THE ALTRUISTIC PERSONALITY was a pathbreaking study when first published in 1992. It provided the first major sociological examination of its kind of rescuers during World War II. Why, during the Holocaust, did some ordinary people risk their lives and the lives of their families to help others (even total strangers) while others stood passively by? Oliner, a Holocaust survivor, interviewed more than 700 European rescuers and nonrescuers in his search for answers to these questions.
Samuel Oliner was a Professor of Sociology at Humboldt State University. He survived the Holocaust after escaping from the Warsaw Ghetto with the help of a Gentile rescuer.