Literature / The Silver Sword

The Silver Sword note  is a children's novel written by Ian Serraillier. The book is set in during the Holocaust, where the Balacki family has been split apart due to refusal to support Hitler. Joseph Balacki has been taken to a work camp far away in the mountains, Margaret Balacki has been dragged off to an unknown location by the Nazis, and the three children, Ruth, Edek and Bronia, find refuge in a bombed cellar on the streets of Warsaw after their house was destroyed by the Nazis, supposedly with them in it. They survive off of what they can, until a boy named Jan inadvertently brings them news of their father escaping to Switzerland, and they set out to reunite their family.

Contains examples of:

  • Friend to All Living Things: Jan, apparently.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jan goes through one after choosing to help Ruth and Bronia recover Edek from the lake instead of going to collect the frightened Ludwig, which he never sees again.
  • Parental Abandonment: Nobody knows what happens to Jan's parents, possibly including him. They were likely taken away by the Nazis, and killed.
  • Separated From The Adults: After the Nazis take both their mom and dad away, the kids are left to fend for themselves on the streets of Warsaw, barely even escaping themselves.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When Jan first meets Joseph, he carries a gray kitten. When he is found by Bronia and Ruth, the kitten is gone, and Jimpy takes its place. Jan mentions later in the book that he had a gray kitten, but it ended up died. The cause of its death is never explained.

Alternative Title(s): Escape From Warsaw