The children of World War II

I brought home a stack of books this weekend and in it I found two books about World War II.

Rose Blanche is about a little German girl’s life during World War II. She describes the men going away to fight and the constant lines of trucks going through their town.

One day she sees a truck break down and a young boy jumps out of the back. He is stopped from escaping by the town’s mayor and put back into the truck. Rose Blanche decides to follow the truck to see where the boy is being taken. What she finds is terrible.

Rose Blanche begins making daily trips to give food to the children behind the razor wire, even as she herself is going hungry.

The story then tells of the evacuation of Rose Blanche’s town. She is selfless and runs to check on her friends in the camp.

She finds the woods full of soldiers and the camp in ruins. The story never outright tells us what happens to Rose Blanche, but it says there is a shot from a soldier and that Rose Blanche’s mother waited for her for a long time.

I don’t know for sure, but I inferred from the story that Rose Blanche was killed by a soldier who mistook her for the enemy.

It seems easy to think of the German people as complacent and willing to ignore the concentration camps, but it’s isn’t possible that everyone chose to ignore them. I believe most people will help others without thinking twice, especially children.

The second book, One Thousand Tracings, is a story like Boxes For Katje. The little girl telling the story is American and she and her mother decided to help a German family after the war. Helping that family led to helping thousands of others. 

The tracings are of feet, and it is a big job to find shoes for so many. They also made socks and toys and sent food supplies.

The story is true, it came from a dusty box found in the attic of the author’s Grandmother’s house. The author’s mother remembers helping with this relief effort.

I’m thinking of putting up a display of World War II books this week. I’ve been inspired by all these fabulous stories.


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