United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Difficult Choices
For Jews, the decision to go into hiding meant leaving behind relatives, risking immediate and severe punishment, and finding an individual or family willing to provide refuge. The willingness or ability of the non-Jewish populations to rescue Jewish lives never matched the Nazis’ vehement desire to destroy them. The Nazis further discouraged rescue by threatening severe penalties for those caught helping Jews. Parting from one’s child was a difficult experience for parents, who sometimes did not know the location of the hiding place or the identity of the rescuer.


"The grocer knows that, uh, when a farmer comes to buy his supplies he used to buy for years and years the same amount of supplies. Suddenly he buys three times as much. So, it raises suspicion." "The grocer knows that, uh, when a farmer comes to buy his supplies he used to buy for years and years the same amount of supplies. Suddenly he buys three times as much. So, it raises suspicion." + PLAY

Gitel Münzer and her daughter Liane look at their reflections in a mirror in their home in The Hague, the Netherlands, 1940-1941.
Gitel Münzer and her daughter Liane look at their reflections in a mirror in their home in The Hague, the Netherlands, 1940-1941. + READ STORY
Life in Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust
"The penalty for assisting Jews is..."
The Plight of Children

Stories of the Hidden

Quest for Family

Artifact Gallery


 "My husband and I, had more than a year ago decided ... we would give away our child anyplace we knew where she would be welcome." "My husband and I, had more than a year ago decided ... we would give away our child anyplace we knew where she would be welcome." + PLAY

"Please take me home..."
"People couldn't just come up with two little children and pawn them off as something related to them if they'd never had them before. So they must have taken an enormous chance in doing this." "People couldn't just come up with two little children and pawn them off as something related to them if they'd never had them before. So they must have taken an enormous chance in doing this." + PLAY
"It's impossible for people to understand how hard it is to just leave your home, your parents, and know that you most likely never see your parents again. Leave everything that was everything to you, just behind, just close the door behind you."
"It's impossible for people to understand how hard it is to just leave your home, your parents, and know that you most likely never see your parents again. Leave everything that was everything to you, just behind, just close the door behind you." + PLAY
"It often wasn’t a question of having one rescuer, but more of a question of having a multitude of rescuers."
"It often wasn’t a question of having one rescuer, but more of a question of having a multitude of rescuers." Steven Luckert, co-curator of this exhibition + PLAY

Read the exhibition script.