Jacob's Rescue

A Holocaust Story

Main Characters

The main characters in this book are Jacob and David Gutgeld, Alex and Mela Roslan, plus their two children Yurek and Marishka. Jacob and David are brothers. Jacob is nine years old when this story starts off and his younger brother David is 3. Jacob is living in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland with his Aunt Hannah and his Grandmother, but he is later hidden with Alex and his wife, Mela Roslan. David is being hidden with a family in the country.
Picture: Jacob Gutgeld, Alex Roslan, David Gutgeld 1946

Plot

This story begins with Jacob,a Jewish boy, who has been living in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland almost since 1939. The year is 1941 and WWII is still going strong. Jacob's aunt begins to worry for Jacob's safety, and she calls upon the family's old chauffeur to take Jacob from the ghetto and deliver him to a man named Alex Roslan. Alex is going to take Jacob and hide him from the Nazis. Jacob is to stay hidden with this man and his family for the next three years.

Picture : Alex Roslan, David Gutgeld, Marishka Roslan, Jacob Gutgeld, and Yurek Roslan 1946

Connections

Alex and Mela Roslan earned the Righteous Among Nations Award by risking their lives, plus their children's lives. There is a time in this story when the Roslans take a huge risk by bringing Jacob's brother Sholom into their house, and hiding him as well. Another risk they took was when Jacob was ill and needed medical attention. They pretended they were selling their couch to a doctor, put Jacob inside the couch, and brought him to that doctor. The Roslans also took the risk of taking in Jacob's youngest brother David, and hiding him.

Picture: Righteous Among Nations medal.

Quotation

"They're being killed," Jacob replied, looking straight ahead. "They're going to Treblinka and Auschwitz." Everyone stopped eating and became silent. Jacob's words reminded them that he was not there on a social visit. It was a matter of life and death.

Picture: Alex and Mela Roslan 1984

Reflection

The topic of the Holocaust needs to be studied so that people understand what it means to be human. Alex and Mela Roslan were two very brave and intelligent people. They risked their family's lives for three little boys. During the Holocaust many people lacked humanity. They discarded people as if they were nothing, and hauled them off to concentration camps. There were few people like Alex and Mela Roslan. You still find people today that will discard human beings as if they were nothing, and young people need to understand that to better prepare themselves for adult life. Life is no walk in the park, people get murdered, abused, discriminated, and left behind. There are some people like Alex and Mela Roslan, people who help others even though it's risky and they don't even have to. Then you find the rest who just walk by and worry solely about their own lives.