Children and teens who heroically fought the Nazis penned by Willesden Green author
PUBLISHED: 13:22 11 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:45 11 May 2020
The heroic efforts of child resistance fighters during World War 2 have been collated in a Willesden Green author’s latest book.
Children Against Hitler, by Monica Porter, tells the real life stories of young people across Europe who stood up to the Nazis and acted entirely on their own initiatives.
Many were captured, tortured, or imprisoned and some executed before they turned 18.
Tales include that of two Polish sisters who saved the lives of 13 Jews by sheltering them in their attic for two years, even while Nazi soldiers were in the room below.
The book tells of a blind teenager who started his own resistance movement and underground newspaper, recruiting a 200-strong “army” of schoolboys; the Danish teens who formed the Churchill Club; and a chemistry-obsessed boy who became the French Resistance’s top forger of false identity documents, and saved the lives of thousands.
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Writer and journalist Monica, who lives on the Mapesbury Estate, has previously written about her mother’s rescue of Jewish friends during WW2 in Deadly Carousel: A Singer’s Story of the Second World War.
“It occurred to me it would be interesting to focus on one area of the resistance movement which seemed to me hadn’t been written up as such, what these very youngest people did, school age kids doing anti-Nazi activities.
“I started coming up with really interesting stories and not very well known, some hardly known at all,” said Monica.
“The fascinating thing to me was they came across the range, some from really poor backgrounds and children of the elites who are going to posh private schools, but they were all united, they wanted to get involved in fighting back against this brutal oppression of the Nazis that had taken over their country and their lives. They weren’t going to leave it to the adults, they’d do it themselves.”
She added: “We’re living in a time where young people, teenagers, seem to be suffering from terrible depression, some of them are suicidal, they have terrible mental angst about the world. Yet why would this be? They’re growing up in a time of peace, it’s not a time when their lives are endangered or threatened, yet they do.
“For this generation to read a book about what people in their own age group were confronting, real dangers and threats to their existence, and the strength and the courage to battle against it- it’s a good lesson in life.”
Children Against Hitler is published by Pen & Sword
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