By Doreen Rappaport
Candlewick Press, $22.99, 240 pages
Tales of the Holocaust span over the past six decades, taking various forms. The history of events is well known, as well as the horrors experienced, and the effects are still being felt. Beyond Courage tells the story in a new way – a unique, touching, deeply moving collection of stories, gathered together in a way hitherto unseen. Most stories show the Jews succumbing to the Germans as “lambs led to the slaughter.” The stories in this book, however, highlight individuals who refused to give in to the fear that the Nazis inspired, who banded together to fight the hatred, and who survived, or at least rescued others.
Doreen Rappaport tells the stories of Jews who succeeded in guerrilla warfare, escaped deportation, and organized highly complex methods to save thousands. The reader learns of the brave resistors, unwilling to accept the forced conditions, fighting to maintain their faith and religious practices – those who had a choice between forsaking their heritage, or forsaking their lives, yet somehow managed to save both. The author has poured massive energy and time into this work, and it is obviously done with deep pride. It is a clear, thorough and endlessly inspiring book.
Reviewed by Deina Carbonara