For thirteen months during World War II, Nelly Toll and her mother were hidden from the Nazis in the small bedroom of a Gentile couple in Lwow, Poland. Book Reviews of Behind the Secret Window A Memoir of a Hidden Childhood During Wwii by Nelly S.
By using this Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms of Use. In Toll's remembrance, art equals hope: her happy family pictures, painted in the secret room where she and her mother hid from the Nazis and the Poles, show extraordinary preteen talent (some of the 29 powerfully evocative paintings reproduced here now hang in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Israel) as well as the will to survive. Toll's harrowing account of her family's experiences during and immediately following World War II joins a growing body of Holocaust literature for young adults.
This highly readable, well-honed account records the events that led up to the trial of the 22 major Nazi war criminals by the International Military Tribunal (IMT), the trial itself, and its lasting importance. Part of the Famous Trials series, this dense, informative account examines the 1945-46 Nuremberg trial that tried and executed Nazi war criminals. In this introductory volume to the Holocaust Remembered series, Byers presents a comprehensive and dramatic history of the Holocaust aimed at middle-schoolers.
In The Holocaust Overview, author Ann Byers analyzes the Holocaust’s horrific legacy–the murder of nearly six million Jews. The Holocaust Ghettos details the Jewish ghettos that were established in Europe during the Holocaust. The Holocaust Camps details the system of concentration camps set up by the Nazis in Europe during the Holocaust.
Holocaust Heroes is an on-target, accurate overview of the men and women who risked their lives to save thousands of Jews. The Holocaust Survivors details the harsh stories of those who lived through the Holocaust. Tabatha Yeatts's book, The Holocaust Survivors, provides an astute glimpse into one of history's most difficult chapters. The Warsaw ghetto was not only a vibrant community full of culture and tradition, but it became a prison for Polish Jews during World War II.
Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto is the focus of these titles in the new Holocaust Biographies series. During the worst years of Nazi rule, it seemed as if all of German society had lost its moral bearing. These books examine the lives of three people who were involved in the Nazi war on civilians during World War II. During the Holocaust, many Jewish teens went into hiding-in homes, in barns, in the woods-to avoid being captured and killed. By amplifying the individual voices of teenagers directly affected by the Holocuast, these books give memorable witness to a defining period in European history.
Some Jewish teens were fortunate enough to escape Nazi-controlled territory, sometimes alone and often with little but the clothes on their backs. Escape chronicles the lives of "four survivors who escaped out of the maze to freedom," the maze being the trap of confinement that surrounded European Jews. In Resistance readers are introduced to three forms of resistance: armed, unarmed, and spiritual.
Highly recommended for both format and content, this series will be useful in all libraries. The Nazis confined most European Jews in ghettos, where food, housing, and heat were in short supply, before deporting them to concentration camps.
Teenagers were among those most likely to resist the Nazis in ghettos and concentration camps. Very few non-Jews risked their own lives to save the lives of Jews targeted for death by the Nazis.
Hundreds of thousands of German boys and girls joined the Hitler Youth, the Nazi youth organization. Author, painter, and adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Nelly Toll was born in Lvov, Poland, and as a young child, she was sent to live with a sympathetic Polish family. Accessibility Information: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.
Just eight years old when she went into hiding in 1943, Nelly began keeping the diary that would inspire this powerful and moving memoir of her childhood. If you are interested in that period of history then this story of a young girls experiences while hiding from the Nazi's will interest you too. Nelly's plight--going from bonbons served on silver platters to hiding behind false walls--was not atypical. Although her childhood had been shattered two years earlier by the advent of the Russian Army, she and her family were to undergo the full depredations of the Nazis' anti-Semitism. Toll was born into a wealthy Jewish family in Lwow, Poland, and her narrative begins in June_ 1941, when the Germans ousted the Russians from her town.
Through the judicious use of trial transcripts, Rice delineates the atrocities that the defendants were accused of perpetrating upon the peoples of Europe.

It begins with the first reports of Nazi atrocities coming out of Eastern Europe in 1940 and goes on to detail the legal aspects of this unprecedented case, including the conflicts between the four participating Allied powers.
Tracing anti-Semitism back to its earliest expression Byers shows how hatred against th e Jews, coupled with the rise of National Socialism, provided the force that swept Adolf Hitler to power. The ghettos were set up by the Nazi state to segregate the Jews from other members of the population.
Byers recounts the horrifying conditions suffered by camp inmates as well as their struggles for life and hope in a world gone mad.
For most survivors, life continued to be bleak after the war since they had neither homes nor families to which they could return.
The author establishes an historical context for her story with a brief summary of the Holocaust. Filled with heart-wrenching quotes from ghetto residents, they discuss the history as much as the individual heroes.
In fact, there was a substantial youth movement whose members were willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to launch a resistance movement against the Nazis. Yet with nothing personal to be gained and everything to be lost, there were heroic individuals such as the Scholls, who resisted Hitler's diabolical regime, sacrificing themselves in order to save others. The Scholls were German siblings who helped to organize and lead the German resistance group called the White Rose. Yes, if the material serves to inform in a compelling way and this eight-volume series does just that. The accounts of the armed resistance of Jewish partisan groups are fascinating but just as interesting are the courageous efforts of unarmed Jewish workers to sabotage Nazi munitions factories.
Other titles in the series are In the Ghettos, The Hidden Children of the Holocaust, Rescuers Defying the Nazis, In the Camps, and The Hitler Youth. How teenagers maintained hope and dignity despite the deprivation of the ghettos is vividly related in this book.
Their armed and unarmed resistance against the Nazis, as well as their spiritual resistance, are celebrated in this volume. This volume examines how they were seduced into obeying the Nazis and how their dream was finally shattered.
In her small black journal Nelly wrote about the heartbreaking events she experienced in Lwow and her grief over the tragic losses of family members, as well as the day-to-day fears of life in hiding. In some ways reminiscent of Maus, this emotionally complex and informative memoir reports the willingness of some neighbors to turn in Jews for a bag of potatoes and a bottle of vodka. In a remarkably even yet childlike tone, Toll describes persecution by neighbors and former servants as well as the Germans, and we watch as her world shrinks, from an affluent home to cramped quarters in a ghetto to a tiny, hidden room in the Gentile part of town. She makes clear that, from the very beginning, Hitler methodically conducted a reign of terror against European Jews: boycotts of Jewish businesses, harassment conducted on city streets, the creation of the Nuremburg Laws, and much more.
The author describes how the Jews kept alive their cultural and religious lives despite the poverty and hardships of ghetto life under Nazi rule. Survivors gives eyewitness accounts of the lives of concentration camp victims after liberation. Yeatts not only concentrates on the aftermath’s effect on survivors, but on the fate of those responsible for the Holocaust as well. She goes on to relate the experiences of survivors as well as addressing issues and aims of the Nuremberg trials and the task to establish an independent state of Israel. His tireless efforts to record the life experience of the ghetto residents resulted in the Oneg Shabbat archives. This book examines the life and death of Mordechai Anielewicz, a young Jew who led armed resistance struggles against Nazi captors. With other brave college friends, they secretly printed and disseminated a series of leaflets exposing the aims and evils of the Nazi government, resulting in their arrest, execution, and martyrdom. By amplifying the individual voices of teenagers directly affected by the Holocaust, these books give memorable witness to a defining period in modern European history.
The dangerous work of couriers and the spiritual resistance of those who kept their faith and religious practices are also described.
This book tells their stories of despair, sadness, and the hope that they maintained despite the horror of the camps. Her vivid illustrations combine fairy tale figures with pre-war memories and depict a fantasy world, freedom, and child’s play.
In contrast, the exuberant, vividly colored paintings that Nelly also produced while in hiding transformed her grim reality into an enchanting fantasy world filled with school friends, bright skies, and happy families.
With her mother, Toll spent more than a year in hiding, dependent on the goodwill of their mercurial Polish patrons, who more than once lost their courage and almost evicted the refugees. When the Germans began imposing sanctions on the Jews and herding them into a ghetto, he began making plans to hide his family. Captioned, archival black-and-white photographs are effectively used throughout, as are elucidating sidebars; a helpful glossary, time line, and index are appended. Although there is a glossary, the text doesn't always provide sufficient background information about World War II.

She also outlines the four-part strategy to eliminate the Jews: exclusion, expulsion, enclosure, and ultimately, extermination. The physical and psychological effects of the war, the search for family members, and beginning a new life are all discussed. Spacious type, wide margins, occasional subheads, and black-and-white photos make the books quite readable, and each volume includes a brief list of books and Web sites.
Within the confines of around sixty pages, each book extensively quotes witnesses to the historical events and also includes a discussion of Hitler's rise to power, with emphasis on his racial theories and persecution of the Jews. In their accounts readers will be impressed by the heartbreak of family separation that was usually the experience of survivors: one saved, others lost, their fates unknown until much later. Liberation contrasts with the other two volumes in that non-Jewish soldiers are among the speakers. Her memoir, Behind the Secret Window, won nine awards and has been performed in the Netherlands and throughout the U.S. Twenty-nine of these paintings are reproduced in Behind the Secret Window; captions help readers to trace the fascinating process of their creation.
The poignancy is heightened by evocative language ("minutes walked by with small steps") and raw emotional hunger ("waiting, waiting for Papa"), and by the postwar rush to reconstitute families by swift remarriages--not seen in many Holocaust books, but an important aspect of healing (Ruth Minsky Sender's To Life).
While her mother fended off the unwanted attentions of their host and while everyone dodged the suspicions of neighbors, Toll wrote stories and painted pictures, conjuring for herself the pleasures of a normal childhood. After her four-year-old brother was taken away in a raid on the ghetto, Toll and her mother joined a group trying to reach Hungary. The book is most compelling when it focuses on the sometimes graphic testimony of the participants, from the evil Goering and contrite Speer to their surviving victims. Trials of major Nazi leaders at Nuremberg are also examined as is America's use of Nazi scientists during the perceived forthcoming fight against Communism. The result is a carefully balanced narrative that communicates the magnitude of events without overwhelming the reader. What on the surface appeared to be chance circumstances often meant the difference between life and death for individual members of a family. A black soldier who had himself encountered prejudice feels a special empathy and compassion for the plight of the survivors. Together, text and art tell the story of a lovable, imaginative child beset with terrifying uncertainties, and of the courageous mother who nurtured her daughter's unswerving belief in brighter days ahead.
Twenty-nine of her watercolors are included here; their poignancy is matched only by the art in I Never Saw Another Butterfly.
This is a solid introduction to the series, but is also effective as a stand-alone volume, a starting point in the curriculum. The creation of Israel and the importance of teaching about the Holocaust are both covered intelligently. Her sensitive retelling of individual tragedies respects the human dignity that is the victims' due. Black-and-white photos and an innovative layout of text over superimposed photos heighten the starkness of the narrative and the truthfulness of these witnesses. While the help of others outside of the Jewish community was necessary in some form, for individuals to escape, forms of resistance depended primarily on the will of individual Jews. Without emphasizing horror and loss, Toll conveys the effects of human evil and human folly, summoning up the forces of tragedy and courage. In 1943, a Christian couple agreed to hide them, and Toll, with her mother, began a nightmarish stay in a hidden room, uncertain of the fate of her father. Yeatts also includes a chapter devoted to continued efforts to seek justice for wrongs committed by Nazi war criminals. The soldiers were unprepared for the camps and, like survivors, often resisted telling others what they had seen. Toll writes of her experiences in an emotionally controlled, thoughtful manner that only serves to emphasize the horrors she experienced.
Given the increasing prominence of the Holocaust in the curriculum and the ongoing Hague Tribunal, this is a timely and useful resource. Finally, she concludes with an intriguing discussion of individual character traits, attitudes, and mindset that predispose individuals to turn into rescuers, bystanders, or contributors when evil groups threaten a society. Now they are beginning to speak up as compelling witnesses to the horrors of the Holocaust.
She relies extensively on a diary she began when she entered hiding at the age of eight, and her story is illustrated with full-color paintings she made during the same period. Yeatts's book, always timely, will never be more so than in this year [2000] when Passover coincides with Hitler's birthday.
A fine addition to all school and library collections, this will be especially valuable where Holocaust studies are mandated.

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