Edek and Bronia Balicki are siblings. They are pretty much orphaned in the slum of Warsaw when their father is sent to a concentration camp while their mother goes into forced labor. Although their older sister Ruth is the brave, courageous one, Edek and Bronia have to survive in difficult conditions. Since Bronia is only 3, there is not much to say. Edek, at 11, is old enough to know what is happening though. Edek is very brave. He even shoots at the Nazis as they take his mother away. Edek tries to help his siblings by stealing and selling the goods on the black market, and this is how he eventually gets caught by the Nazis and taken to a camp.