This book serves as a memorial to loved ones who do not even have a grave, as well as a tribute to those who risked their lives and families to save a Jewish child. A wide variety of experiences during the Nazi occupation of Poland are related with wrenching simplicity and candor, experiences that illustrate horrors and deprivation, but also present examples of courage and compassion. These recollections - whether of hiding in forests or camouflaged bunkers, fighting with groups of partisans, enduring the horrors of concentration camps, or living in fear under disguised identities - serve as eloquent testimony to the depth, diversity, and richness of humanity under siege and offer a powerful lesson for future generations. Written by people who remained in Poland after the war, these accounts convey a great immediacy; the authors are not removed from the environment in which these experiences took place. The psychological impact on these child survivors and the difficulties they encountered even after the war are very poignant. The passing years have brought urgency to the publication of these stories, as those who wrote them are the last surviving eyewitnesses of these tumultuous events.
Jakub Gutenbaum, founding president of the Association of the Children of the Holocaust in Poland, survived the Warsaw Ghetto and several Nazi concentration camps. Julian and Fay Bussgang translated and edited the first volume of The Last Eyewitnesses: Children of the Holocaust Speak (1998), also published by Northwestern University Press.