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.
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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.