Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hiding Edith: A True Story

Edith Schwalb was only six years old when she and her family fled from their home in Austria to Belgium. As Jews, they were trying to find a safe place to live. By March of 1943, Edith's father had been arrested twice and her mother had to make a decision. Mutti sent Edith and her younger brother Gaston to live in a small town in France - Moissac; to live with strangers. But Mutti was convinced her youngest children would be safe. And they were. For a time.

Kathy Kacer shares this story with us in her book Hiding Edith: A True Story. There are two things that are amazing about Edith's story. The man and woman to whom Edith and her brother were taken were members of the Jewish Scouts of France and they provided a home for hundreds of Jewish children whose parents were either frightened or missing. What makes this a unique story is that all the townspeople knew the children were Jewish and instead of turning them it to the SS, they protected the children. After the war, all but one of these children was alive.

Even so, it was not only the townspeople of Moissac or Shatta and Bouli Simon that kept Edith safe. When it became so dangerous that the children could no longer stay in the house Shatt and Bouli found each one of the children a safe place to go and they left one at a time for their new homes. After the war ended, Edith returned to the home in Moissac to care for orphaned children.

For more information on the Jewish Scouts of France, click HERE.

Also, this book, published by Second Story Press, is A Holocaust Remembrance Book for Young Readers. You can view other titles in this series HERE.

TITLE: Hiding Edith: A True Story
AUTHOR: Kathy Kacer
PAGES: 151
TYPE: Holocaust narrative, non-fiction
RECOMMEND: It seems that many of the books I have read recently have been about the rescue of Jews in France. Because most of my studies focused on Eastern European Jews, I am very glad to be learning about the experiences of Jews from other areas. This book is quite interesting and the photos provide another layer of education. The author did an excellent job in telling the story of Edith Schwalb Gelbard.

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