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From the Publisher
"You must understand that I did not become a resistance
fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a defier of the SS and the Nazis all
at once. One''s first steps are always small: I had begun by hiding
food under a fence."
Through this intimate and compelling memoir, we are witness to the
growth of a hero. Irene Gut was just a girl when the war began:
seventeen, a Polish patriot, a student nurse, a good Catholic girl.
As the war progressed, the soldiers of two countries stripped her
of all she loved - her family, her home, her innocence - but the
degradations only strengthened her will.
She began to fight back. Irene was forced to work for the German
Army, but her blond hair, her blue eyes, and her youth bought her
the relatively safe job of waitress in an officers'' dining room.
She would use this Aryan mask as both a shield and a sword: She
picked up snatches of conversation along with the Nazis'' dirty
dishes and passed the information to Jews in the ghetto. She raided
the German Warenhaus for food and blankets. She smuggled
people from the work camp into the forest. And, when she was made
the housekeeper of a Nazi major, she successfully hid twelve Jews
in the basement of his home until the Germans'' defeat.
This young woman was determined to deliver her friends from evil.
It was as simple and as impossible as that.