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The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust
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The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  359 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
'He who saves one life, it is as if he saved an entire world'

The Holocaust will be forever numbered amongst the darkest of days in human civilisation. Yet even in that darkness, there were sparks of light. Many will recognise the names of Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg and Miep Gies. But there were thousands of others throughout Europe who risked their own lives to save
Kindle Edition, 560 pages
Published by Henry Holt and Co.; Doubleday (first published 2002)
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I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it was nothing if not thorough, full of thousands of tales of human decency and tender courage in the face of death. I believe people have a duty to remember the heroes of history, and the Righteous Gentiles were certainly heroes. There are so many inspirational and touching tales in here.

On the other hand, though...I was kind of disappointed by the book too. Martin Gilbert is an internationally recognized historian, and I've been impressed
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Martin Gilbert is the greatest historian on the subject of the holocaust out there, and is one of the most prolific historians of today.

In The Righteous, Gilbert describes the many cases of righteous gentiles, throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, who risked their lives and all they had to save Jews, many of them children, from certain death at hte hands of the Nazi killing-machine.
Gilbert describes the heroic actions of those brave and righteous gentiles, by region describing the action of the unsun
Oct 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another on the Holocaust ... I know, I know, I've got to move on.

But this was very uplifting, though tedious at the same time, because so many of the stories were similar. Someone at great risk helped a Jew to survive.

And yet - the author methodically moves from one country to another describing the heroic acts there, and how a whole Jewish agency, Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority was established to chronicle these acts, and name those who helped others as "
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a Holocaust perspective that gets a lot of attention, Martin Gilbert has done an outstanding job of painstakingly chronicling the efforts of non-Jews throughout Europe and beyond to save their Jewish communities and refugees from deportation and death during World War II, actions which earned most of these individuals acknowledgment as Righteous Among The Nations by the Yad Vashem. Gilbert moves through these rescues country by country, and highlights the gestures, ordinary and extraordinary ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This was one of those books that you're happy that you're reading because you believe you are learning something of importance, but that is hard to get through none the less. In this particular instance the reason it was difficult to get through wasn't necessarily the horrific (though heroic) subject matter. It was the terrible style in which it was written. Mr. Gilbert tries to present a sampling of cases concerning the actions of The Righteous in Europe during the Holocaust. Not a bad idea, ce ...more
Inherently hopeful, this book is a welcome flash of light in the darkness of Holocaust histories. A simple and straightforward collection of anecdotes of Gentiles who saved the Jews, with no religious bias toward Catholic, Protestant or secular heroism. The tone is one of simple admiration and respectful remembrance. I didn't care for the format; Gilbert launches straight into the recollections, arbitrarily organized by geographic location, with little framing narrative. Still, the raw material ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Martin gilbert: fine historian
Philippa Dowding
I read this book as a companion piece to Martin Gilbert's "The Boys," which I have reviewed on Goodreads:

After reading in February 2015 that Mr. Gilbert had died, and was considered one of the leading historians of the 20th Century (he's mainly known as Winston Churchill's biographer, although has written over 80 history books), I decided to give both books a read. I'm so glad I did. I'm interested in WWII, my family are British and all of my aunts and u
Dec 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a roll call and salute to those Europeans of all nationalities, faiths, and classes who whooped hide and protect Jews from the Nazis during WWII. Dozens if not hundreds of names are cited so that only brief descriptions of often like or similar activities are given. After a while this made the read a bit monotonous. I'd have rather learned more about the experiences of fewer people. The best part for me is the context the author sets up showing how widespread anti-Semitism was throu ...more
Heather Tomlinson
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book manages to find hope amongst that most harrowing of subjects: the Holocaust. It is a run-through of hundreds of stories of people who risked their lives and faced torture in order to rescue Jews during WWII. The stories are incredibly inspiring, the subjects courageous. The book is peppered with those who tried to help, but were captured and faced the consequences, so the horrors of this era are there to see.
The fascinating thing is how many were acting on religious impulse. Gilbert sp
Marilyn Lagier
I started this book in early 2014 on the kindle I received as a gift. Since I only read the kindle when on the plane or vacation, I finally finished it just a week ago. It was one of those books that if I read a chapter on the plane and didn't get back to the next chapter until a month later, it was OK. I was really amazed at all the stories of people who helped the Jews escape or hid them or helped them survive the camps during the Holocaust. And it was astonishing that people remembered these ...more
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Holocaust readers
This was not a book that I found I could sit and read right through. Not only does Mr. Gilbert describe the righteous, he also talks of those who did not live, and it was very hard to take. So I found myself reading some of it, then putting it aside then coming back. I am a quick reader, but this one took the better part of a month because it hurt so much seeing how many people suffered among the heroes of this terrible time.
Excellent account of those who risked their own lives to save the Jews during the Holocaust. This should be required reading in schools. Too often we hear about the gruesome details of the Holocaust (which of course we should hear about them repeatedly so we never forget). How often do we hear about the GOOD that came out of the enormous tragedy? Not enough. This book does much to fill the gap.
To be honest, I stopped this book after about fifty pages in. It seems to be more of a recounting of hundreds of individual stories than a cohesive narrative, which while an excellent and necessary thing is simply not what I was looking for when I picked it up. Not bad, just more dry than I was thinking when I got it, and I'm sure I'll end up picking it up again and finishing it.
May 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I was intrigued to find out what happened in various countries in terms of hiding the Jews during WWII, I was left wishing there was more to the story. Factual accounts and hard to know all the historical background especially when many of those in the resistance didn't use their "real" names. I was drawn to the Chapters on Holland, Poland and Italy and the Vatican.
Susan Ackland
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always been moved by the stories of gentiles who helped Jews during the Holocaust. The only thing one could ask of others was that they not participate in the horrors; beyond that, no one could ask anything. These true stories, filled with gestures large and small, shine like candles in the dark.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Competent description of "righteous among nations" during the Holocaust. However, despite the historical significance and thrilling nature of the events described, this was a boring and disjointed read. Competent, but not creative or full of curiosity.
Sarah Leonard
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sue Malley
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some very courageous people
Craig Bolton
The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust by Sir Martin Gilbert (2004)
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Exhaustive volume lacks the depth, narrative of author's "The Boys."
Bernice Decker
Wonderful book

I thought this book was well written, and believe that it is important to have people do the right thing in times of evil.
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. It was more a listing of heroes instead of details about their stories.
Jane Macintyre
An insight into the Heroes of the Holocaust .It took me a while but I wanted to give these people the respect they deserve .
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The official biographer of Winston Churchill and a leading historian on the Twentieth Century, Sir Martin Gilbert was a scholar and an historian who, though his 88 books, has shown there is such a thing as “true history”

Born in London in 1936, Martin Gilbert was educated at Highgate School, and Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating with First Class Honours. He was a Research Scholar at St Anthony's
More about Martin Gilbert...