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The Ultimate Price

The grave of Šimelis who was murdered for hiding JewsThe grave of Šimelis who was murdered for hiding Jews

In a Europe where Jews were ostracized and targeted for murder, most people abandoned their former neighbors, and only a few stood by their side. The price that rescuers had to pay for their actions differed from one country to another. In Eastern Europe, notices were put up threatening those who helped Jews and their families with death. In Germany and Western Europe punishment was generally less severe. However, witnessing the brutal treatment of the population and the perpetrators’ determination to hunt down every single Jew, people must have feared that they would suffer greatly if they attempted to help the persecuted. Moreover, in many places rescuers had to beware not only of the authorities, but there was a great risk of denunciation on the part of their neighbors.

Some of the rescuers had to pay the ultimate price. Here are some of their stories: