An utterly amazing, true, first-person account of one girl's experience in wartime. Irene Gut Opdyke was a Catholic Polish nursing student when WWII broke out. She soon became mired in the horrors of central Europe as, at various times, a partisan, a refugee, a housekeeper to the Nazis and, over all, as a heroine. She singlehandedly saved the ...
An utterly amazing, true, first-person account of one girl's experience in wartime. Irene Gut Opdyke was a Catholic Polish nursing student when WWII broke out. She soon became mired in the horrors of central Europe as, at various times, a partisan, a refugee, a housekeeper to the Nazis and, over all, as a heroine. She singlehandedly saved the lives of at least 16 Jewish people from the Holocaust. Now living in America and aged 77, Irene, with the help of a respected historical novelist, has told her story with all the power and passion that such a remarkable history can inspire.
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A GOOD, DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THIS AUTHOR'S LIFE AND EXPERIENCES. SORT OR CONTRIVED NEAR THE END, BUT GOOD DETAIL EARLIER-GOOD PHOTO COVERAGE.
Dec 10, 2010
"In My Hands" is the memoir of a woman who as a young girl, rescued several Jews and helped others from the clutches of the Nazis during WW II. As a Polish nursing student she experienced the Russian/German division of Poland, ending up in Soviet occupied Poland before Hitler invaded Russia. Numerous experiences toughened her on her life's path which placed her among the Righteous of Nations. The lively narrative makes this a quick read.
Aug 20, 2009
This is a wonderful example of a women's unselfish acts of bravery in a time of horror. She risked her life countless times to save Jewish people. I am thankful for people like her who did the right thing despite the danger to herself. She should be an example for all of us. I think this should be recommended reading for High School students. I would recommend this book to everyone. May this horror never happen again.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-07-19 Even among WWII memoirs?a genre studded with extraordinary stories?this autobiography looms large, a work of exceptional substance and style. Opdyke, born in 1922 to a Polish Catholic family, was a 17-year-old nursing student when Germany invaded her country in 1939. She spent a year tending to the ragtag remnants of a Polish military unit, hiding out in the forest with them; was captured and raped by Russians; was forced to work in a Russian military hospital; escaped and lived under a false identity in a village near Kiev; and was recaptured by the Russians. But her most remarkable adventures were still to come. Back in her homeland, she, like so many Poles, was made to serve the German army, and she eventually became a waitress in an officers' dining hall. She made good use of her position?risking her life, she helped Jews in the ghetto by passing along vital information, smuggling in food and helping them escape to the forest. When she was made the housekeeper of a German major, she used his villa to hide 12 Jews?and, at enormous personal cost, kept them safe throughout the war. In translating Opdyke's experiences to memoir (see Children's Books, June 14), Armstrong and Opdyke demonstrate an almost uncanny power to place readers in the young Irene's shoes. Even as the authors handily distill the complexities of the military and political conditions of wartime Poland, they present Irene as simultaneously strong and vulnerable?a likable flesh-and-blood woman rather than a saint. Telling details, eloquent in their understatement, render Irene's shock at German atrocities and the gradually built foundation of her heroic resistance. Metaphors weave in and out, simultaneously providing a narrative structure and offering insight into Irene's experiences. Readers will be riveted?and no one can fail to be inspired by Opdyke's courage. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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