Albanian rescuer Refik Veseli holding the Jewish children he sheltered during the war.
USHMM Photo Archives, courtesy of Gavra Mandil (Photo #24739)
In the fall of 1943, Refik Veseli, a sixteen-year-old Albanian photography student, received permission from his parents to hide Mosa Mandil and his family, Jewish refugees from Yugoslavia, in the Veseli home in the mountain village of Kruja. There, from November 1943 until the liberation of Albania in October 1944, the Mandils received shelter and avoided deportation. During this time, the Mandil children lived openly as Muslim villagers while their parents remained hidden in a room in a barn. With the war’s end, the Mandils left Kruja and re-opened their photo studio in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. Refik Veseli followed the family to Novi Sad where he completed his professional photography training, living with them until their emigration to Israel in 1948.
In 1953 the state of Israel established Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in order to document and record the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust as well as to acknowledge the countless non-Jewish individuals who risked their lives to save Jews. Yad Vashem began to award the title “Righteous Among the Nations” in 1963, and since that time, over 22,000 rescuers from 44 countries have been acknowledged for their efforts. In acknowledgement of his risk and protection of the Mandil family, Refik Veseli was recognized as one of the Righteous in 1990.
The following bibliography was compiled to guide readers to materials on rescuers that are in the Library’s collection. It is not meant to be exhaustive. Annotations are provided to help the user determine the item’s focus, and call numbers for the Museum’s Library are given in parentheses following each citation. Those unable to visit might be able to find these works in a nearby public library or acquire them through interlibrary loan. Follow the “Find in a library near you” link in each citation and enter your zip code at the Open WorldCat search screen. The results of that search indicate all libraries in your area that own that particular title. Talk to your local librarian for assistance.
Background Information ↑
Fogelman, Eva. Conscience and Courage: The Rescuers of the Jews During the Holocaust. New York: Anchor Books, 1994. (D 810 .R4 F64 1994) [Find in a library near you]
Explores the motivations of rescuers in relation to the rescue activities they undertook and analyzes the lives of individual rescuers in order to better understand their determination to take action. Contains an extended bibliography, endnotes, and an index.
Grobman, Alex. Those Who Dared: Rescuers and Rescued: A Teaching Guide for Secondary Schools. Los Angeles: Martyrs Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust of the Jewish Federation, 1995. (D 804.65 .G7593 1995) [Find in a library near you]
Presents instructional guidelines and discussion topics for educators who teach about rescue efforts during the Holocaust as well as the significance of Yad Vashem’s recognition program. Contains a thematic bibliography and a user’s guide to the manual.
Gushee, David P. “Many Paths to Righteousness: An Assessment of Research on Why Righteous Gentiles Helped Jews.” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 7, no. 3 (1993): 372-401. (D 810 .J4 H6428 v.7) [Find in a library near you]
Discusses socialization, sociological variables, situational factors, personality traits, and motives of rescuers. Highlights the methodological concerns involved in conducting research on the rescuers. Includes endnotes.
Gushee, David P. Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust: Genocide and Moral Obligation. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2003. (BT 93 .G87 2003) [Find in a library near you]
Analyzes the circumstances surrounding the Holocaust and the moral crossroads presented to non-Jews. Highlights the role of faith in rescue opportunities and draws a distinction between average and righteous Christians, exploring general Christian moral practice during horrific times. Includes lengthy endnotes, extensive bibliography, a general index, and an index of rescuers.
Gutman, Israel, and Efraim Zuroff, editors. Rescue Attempts During the Holocaust: Proceedings of the Second Yad Vashem International Historical Conference, Jerusalem, April 8-11, 1974. New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1978. (D 810 .R4 Y19 1974) [Find in a library near you]
Collected papers and proceedings of a 1974 conference. Contains a list of conference participants, table of contents and brief introduction, and an index; each chapter includes endnotes and a separate bibliography.
Oliner, Pearl M., editor. Embracing the Other: Philosophical, Psychological and Historical Perspectives on Altruism. New York: New York University Press, 1992. (D 810 .R4 E43 1992) [Find in a library near you]
Presents essays originally delivered at a 1989 conference organized as an outgrowth of the project directed by Samuel Oliner to study the capability of human beings to perform brave and altruistic actions. The project and conference presentations focused on individuals who were willing to help others, specifically Jews, during the Holocaust. Contains information on the contributors and an index; each essay has a bibliography and reference notes.
Oliner, Samuel P., and Pearl M. Oliner. The Altruistic Personality: Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe. New York: Free Press, 1992. (D 804.65 .O454 1992) [Find in a library near you]
Documents and analyzes the results of a project to study altruism and altruistic actions within the context of Holocaust history. Includes an extended bibliography, endnotes and appendices, sample questionnaires, research methodology and data tables, and an index.
Scrase, David, Wolfgang Mieder, and Katherine Quimby Johnson, editors. Making a Difference: Rescue and Assistance During the Holocaust: Essays in Honor of Marion Pritchard. Burlington: Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont, 2004. (D 804.6 .M35 2004) [Find in a library near you]
Anthology of essays that reflect upon the idea of rescue, rescue efforts in individual countries, and rescue efforts undertaken by individuals. Each essay includes a separate bibliography and a more extensive bibliography, a videography, and information about the contributors are provided at the end of the text.
Encyclopedia of the Righteous ↑
Gutman, Israel, editor. The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2003-. (Ref D 804.65 .E5313 2003) [Find in a library near you]
Presents biographical information on the individuals recognized as Righteous Among the Nations and, once complete, will serve as the definitive source for information on individual rescuers. Created by Yad Vashem and based on the archival materials related to the institution’s investigations and proclamations about the individuals, this work presents biographies of the rescuers organized by country of origin. Along with a uniform preface and general introduction, each volume presents a volume-specific historical introduction on the Holocaust in that country (including endnotes), a glossary of terms, bibliography, and index. Photographs are provided with some of the entries.
Rescue and Rescuers ↑
Axelrod, Toby. Rescuers Defying the Nazis: Non-Jewish Teens Who Rescued Jews. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 1999. (D 804.65 .A94 1999) [Find in a library near you]
Profiles four teenagers who risked their lives to save Jews during the war. Includes a glossary of terms, timeline of events, bibliography, videography, Web links, illustrations, and an index. From the series Teen Witnesses to the Holocaust, intended for teen readers.
Bartoszewski, Wladyslaw, and Zofia Lewin, editors. Righteous Among Nations: How Poles Helped the Jews, 1939-1945. London: Earlscourt Publications, 1969. (D 810 .R4 B265 1969) [Find in a library near you]
Collection of testimonies from Polish rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. Features many primary source documents, including transcripts and translations of German ordinances concerning discrimination and extermination of the Jews, as well as statements and reports issued by the Polish underground movement.
Bauminger, Arieh L. The Righteous Among the Nations. Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1990. (D 804.65 .B37913 1990) [Find in a library near you]
Profiles thirty-five Righteous Among the Nations from twenty-two countries. Includes contemporary and Holocaust-era illustrations and an index.
Block, Gay, and Malka Drucker. Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust. New York: TV Books, 1997. (D 804.65 .B56 1997) [Find in a library near you]
Presents interviews with rescuers from ten countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union) as well as historical information on rescue efforts in each country. Includes color photographs of the individuals profiled. Contains a bibliography and an index.
Gilbert, Martin. The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust. Toronto: Key Porter, 2003. (D 804.65 .G54 2003) [Find in a library near you]
Narrates the stories of multiple rescuers, highlighting the general obstacles and difficulties they encountered while saving Jews in different areas of Nazi-occupied Europe. Emphasizes the intensity of risks taken to save lives rather than focusing on individual biographies. Includes illustrations, maps, a bibliography, and extensive index.
Halter, Marek. Stories of Deliverance: Speaking with Men and Women Who Rescued Jews from the Holocaust. Chicago: Open Court, 1998. (D 804.65 .H3513 1998) [Find in a library near you]
Features interviews conducted with the rescuer who saved the author from the Warsaw ghetto. Recounts conversations and discussions held with multiple survivors and their rescuers in the 1990s. Companion volume to the film Tzedek: Les Justes.
Hellman, Peter. When Courage Was Stronger Than Fear: Remarkable Stories of Christians Who Saved Jews from the Holocaust. New York: Marlowe, 1999. (D 804.65 .H45 1999) [Find in a library near you]
Recounts the stories of five individuals who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust and were later recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.
Kunert, Andrzej K, editor. “Zegota”: The Council for Aid to Jews 1942-1945: Selected Documents. Warsaw: Rada Ochrony Pamieci Walk i Meczenstwa, 2002. (D 804.6 .Z4413 2002) [Find in a library near you]
Collection of primary source documents translated into English that demonstrate Polish attempts to save Jews. Includes rescuer biographies and photographs of a tree-planting ceremony at Yad Vashem.
Kuodyte, Dalia, and Rimantas Stankevicius, editors. Whoever Saves One Life: The Efforts to Save Jews in Lithuania Between 1941 and 1944. Vilnius: Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, 2002. (D 804.65 .I7513 2002) [Find in a library near you]
Collection of letters, articles, and documents relating to rescue attempts in Lithuania. Includes photographs, a list of Lithuanians recognized as Righteous and a list of recipients of the Lithuanian “Cross for Saving People Under the Threat of Death.”
Land-Weber, Ellen. To Save a Life: Stories of Holocaust Rescue. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000. (D 804.65 .L36 2000) [Find in a library near you]
Examines the stories of seven Righteous Gentiles and ten of the people they saved in light of the Altruistic Personality Project undertaken by Samuel and Pearl Oliner. Includes recommendations for further reading, an appendix of places, events and terms in the text, a chronology, and an index.
Loeffler, Martha. Boats in the Night: Knud Dyby’s Involvement in the Rescue of the Danish Jews and the Danish Resistance. Blair, NE: Lur Publications, Danish Immigrant Archive, Dana College, 1999. (D 804.66.D92 L64 1999) [Find in a library near you]
Knud Dyby, a Danish policeman, assisted the operation to smuggle the Danish Jews to Sweden using fishing boats. Because of their solidarity in risk and actions, Dyby and the entire Danish resistance movement were collectively recognized by Yad Vashem for their efforts. Includes photographs, a bibliography, and an index.
Lyman, Darryl. Holocaust Rescuers: Ten Stories of Courage. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1999. (D 804.65 L96 1999) [Find in a library near you]
Chronicles the stories of ten rescuers whose actions helped thousands escape Nazi persecution during the Holocaust. Part of the Collective Biographies series. Includes illustrations, a bibliography, and an index. Intended for teen readers.
Melzer, Milton. Rescue: The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. (D 810 .R4 M247 1988) [Find in a library near you]
Recounts the stories of numerous individuals who defied the Nazis in order to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Includes maps, a bibliography, and an index. Intended for teen readers.
Paldiel, Mordecai. Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust. Jersey City, NJ: Ktav Publishing House, 2007. (D 804.65 .P347 2007) [Find in a library near you]
Profiles 29 diplomats recognized as Righteous Among the Nations for their efforts to rescue Jews. Includes a bibliography, endnotes, and an index.
Paldiel, Mordecai. The Path of the Righteous: Gentile Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1992. (D 810 .R4 P35 1992) [Find in a library near you]
Draws on Yad Vashem’s archival collections and Paldiel’s personal experience as the former director of the Righteous Among the Nations Program to detail rescue across different regions of Nazi dominated Europe. Recounts the stories of hundreds of rescuers and the lives they saved, clustered into chapters about each country. Includes illustrations, an appendix of popular motivations for assisting Jews, recommendations for further reading, a bibliography, and an extensive index.
Paldiel, Mordecai. The Righteous Among the Nations. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2007. (D 804.65 .P349 2007) [Find in a library near you]
Highlights 150 individuals honored by Yad Vashem for their rescue activities. Includes a history of the program, an index of rescuers, the rescued, and place names mentioned, a list of rescuers by country of origin, and a bibliography.
Paldiel, Mordecai. Saving the Jews: Amazing Stories of Men and Women Who Defied the “Final Solution”. Rockville, MD: Schrieber Publishing, 2000. (D 804.65 .P35 2000) [Find in a library near you]
Profiles over fifty rescuers and their efforts to rescue or hide individuals and families during the Holocaust. Also discusses rescuers who assisted Jews but were denied the title of Righteous Among the Nations. Includes index of names, endnotes, bibliography, and appendices on Jewish rescuers, Belgian rescuers of children, and unknown or anonymous rescuers.
Paldiel, Mordecai. Sheltering the Jews: Stories of Holocaust Rescuers. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1996. (D 804.65 .P36 1996) [Find in a library near you]
Draws on archival material at Yad Vashem to present examples of rescue attempts and operations based on the techniques that were employed: hiding, movement of people across borders, passing individuals as Gentiles, and rescuing children. Addresses the significance of the sacrifices and risks accepted by the rescuers in breaking with standard norms and highlights the uniqueness, bravery and responsibility of rescuers in decision making. Contains photographs, bibliography, endnotes, and an index.
Rittner, Carol, and Sondra Myers, editors. The Courage to Care: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. New York: New York University Press, 1986. (D 810.R4 R37 1986) [Find in a library near you]
Presents autobiographical accounts of fifteen rescuers as well as a section on the rescue efforts undertaken in the French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. Elie Wiesel, Shlomo Breznitz, and Moshe Bejski reflect on the significance of rescue and the Righteous. Includes index, photographs and reproductions of identity cards and false papers. Companion volume to the film Courage to Care.
Sharrow, Victoria. The Righteous Gentiles. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1998. (D 804.65 .S54 1998) [Find in a library near you]
Recounts the varied experiences and anecdotes of rescuers through brief passages and sidebars that accompany the text. Includes a bibliography, suggested readings, endnotes, illustrations, chronology of events, and an index. Part of The Holocaust Library series. Intended for teen readers.
Silver, Eric. The Book of the Just: The Unsung Heroes Who Rescued Jews from Hitler. New York: Grove Press, 1992. (D 804.65 .S55 1992) [Find in a library near you]
Presents the stories of forty individuals who, due to their extraordinary efforts, courage, and daring rescued hundreds of Jews, and were later recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. Contains illustrations, a bibliography, endnotes, and an index.
Tec, Nechama. When Light Pierced the Darkness: Christian Rescue of Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. (D 810 .R4 T43 1986) [Find in a library near you]
Utilizes firsthand accounts to describe interactions between Polish Jews and the individuals who helped rescue them. Includes a bibliography and an index.
Wagner, Meir. The Righteous of Switzerland: Heroes of the Holocaust. Hoboken, NJ: Ktav Publishing House, 2001. (D 804.65 W34 2001) [Find in a library near you]
Presents the stories of the thirty-seven Swiss citizens recognized as Righteous Among the Nations as supported by eyewitness accounts and testimonials. Includes illustrations and a bibliography.
Zullo, Allan, and Mara Bovsun. Heroes of the Holocaust: True Stories of Rescues by Teens. New York: Scholastic, 2005. (D 804.6 .Z85 2005) [Find in a library near you]
Recounts the stories of and includes material from interviews with six teenage rescuers recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. Provides a map depicting countries, cities and other locations mentioned in the text. Intended for teen readers.
Film and Video ↑
The Courage to Care [videorecording]. New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1986. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]
Presents interviews and first-hand accounts of rescue efforts by individuals in the French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. Includes commentary by Elie Wiesel. See also the companion guide to this work.
Diplomats for the Damned [videorecording]. New York: A & E Television Networks; marketed & distributed in the U.S. by New Video Group, 2000. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]
Profiles the lives and experiences of four diplomats who risked their lives and careers to assist Jews to escape the Holocaust. Discusses Aristides de Sousa Mendes (Portugal), Harry Bingham IV (USA), Carl Lutz (Switzerland), and Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz (Germany).
Elfert, Samuel H. Avenue of the Just [videorecording]. New York, NY: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1988. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]
Honors rescuers who risked their lives to save Jews. Includes footage of the Yad Vashem complex and the trees planted by the Righteous.
Halter, Marek. Tzedek: Les Justes [videorecording]. New York: Howard S. Shulman Productions, 1994. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]
Features interviews conducted in the 1990s with rescuers and survivors from various countries, prompted by the author’s desire to discover the fate of the person who rescued him from the Warsaw ghetto. See also the companion guide to this work.
Rochlitz, Joseph. The Righteous Enemy [videorecording]. Waltham, MA: National Center for Jewish Film, 1991. (DVD Collection) [Find in a library near you]
Details the Italian Army’s internment of Jews as an alternative to deportations to death camps. Describes how various Italian officials prevented the deportation of some 40,000 Jews in Italian occupied France, Greece, and Yugoslavia, in defiance of Mussolini and government orders.
Museum Web Resources ↑
Additional Resources ↑
Ask at the reference desk to see the following subject files for newspaper and periodical articles.
- “Righteous Gentiles in the Holocaust”
- “World War, 1939-1945 Jews Rescue”
To search library catalogs or other electronic search tools for materials on rescuers during the Holocaust, use the following Library of Congress subject headings to retrieve the most relevant citations:
- Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) Rescue
- Righteous Gentiles in the Holocaust
- World War, 1939-1945 Jews Rescue
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