What I’m Reading: In My Hands


I just finished up listening to the book In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke.  I was looking through the listings of my on line library.  I didn’t find anything I liked.  I ended up typing “Holocaust” in the search bar and a few books that I hadn’t seen before showed up.  Typically I type in historical fiction but had never seen this book.
Image result for in my hands
As I was writing this review I noticed that the book is classified and young adult.  I didn’t guess that as I reading it.  The book didn’t seem as graphic as some novels do and I was happy about that but didn’t consider that the writer was keeping it less graphic for young readers.  If put in dangerous situations I would hope to be as honorable, hard working, and helpful as Irene was to so many people.  When I read books like these I always think to myself, could I have been brave enough, could I have been as for thinking, could I have put my life at risk?  I so admire all the people who did.

People who risked it all to save others are the heroes in my life…people like Irene…the ordinary who do the extraordinary.  I am not awed by famous people…I’m awed by people like Irene.

Here’s what Amazon has to say: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.”

Amazon readers give the book 4.8 stars.  I am going to agree.  I really liked the book.  I loved that the book followed up at the end and told facts about the war…told of Irene, the main character’s, life following the war and into old age.


  1. Gretchen says:

    Sounds good, I’ll check and see if my library has it or can get hold of it through interlibrary loan.

  2. Melissa G says:

    I recently read Irena’s Children about Irena Sendler who saved thousands of children in Warsaw. Wonder if your book is the same Irena. An amazing book that I highly recommend.

  3. Jo says:

    I read that book too. It’s different books.