The children's stories
are filled with fear and suffering, both emotionally and physically.
Every Jewish child was marked for destruction simply because he
or she was Jewish. The Nazis murdered Jewish children because they
wanted to create a biologically pure "Aryan" society.
Although the Nazi plan
for the murder of all Jews was introduced in each occupied country
at different times, the steps in this ruthless scheme were essentially
the same. The mass annihilation was always preceded by a carefully
coordinated sequence: violation of human rights, expropriation of
property, removal from employment and ejection to designated areas,
usually sealed ghettos or transitory camps. Everywhere, throughout
this tragic period, Jewish children were confronted by overpowering,
Sometimes Jews were fortunate
to find good people who said "no" to the Nazis. Although
rescuers represented only a very small number of people in Nazi-occupied
Europe, they could be found everywhere. Most countries had special
sections of their underground resistance movements devoted to saving
Jewish children. But, most often, those who helped acted as individuals.
Ordinary people risked horrifying punishment and the safety of their
families to rescue Jewish children. Whatever their reasons for helping
-- out of friendship, religious conviction, patriotism, or for money
-- they risked execution or deportation to a concentration camp
for doing so.