In the Garden of the Righteous Summary and Reviews

In the Garden of the Righteous

The Heroes Who Risked Their Lives to Save Jews During the Holocaust

by Richard Hurowitz

In the Garden of the Righteous by Richard Hurowitz X
In the Garden of the Righteous by Richard Hurowitz
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Book Summary

These powerfully illuminating and inspiring profiles pay tribute to the incredible deeds of the Righteous Among the Nations, little-known heroes who saved countless lives during the Holocaust.

Less than a century ago, the Second World War took the lives of more than fifty million people; more than six million of them were systematically exterminated through crimes of such enormity that a new name to describe the horror was coined: the Holocaust. Yet amid such darkness, there were glimmers of light—courageous individuals who risked everything to save those hunted by the Nazis. Today, as bigotry and intolerance and the threats of fascism and authoritarianism are ascendent once again, these heroes' little-known stories—among the most remarkable in human history—resonate powerfully. Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, has recognized more than 27,000 individuals as "Righteous Among the Nations"—non-Jewish people such as Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler who risked their lives to save their persecuted neighbors.

In the Garden of the Righteous chronicles extraordinary acts at a time when the moral choices were stark, the threat immense, and the passive apathy of millions predominated. Deeply researched and astonishingly moving, it focuses on ten remarkable stories, including that of the circus ringmaster Adolf Althoff and his wife Maria, the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Italian cycling champion Gino Bartali, the Polish social worker Irena Sendler, and the Japanese spy Chinue Sugihara, who provided hiding places, participated in underground networks, refused to betray their neighbors, and secured safe passage. They repeatedly defied authorities and risked their lives, their livelihoods, and their families to save the helpless and the persecuted. In the Garden of the Righteous is a testament to their kindness and courage.

This book is published by an imprint of HarperCollins. Members of the HC union have been on strike since mid-Nov, fighting for a living wage. More than 650 authors and literary agents have committed to not submitting books to the company until the strike is resolved. Recent news articles
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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The history lessons here are both distressing and awe-inspiring, and Hurowitz reminds us that none of these rescuers sought recognition or celebration; they were simply moved to do the right thing in a moment of immense peril...A fresh, engrossing contribution to the literature on the Holocaust, focusing on heroics rather than despair." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Hurowitz debuts with an inspiring group portrait of Holocaust 'rescuers' whose stories are 'too little told and too little known'…This well-told history is a moving reminder that 'we can all contribute to the project of improving the world.'" - Publishers Weekly

"Of profound interest to those seeking to improve the world." - Library Journal

"Incredibly inspiring." - Booklist

"Richard Hurowitz has written a powerful, moving book about ten heroic rescues of Jews from the clutches of the Nazis. In the Garden of the Righteous brilliantly describes how in the midst of the brutality of the Holocaust and the collaboration, acquiescence and passivity of millions, there were people who risked their lives to save others out of a sense of shared humanity. This book is more timely than ever." - Stuart E. Eizenstat, author of Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II

"With great precision, heartbreaking empathy, and a flair for the dramatic, Richard Hurowitz uncovers ten extraordinary instances during World War II when a person chose to oppose the seemingly omnipresent darkness. In the Garden of the Righteous is a treasure of a book." - Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award-winning author of In the Heart of the Sea and Travels with George

This information about In the Garden of the Righteous was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

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very highly recommended historical account and tribute
In the Garden of the Righteous: The Heroes Who Risked Their Lives to Save Jews During the Holocaust by Richard Hurowitz is a very highly recommended historical account and tribute of ten individuals who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust. Because they chose to put their personal safety at risk to rescue others during a time of overwhelming danger, their extraordinary actions and deeds were recalled by those they saved and they were all honored as the Righteous Among the Nations at the Yad Vashem complex on Jerusalem’s Mount of Remembrance.

Many know the stories of Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler who risked their lives to save Jewish people. Hurowitz presents the background and actions of ten lesser known individuals who demonstrated great strength of character, determination, and compassion while doing the right thing when their actions could result in their demise too. The ten righteous people covered include: the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes; Princess Alice of Battenberg in Greece; Gino Bartali, an Italian tour de France winner; the Japanese vice counsel/spy in Kovno, Lithuania Chinue Sugihara; circus ringmaster Adolf Althoff and his wife Maria; Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz a German Foreign minister in Copenhagen and the entire population of Denmark; Polish social worker Irena Sendler; Hiram Bingham IV (Harry), vice counsel at the consulate in Marseille; protestant pastor Andre Trocme in the French village of Le Chambon sur Lignon in the département of Haute-Loire.

The well-written and researched accounts of these individuals and those who assisted them are all compelling and include their backgrounds, details of their extraordinary actions, and the aftermath of their actions. Hurowitz’s research also reveals the rescuers’ greatly varied motivations and examines the common traits among these individuals that encouraged them to do the right thing. Since the historical accounts are detailed and cover a wide variety of areas across many countries, this is a history that requires careful reading to follow who is where and what is occurring there. In the Garden of the Righteous by Richard Hurowitz is an excellent biography of ten people who are the Righteous Among the Nations.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins via Edelweiss.

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Author Information

Richard Hurowitz

Richard Hurowitz is a writer and the founder and publisher of the Octavian Report. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Times (UK), Los Angeles Times, Time, History Today and the Jerusalem Post, among other publications. He received his bachelor's degree in history from Yale and his juris doctor from Columbia Law School. He lives in New York City with his family.

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