people during the war. Through the vividly described events and scenes, the reader is drawn in and allowed to feel the emotions that could only be felt, not seen. Her tale gives realism to the Holocaust that I had never experienced before. Overall, I completely adored this book. I could hardly put it down! There was not a single part that I disliked or would change. The plot is constantly thickening and always throwing new obstacles in the way of Irene. Her story is an inspiration to all those that read it and carries strong themes of patriotism and courage. Despite her young age or how bad circumstances looked, Irene never gave up on herself or her country. Her courage is an example of how everyone can do something, despite how small, to change the world. Although this novel is categorized as young adult, I would encourage people of all ages to read it. There is a lesson to learn by everyone within these pages. Overall I would give this book a 5 out of 5 star rating. Other recommended readings similar to this book would include The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne and The Diary of Anne Frank.
lisajjb More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing story of how one young woman overcame so many hurdles to keep herself alive all the while saving the lives of others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I begin to be interested in World War II and this close, personal story puts you there in the action. It is unforgivingly real and true to this woman's story and life. If you have read Anne Frank, you will want to read this more mature, yet heart-breakingly similiar memoir of life in the face of absolute hatred.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
     Imagine living with the image in your mind everyday of seeing an infant whipped into the air and shot. Imagine witnessing struggling,  famished laborers being worked to death before your very eyes. While all this is going on, imagine you are working in a kitchen, feeding  officers large feasts for every meal and watch them waste tons of food while there are young children just a mile away starving. All you can do is stand and watch. If you try to interfere, you are sentenced to imminent death.  The autobiography In My Hands tell the horrible life story of Irene Gut Opdyke as a Holocaust rescuer. That is exactly how her life  was. She was surrounded by horror and agony, and she was told she could do nothing. In her autobiography, she tells about escaping  from the Red Army, being taken prisoner and forced to work for the Nazis party, escaping and working with the Polish resistance and all  throughout her journey, rescuing many Jewish prisoners escape to freedom. Throughout the book, you are following her emotional  roller-coaster. One minute she is free and happy living with her sisters and family and the next, her family is ripped away from her, and  they are forced to work in caves and her living conditions are horrible. I found this book to be eye opening, inspirational, interesting, and all around an amazing read. It ties in aspects of action, drama,  war, struggle, history, triumph, and selflessness. This book is perfect for those who have a passion for the Holocaust and World War II,  but also people who like books about rebellion, and it is overall a great book to teach people to do what is right, even though the  consequences may be alarming and dangerous. That is what Irene did. She knew it was extraordinarily dangerous to help Jewish prisoners but she did it anyway. She went against the law, risking her life, just to save the lives of innocent people.  This book is a bit graphic so it might not be the best idea to read for young people, but is perfect for anyone around the age of a high  schooler or older. It is a wonderful life lesson for all groups of people and it is important to learn about the past and learn lessons from  the tragedies of the past and this is a wonderful and truly beneficial book to anyone who reads.
SusieQMO More than 1 year ago
I have read many books and have a long list of favorites but this book will be in the top 5 and Irene's story will stay with me forever. I read this book in 3 days and when I was not reading it I was thinking about it and what it must have been like to live during WWII and the Holocaust. I tried to picture myself walking in Irene's shoes or being one of the Jews that was sent to a camp or being a German who had Jewish neighbors. How would I have handled it all? How would I have acted? Would I have been brave and stong like Irene or would I have been scrared and looked away? I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderful and good story of a beautiful, stong and caring person & I wish I could have known Irene.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this one down. Highly recommend. It takes a look at WWII from the perspective of a young Polish girl and her journey through the war years.
5aweek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer, by Irene Gut Opdyke"In My Hands" starts with the author writing to the reader that if she tried to tell you what really happened during the war, told you everything at once, you wouldn't understand it. She includes an image that you won't comprehend until later in the book, the image of a bird falling, a bird that is not a bird. And as you come to understand what the bird really is, your heart will break, and you will know just what Irene means. Born in 1922, in Poland, Irene had a happy childhood and a normal life. As a young child, she is saved from death by the family dog, and many in her village are convinced this means she has a great and promising life ahead of her. But for a girl in the 1920s, there weren't many adventures available, and drawn to helping people, Irene decided to go to nursing school. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Irene's school was on the border, and she was immediately thrust into the war as a student nurse, then as a member of the Polish resistance. Living in the woods, part of an army without a country, Irene was selected to go on a mission into a nearby town and was captured by a Russian patrol who raped her and left her for dead. That experience alone would be enough to break almost anybody, but not Irene. The rape is merely the first of an indescribable number of hardships she endured during World War II; I often had tears in my eyes while reading this book. Irene lived through several lifetimes during the war, and while I am around the same age as her, I couldn't imagine surviving anything that she went through. Irene's story is so many things - it is one of hope, one of courage, one of resistance, one of overcoming the odds, one of doing the right thing. A prisoner herself, while working in a German hotel, Irene did all she could to help those around her, including smuggling out food, warnings, and even hiding 12 Jews in a German officer's home. Once I started "In My Hands," I couldn't put it down. Irene's story captivated me from beginning to end, and as I came to understand the metaphor of the bird that she starts her story with, I agreed with her. There is no way I could have understood all that she wanted to tell me if I didn't know the whole story, if I didn't know everything she endured and fought for. I found myself wanting to tell everyone I could about her story, and it led to a great talk between my father and myself (we're both history nerds). While "In My Hands" is marketed as a young adult book, I believe it's beneficial for anyone, of any age, to read it and absorb it. Irene was moved to write her story after hearing that some groups claimed the Holocaust was a hoax, and she spoke for 30 years, imbuing a message of hope and tolerance to children across the country. Hands down, this is the best book I've read all year, and I wish I could thank the author. 5/5.
Marlene-NL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good book. Interesting to see how it was in Poland where the Germans took many of the European Jews.
Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a really great addition to the literature already out there on the Holocaust. I really enjoyed reading this book and it was easy to get through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BrandyGirl More than 1 year ago
This book is great. It gets you right in the beginning and is a very good account of living through the holocaust.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There's an almost manic energy that permeates this true story It truly immerses the reader into the war itself
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Riveting in its detail. Amazing courage and endurance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In My Hands  is the  memoir by Irene Gut Opdyke. What I like the about this memoir is the change in plotlines. First she’s a girl trying to become a nurse; then she is a rescuer of Jews. Next she a part of a partisan group then a housekeeper of a German officer. Another part of the story that I like is the excitement. At moments where she is almost caught hiding Jews or escaping a Soviet prison, it is constant excitement. But it did have its downside. The author went too much into detail about killings. The memoir is a great book, and I would strongly recommend others to read this book.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my Hands is a book you can’t put down! It’s a type of book that you won’t be able to stop reading after you have picked it up. It’s full of action, suspense, and can make you want to cry at some point. It’s a book where when you have to stop reading, you will question yourself about what happens next! When I picked up the book at first I thought it was kind of boring, since nothing was really happening, but I’m glad I kept reading! In my Hands is a real page turner! Through this intimate and compelling memoir, we are witness to the growth of a hero. Irene Gut was just a girl when the war began: seventeen, a Polish patriot, a student nurse, a good Catholic girl. As the war progressed, the soldiers of two countries stripped her of all she loved her family, her home, her innocence -- but the degradations only strengthened her will. She began to fight back. Irene was forced to work for the German Army, but her blond hair, her blue eyes, and her youth bought her the relatively safe job of waitress in an officers' dining room. She would use this Aryan mask as both a shield and a sword: She picked up snatches of conversation along with the Nazis' dirty dishes and passed the information to Jews in the ghetto. She raided the German Warenhaus for food and blankets. She smuggled people from the work camp into the forest. And, when she was made the housekeeper of a Nazi major, she successfully hid twelve Jews in the basement of his home until the Germans' defeat. This young woman was determined to deliver her friends from evil. It was as simple and as impossible as that. This is an outstanding and fascinating book to read! However, I would not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 14. Many horrible things happen to this young woman, and can be very descriptive on how it happened also. If you were to read this book, I think you need to be mature enough, to realize what horrible things had happened to her. My examples, when she was helping injured ones when a bomb went off, two Nazi soldiers came and brutally beaten and then raped her. Another example would be, Major Rugemor found out that she was hiding the Jews in his house, so he said he would keep the secret if she would become his mistress. This was a real page turner! If it were turned into a movie, it would be an edge of the seat type of movie! If you get a chance to read this, don’t miss a great opportunity!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Book Review Book title and author:  In my Hands   Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke with Jennifer Armstrong Title of review: The Savoir for Jews Number of stars (1 to 5): 4 Introduction Have you ever read this book? This book was a very hard to understand book for me, but if you are smart them it will be perfect for you. The main idea was that there was this girl named Irene Gut and she lived in Kozience. She had a bad start when the war started by she was polish and could not speak German.  She started working for a person that taught German and would teach her. Irene was blond hair and blue eyes and spoke German.  Irene helps Jews and tries giving them food. In the review I will tell you about the theme, plot, style, and much more. Description and summary of content The author was Irene Gut Opdyke she was the girl that tried helping the Jews.  After the war she had started to tell about what she had seen and what she was trying to do to help the Jews.  She would watch babies being thrown in the air and shot at like who can get the baby’s head shot. She had to watch some important people in her life get taken away to go in concentration camps.  Evaluation The main characters in the story are Irene Gut, her mother, her father, soldiers that took Irene, the workers that helped Irene. The plot over the story is how this girl named Irene Gut tried helping the Jews by getting them food out the window and because she has blue eyes and blond hair, also could speak German, but she was polish. Some quotations are “This could happen to you!” That is what the guard would tell the Jews when they beat one to death for breaking the rules. The setting over this story is in Germany and in Svetlana, but Irene moved everywhere from work with Major Rugermer. The theme of the story is even though she is not a German; she still tried helping people by costing her life on the line. The style of the story is when Irene is crazy by helping Jews when she barely passed as a German. conclusion In this review I told you about all those things and many more. This girl named Irene is a wonderful person and a savior to the Jews. People could have died over things that Irene did to try to save them. She put people lives in danger by helping them.  She was really nice to try and help the Jews. Although she could not be able to get food she tried her best on giving food away by tossing it out of a window for the camps to get the food. Almost everyone who is smart and will understand the book should read it, I should not cause it is a little out of my vocabulary by having large words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This woman was very brave for what she did, all that she did to keep the jews hid in the basement safe. This woman should have got a oskar
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would loved to have met Irene Gut.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
               The book In My hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut is an inspirational book to many readers. This book takes place during the era of the Holocaust. Irene  is a 17 year old girl, and her country is split between two nations: Germany and Russia. Irene is now on the run for survival. in some  situations she can pass for a Russian with her blonde hair and blue eyes and in others, trouble is calling her name. Irene faced a lot of  situations in her book that make you thankful for our world today. Ms. Gut never gives up on her country or on her family throughout the  book. She struggles throughout the Holocaust trying to help Jews escape the wrath of Adolf Hitler, and there may be a couple of loops she has to jump through to get to the other side, but never does she quit , never does she stop hoping that one day things will be okay for her family and her country. Throughout this book there is a lot of suspense that builds up because you keep wondering what will happen next. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sugarbush43 More than 1 year ago
Beautiful story from outside of the concentration and death camps.  An inspiration to everyone - I can only hope that I would be as loving, brave, and selfless as Irene if push came to shove.  We should all hope to be like her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never read this book, but I met this woman's daughterand heard her mom's story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago