Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives

The Secret of Gabi's Dresser

by Kathy Kacer

Based on the true story of how the author's mother was hidden from the Nazis

Gabi is a young Jewish girl living in Czechoslovakia during the time of the Holocaust. Gradually life is getting harder and harder. Jews are bullied at school, they can’t visit each other at a certain time, they have to walk everywhere, they are not allowed to go to non-Jewish stores, and finally Gabi’s best friend deserts her because she is Jewish. One day, the Nazis start visiting all the houses looking for Jewish children. In a tremendous act of courage, Gabi's mother protects Gabi from the soldiers by hiding her in their dining-room dresser. This is the story of author Kathy Kacer's own mother, who was the real-life Gabi. The only thing retrieved from their family's home after the war was the dresser that saved Gabi’s life. It now sits in author Kathy Kacer’s home in Toronto.