W Hour

Twelve-year-old Arthur Ney hides outside the Warsaw ghetto walls as the ghetto uprising begins in the spring of 1943, then flees to the countryside with false papers that identify him as a Polish Christian. Returning to Warsaw months later, he must face the realization that his family is gone. He spends the rest of the war in a Catholic orphanage, struggling with loneliness, guilt, fear and indecision about living under a false identity. When the Warsaw Uprising – codenamed W Hour – begins on August 1, 1944, Arthur Ney joins the barricades and fights for liberation.

At a Glance
Poland
Warsaw ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Hidden child
Passing/false identity
Warsaw City Uprising
Postwar France
Arrived in Canada in 1948
Educational materials available: Hidden Children

240 pages

Recommended Ages
14+
Language
English

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Photo of Arthur Ney

About the author

Arthur Ney was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1930. He came to Canada in 1948 and settled in Montreal, where he married Susan and raised a son. Arthur persevered in finding employment, eventually becoming self-employed selling furniture. After Susan’s death, he married Kathleen and had a second son. Arthur was dedicated to Holocaust education and frequently spoke to students about his wartime experiences. Arthur Ney passed away in 2016.

Explore this story in Re:Collection

Two close calls in one day were enough for me. I realized that the uprising was not like the games I played with JĂłzek before the war. This was a very real battle, in which people were being killed and wounded.