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Off the Shelf: Bravery unlimited

Full disclosure here…If you are hoping for light, easy reading, the following books would not be your choice. But, if you enjoy fascinating, unbelievable true accounts of courage and bravery during World War II, then read on for a few books about average people doing extraordinary things to survive and help others live through the horror.

The ingenuity and tenacity of women during WW II is astounding. They were able to operate under the radar and accomplish great things. Take for instance a group of Jewish women in Poland that set up a far reaching resistance network to fight the Nazis. Learn how they did it in “The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos” by Judy Batalion (940.53 Batalio), “with courage, guile, and nerves of steel, these “ghetto girls” smuggled guns in loaves of bread and coded intelligence messages in their braids.” According to Selma Van De Perre in “My Name is Selma: The Remarkable Memoir of a Jewish Resistance Fighter and Ravensbruck Survivor” (921 Perre), when she took on a new identity and joined the resistance fighters, she was just doing “what had to be done.” After spending years as someone else, and surviving Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp, she was finally able to once again say “My name is Selma.” This is her story!

Wilhelm Brasse documented thousands of prisoners through the lens of a camera as he took identity pictures for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. In doing so, he captured humanity in the most inhumane place imaginable. “The Auschwitz Photographer: The Forgotten Story of the WWII Prisoner Who Documented Thousands of Lost Souls” by Luca Crippa & Maurizio Onnis (921 Brasse), will give you a glimpse into his survival and the legacy he left through his photography.

What would you do if you happened upon something that hinted at a deeply guarded family secret? Would you decide it was probably nothing and forget about it, or would you need to unravel the mystery, thread by thread, no matter where it leads? Leora Krygier’s discovery of a small note barely visible in a pile of papers takes her on a winding, difficult path to learning she is a second-generation Holocaust survivor. “Do Not Disclose: A Memoir of Family Secrets Lost and Found” by Leora Krygier (920 Krygier) is “an incredibly touching memoir that elegantly weaves together threads from the Holocaust, family secrets, motherhood, and a quest to find a soldier from a discovered postcard.”

You will find all of these books on the new nonfiction shelf in the library’s upper level. There are no shortage of true stories of heroism and sacrifice during World War II. If you are interested in reading further survival stories from World War II, stop in, or give us a call (507-359-8331), and we can help you find some.

The library is located at 17 N. Broadway and is open to the public Mondays to Thursdays 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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