Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies : Unsung Women of the Holocaust

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A British intelligence officer. A Partisan photographer. A German rabbi. A Polish nurse.

Discover nine ordinary women who took extraordinary measures to save lives during the Holocaust, resisting terror and torture while undercover or in hiding, in concentration camps, in forests, and in exile.

With compassion and admiration, author Sarah Silberstein Swartz paints portraits of women who stood up for themselves and others in dangerous times. Overlooked by history, they leapt from fear to action with bravery that deserves recognition.

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Praise & Recognition

★ "These personal stories are illuminating and powerful, offering ways for readers to connect with and understand the past. Swartz writes from a feminist perspective, questioning why these heroic figures went unsung and frequently even unmentioned while male heroes received praise and recognition... Phenomenally done and more necessary than ever."

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In this stunning book, author Sarah Silberstein Swartz, the daughter of Jewish-Polish Holocaust survivors, paints a picture of nine extraordinary women who stood up for themselves and others to save lives during the Holocaust."

Teach Magazine

“The history of Holocaust heroes is filled with justifiably famous names, but this eye-opening book introduces women who deserve greater recognition for the risks they took and impacts they had.

Perspectives at kirkus.com

"These personal stories will help readers appreciate the roles women played during World War II."

49th Shelf

"Sarah Silberstein Swartz brings a unique set of professional credentials and personal experiences to the researching and writing of Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies: Unsung Women of the Holocaust. As a daughter of survivors, she fulfills her objective of providing role models and inspiration for a new generation. She gives the reader an opportunity to engage with many aspects of the Holocaust in many European countries from an avowedly feminist perspective."

The Sydney Taylor Shmooze

"Extraordinary and mind blowing. Each woman has a unique story and all of them are significant and influential... I loved how the women’s shared experiences and trauma showed that they did not give up, and instead, embraced their faith. Swartz adapted these stories for readers to learn from and reflect upon. This book is definitely worth reading because readers can gain a variety of insights."

Palmer Library Reviews

Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies is an inspiring treasure trove of shadowy lives brought into the light… Highly recommended.”

Quill and Quire (starred review)

"After preaching, photographing, journaling, spying, and providing safe shelter, these women were finally honoured. Readers will learn about their early lives and what led them to rebel against injustice. These stories of courage and kindness are an inspiration to all."

Calgary Herald


Publication Date: October 18, 2022

Reading Age: 13 - 19

Genre: Teen, Children's Nonfiction

Product Format: Paperback

Pages: 192

ISBN: 978-1-77260-262-3

Sarah Silberstein Swartz

About the Author

Sarah Silberstein Swartz

Sarah Silberstein Swartz, daughter of Jewish-Polish Holocaust survivors, was born in post-war Berlin, Germany. She is a writer and award-winning editor, specializing in women's studies and Holocaust literature. Research Associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, she lives in Boston with her wife and cat, near her three grandsons.

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