Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War

December 8, 2020
Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War

Readers of all generations have grown up on The SilverSword, Ian Serraillier’s best-selling tale of children underwartime occupation, but few know the real life stories of thechildren and teenagers who went further and actually stood up tothe Nazis. Here, for the first time, Monica Porter gathers togethertheir stories from many corners of occupied Europe, showing how ina variety of audacious and inventive ways children as young as sixresisted the Nazi menace, risking and sometimes even sacrificingtheir brief lives in the process: a heroism that until now haslargely gone unsung.These courageous youngsters came from all classes andbackgrounds. There were high school drop-outs and social misfits,brainy bookworms, the children of farmers and factory workers. Somelost their entire families to the war, yet fought on alone. Oftenmore adept and fearless at resistance than adults, they exuded anair of guilessness and could slip more easily under the Nazi radar.But as nets tightened, many were captured, tortured or imprisoned,some paying the highest price – a life cut short by executionbefore they had even turned eighteen.These children were motivated by different ideals; patriotism,political conviction, their Christian beliefs, or revulsion at thebrutality of the Third Reich. But what united them was theirdetermination to strike back at an enemy which had deprived them oftheir freedom, their dignity - and their childhood.