January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, designated as such by the United Nations.
Why this date?
On this date in history, Jan. 27, 1945, the infamous Nazi German slave labor and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by the Soviet army.
The day recalls the killing of six million Jews as well as millions of other people by the Nazi regime and collaborators.
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But there are scores of interconnected stories as well.
“During the Holocaust,” wrote Richard Hurowitz in a recent essay in The Wall Street Journal, “citizens from Denmark to Greece protected their Jewish neighbors from the Nazis by standing together.”
Most of these heroic individuals were and are still largely unknown.
Remembering the horrors of war — and chronicling how brave people, in the face of fear, brutality and cruelty, stood up for other human beings even when their own lives were on the line — is the job of historians, authors, journalists and others who believe the truth needs to be passed along to new generations.
In this spirit, writer and investor Richard Hurowitz has just released a new book, “In the Garden of the Righteous: The Heroes Who Risked Their Lives to Save Jews During the Holocaust” (HarperCollins), which pays tribute to those who risked their very existence to help others in trouble.
Among them are Adolf and Maria Althoff, who hid Jewish acrobatic performers in plain sight from the Nazis — and Italian cycling champion Gino Bartali, who faked long-distance practice runs to sneak forged identity papers that saved hundreds of people.
Hurowitz, based in New York, is publisher of The Octavian Report, a quarterly “journal of ideas.” He is chief executive officer of Octavian and Company LLC, an investment firm.
Just ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Fox News Digital posed three questions to the author.
Fox News Digital: Why did you write this book now?
Richard Hurowitz: Rescue during the Holocaust and the courage of those who risked their lives to save Jews and others is an extremely under-covered topic — yet people find it enormously inspirational.
Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg are well known, but beyond those two archetypes very few rescuers have gotten the acclaim they deserve.
Some of the people rescued in my book were or went on to have enormous impact on the world — from the physicist Niels Bohr to the artist Mark Chagall to many members of royalty — while most were ordinary refugees.
The book grew out of several profiles I wrote for newspapers of individual rescuers — and the response was extraordinary.
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I think people are looking for stories of inspiration and courage during our own difficult times.
At a time of rising bigotry, anti-Semitism, polarization and conflict, I think these stories are extremely timely.
Fox News Digital: If you wanted readers to have one memorable takeaway from your book, what would it be?
Hurowitz: I hope people are inspired by these stories and learn about some of history’s forgotten heroes.
And I hope they are inspired and remember that there is good in the world and that everyone can make a difference.
It is not just in times of utmost peril like the Second World War.
Indeed, we can avoid our society heading in that direction by standing up for the values of compassion, kindness and tolerance.
There were even communities in Europe during the war — such as Denmark or the village of Le Chambon in France — where the entire group stood together against the Nazis. And were able to save almost all their Jewish neighbors.
So I hope the book is a message of hope — and [that it] offers lessons on how we can make our world a better place.
Fox News Digital: What stays with you in terms of reporting and writing the book?
Hurowitz: I have had the profound experience, when I’ve written about rescuers, to hear from people I personally know who are alive today because their family was saved by them.
Rescues echoes down through the generations.
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There are possibly one million people alive today because of the 10 rescues profiled in the book.
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And at least some of [these people] many of us probably know — and some of them have themselves done extraordinary things that would have been lost to us had it not been for courage eight decades ago.
Source – https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/they-risked-lives-others-author-richard-hurowitz-remembers-unsung-heroes-holocaust
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