Meet Elske Höweler
In WHEN WE WERE BRAVE, we find a conflicted SS officer, Wilhelm Falk, who risks everything to escape the Wehrmacht and get out the message about the death camps. Izaak is a young Jewish boy whose positive outlook is challenged daily as each new perilous situation comes along. American citizens, Herbert Müller and his family, are sent back to the hellish landscape of Germany because of the DNA coursing through their veins. In the panorama of World War II, these are the high-stakes plots and endearing characters whose braided fates we pray will work out in the end.
A broad picture of the Holocaust from the point of view of a child
This book is a memoir of a child who is swept into the whirlwind of the Holocaust. The epic history is narrowed down to the struggle of a single boy nicknamed Leosz to survive the war. From age 7 to age 13, he endures all the horrors that the Holocaust brings upon the Jewish people. Life hangs on split-second timing, decision-making in impossibly cruel circumstances, incredible resourcefulness, luck and the help of others, even Germans.
In the Krakow Ghetto, Leosz is saved from three mass deportations to the death camps. He escapes the ghetto, survives for several weeks pretending to be a
Polish street child, and then goes into hiding. Although sentenced to die after being caught, he is instead miraculously reunited with his family in the Plaszow labor camp. A year later, father and son become slave laborers in the Gozen 2 camp in Austria, where his father perishes. Close to death himself, Leosz is finally liberated by the American army on May 5th, 1945.