The Smallest Hope (Traduction française à venir)

The holes in the walls erected around the Warsaw ghetto in 1940 are only large enough for small children to squeeze through, so it’s up to the bravest young inhabitants to smuggle food back to their starving loved ones. Nazi guards patrol the ghetto walls, and the punishment for being caught is death. Jankiel (Jack) Klajman is only nine years old but knows what he needs to do to give his family a chance to survive. It is only through luck that Jack manages to hide from successive waves of deportations to the Treblinka death camp. When the Jews in the ghetto decide to rise up against the Nazis in spring of 1943, Jack turns his smuggling efforts to the aid of the resistance and narrowly escapes the ghetto during the terrible fighting. Along with other Jewish boys passing as gentile, he makes a living selling cigarettes in the heart of the city to the Nazi soldiers. Jack represents the Smallest Hope of a once-great Jewish community. Although he suffers great losses during the war, when Jack leaves behind the fire-scarred ruins of Warsaw he finds a way to flourish, making his way to Canada and building a life full of music, family and hope for a better future.

Introduction by Avinoam J. Patt

En bref
Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw ghetto
Hiding and passing/false identity
Witnessed the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
War Orphans Project
Arrived in Canada in 1948
Livre numérique accessible

244 pages

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Photo of Jack Klajman

À propos de l'auteur

Jankiel (Jack) Klajman was born in 1931 in Warsaw, Poland, where he spent the entirety of World War II, witnessing the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising from within the ghetto and the Warsaw Uprising a year later while in hiding. Jack was the only survivor of his family. After the war, he eventually made his way to England in the fall of 1945 as part of a program supporting Jewish war orphans and then to Canada in 1948 through the War Orphans Project. Jack settled in London, Ontario, where he owned a fur store for many decades. In 2013, he was featured in the documentary Little Heroes from the Warsaw Ghetto, which chronicles his and other Jewish boys’ survival in Warsaw after the destruction of the ghetto. With his wife, Sonia, he had four children and three grandchildren. Jack Klajman passed away in 2019.

This dangerous, hustling lifestyle quickly came to dominate my childhood. It was depressing to realize that other children were playing with toys while I was risking my life to feed my family.

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