"I was only a girl, alone among the enemy.
What could I do?"
Irene Gut was only seventeen when Poland was invaded by Germany on the West and Russia on the East. Separated from her family, raped by Russian soldiers, and then forced to work for the German army, she found a way not only to survive, but to fight back. She snuck food into the Jewish ghetto, passed on information she overheard from the German officers she served, and managed to hide twelve Jews from the SS in the basement of the house where she worked. She even fought with the Polish Resistance. Her memoir is an amazing story of survival, courage, and sheer grit, and shows what World War II was like through the eyes and heart of a young Polish girl caught between countless enemies who refused to give up. It's honest and moving and several parts made me cry; I read it all in just one day and loved every single word. Irene Gut is such an inspiring person and her story is a truly memorable one. This is one book that's definitely going on my list of favorite reads in 2018!
"The war was a series of choices made by many people. Some of those choices were as wicked and shameful to humanity as anything in history. But some of us made other choices. I made mine. ... I did not ask myself, Should I do this? But, How will I do this? Every step of my childhood had brought me to this crossroad; I must take the right path, or I would no longer be myself. You must understand that I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a defier of the SS and the Nazis, all at once. One's first steps are always small: I had begun by hiding food under a fence."