In the Garden of the Righteous: The Heroes Who Risked Their Lives To Save Jews During the Holocaust

Harper: HarperCollins. Jan. 2023. 480p. ISBN 9780063037236. $28.99. HIST
Six years ago, Hurowitz began publishing in The Octavian Report, the digital quarterly magazine he founded, articles about individuals who rescued Jewish people during World War II. Some of those stories of “righteous Gentiles,” including an Italian bicycle champion, Portuguese and Japanese diplomats, and people from Denmark, are expanded in this collection of short biographies focused on the heroic actions of a small number of people during the Holocaust. Hurowitz reports on the lives of his subjects before and after their actions in Europe and consults the existing research on common traits among those who consistently do the right thing to help others. His intent for this book was to determine what society might do to make such behavior more commonplace. Like the sociologists and psychologists who have studied those who risked their lives, families, and careers to save those threatened by mass murder, Hurowitz finds and reveals common threads, such as many of the subjects had tolerant parents who disciplined them in consistently loving and rational ways. The author hopes presenting these stories as models might inspire many more to do something about the genocides that continue today.
VERDICT Of profound interest to those seeking to improve the world.
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