Last Eyewitnesses, The
Children of the Holocaust Speak, Vol. 1
May 1998, Northwestern Univ. Press, paperback
Wiktoria Sliwowska
Translators: Julian Bussgang & Fay Bussgang

These testimonies, submitted by individual authors and not originally intended for publication, were assembled as a historical record by the Association of the Children of the Holocaust in Poland. While evil and brutal anti-Semitism are described, the accounts also reveal the great risks taken by courageous individuals in order to save Jewish children.

“When the children of the Holocaust speak, one must listen–then weep, pray, and cherish the memories of those who nurtured them.” –Zbigniew Brzezinski

“I hope you understand how deeply I feel about this kind of literature. I consider it essential to the understanding of the Holocaust and its manifold implications.” –Elie Wiesel

The Last Eyewitnesses, Vol. 2, Children of the Holocaust Speak
September 2005, Northwestern Univ. Press, paperback
Jakub Gutenbaum & Agnieszka Latala, Editors

This book serves as a memorial to loved ones who do not even have a grave, as well as a tribute to those who risked their lives and families to save a Jewish child. A wide variety of experiences during the Nazi occupation of Poland are related with wrenching simplicity and candor, experiences that illustrate horrors and deprivation, but also present examples of courage and compassion. These recollections-whether of hiding in forests or camouflaged bunkers, fighting with groups of partisans, enduring the horrors of concentration camps, or living in fear under disguised identities-serve as eloquent testimony to the depth, diversity, and richness of humanity under siege and offer a powerful lesson for future generations. Written by people who remained in Poland after the war, these accounts convey a great immediacy; the authors are not removed from the environment in which these experiences took place. The psychological impact on these child survivors and the difficulties they encountered even after the war are very poignant. The passing years have brought urgency to the publication of these stories, as those who wrote them are the last surviving eyewitnesses of these tumultuous events.

Julian Bussgang