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The Grand Mosque of Paris: How Muslims Saved Jews During the Holocaust

This book touched my heart in so many ways and is a must have on every shelf and in every classroom. And with everything depressing going on in the world right now, it is nice to read stories of hope and love in our history.

Genre: Nonfiction Advanced PB

Ages: 6-10

Available: Amazon @crescentmoonbookstore

Screening: brief mention of wine packed on barges, and death camps

This gorgeous historical nonfiction book is all about the Grand Mosque in Paris and the Muslims running it and how they housed Jews during WWII and provided sanctuary for them from the Nazis.

Paris was actually taken by the Nazis in WWII and so the Jews in France were rounded up and sent to the “death camps” in Germany. Around 11,402 Jews (including children and babies) were deported to die. (This is so heartbreaking to read😭)

The Grand Mosque of Paris became a secret place of refuge. Despite possible dangers to them, Muslims snuck Jews into the Mosque and through catacombs underneath to the Sienne, where large barges would take the refugees in the empty barrels away from France.

The Mosque also provided “fake conversion certificates” to trick Nazis into thinking some Jews were Muslim, and in fact, many stayed in the Mosque the whole four years and were protected from harm.

The Muslims of France, most of whom were from North Africa and of the Kabyle Resistance, even passed notes (one of which was found!) to each other about the necessity of Muslims stepping up and providing support to their Jewish brothers and sisters.

It is so heartwarming to know that Muslim stood against injustice in such a terrible time in history and these books counteract stereotypes and prejudices that exist nowadays.

Def a must have.

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