Social Justice Stories

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

The Secret of Gabi's Dresser is set in Czechoslovakia, a country in Central Europe that is now called the Czech Republic. When the western part of Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Nazis in 1939, Slovakia (the eastern part of the country) was still independent but under the protection of the German government. The Jewish people were treated badly by both the Nazi soldiers and the non-Jewish Slovakians, as more and more laws were imposed on the Jews, restricting their freedoms. Gabi and her family live in a small town in Slovakia, and life for her as a young Jewish girl became increasingly difficult with these anti-Jewish laws. Gabi was harassed and bullied by people she thought were friends and neighbors. In 1942, as deportations of Slovakian Jews to concentration camps began and the local government started to round up young Jewish girls, the situation became very dangerous for Gabi and her family.