1939, after Kristallnacht, young Inge Joseph’s family in Germany is
broken apart, and her desperate mother sends her alone to Brussels to
live with wealthy relatives. But she soon finds herself one of a
hundred Jewish children fleeing for their lives following Hitler’s
invasions of Belgium and France.
For a time, in 1941 and 1942, it seems as if Inge and the others
have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, as they find shelter
through the Swiss Red Cross in an idyllic fifteenth-century French
château. Inge even finds love there. But the rumors and horrors of the
Holocaust are never far away, and eventually French gendarmes surprise
the children, taking them from their protectors to a nearby transit
camp. In their desperate attempts to escape, Inge and her boyfriend
face unexpected life-and-death decisions — wrenching decisions that
will haunt Inge for the rest of her life.
This powerful, never-before-told memoir is based on Inge’s own
sixty-six-page manuscript, found after her death; David Gumpert has
also drawn from Inge’s personal letters, from the recollections of
friends, relatives, and people who were with her in Europe, and from
his own close relationship with his aunt.
One of the most dramatic stories of Christian rescue of Jewish children during the Holocaust, Inge
is at the same time a totally frank account of the life and feelings of
a teenage girl struggling to survive the Holocaust on her own — and of
how the effects of that experience reverberated through her life and on
into the lives of her descendants. No matter how or why one reads it, Inge is a story of survival not soon to be forgotten.
A powerful testimony of the faith and love of the Swiss Red Cross to save Jewish children in Europe-an excellent testimony.