Andree Herscovici, a Belgian rescuer, told us: “Everything I am today I owe to that period of my life.”
The original idea expanded into a study which took five years and thousands of miles to complete. We interviewed 105 rescuers from eleven countries and the result is an adult book called Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, a children’s book called Jacob’s Rescue, a video and a traveling exhibit of photographs.
The success of the project has surprised us. Even though the book is now in its fourth printing, the book received over twenty rejections. Although the exhibit was ultimately shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, many other smaller museums had already turned it down. Perhaps the reason behind the rejections is that goodness makes us squirm. It’s easier to believe the worst than the best about people, and it’s easier to believe all Germans, Poles and Ukrainians are bad.
Libuse Fries whose mother had been a maid for a wealthy Jewish family near Prague saved her husband, Egon, and his sister Erna Seykorova.