Recommended Readings and Materials
Click to section title below to see available information for the topic.
Almagro, Gila. Under the Domim Tree. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. 1995.
This historical fiction is based on the author’s experiences after the Holocaust. It is 1953 in an Israeli youth village, in which the inhabitants are orphans. The vast majority were orphaned as a result of the Holocaust. The story focuses on three young women who manage their lives and their emotions in quite different ways.
Anglada, Maria Angels. The Violin of Auschwitz. United Kingdom: Robinson Publishing, 2010. HS
Maria Àngels Anglada brings the history of the violin made by Daniel, the Jewish luthier, during his internment in the Auschwitz concentration camp, to vibrant life. Written with lyrical simplicity and haunting beauty—and interspersed with chilling, actual Nazi documentation—The Violin of Auschwitz is more than just a novel: It is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of beauty, art, and hope to triumph over the darkest adversity.
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. The Boy Who Dared. New York: Scholastic, Inc. 2008.
Based in meticulous research, this historical fiction follows seventeen-year old Helmuth Hubener who is in a German prison after he was caught. His crime was listening to the BBC and composing and distributing flyers telling the truth of the progression of the war. Further, he continued to question the increasing loss of rights of German citizens. The story is told in flashbacks that relay Helmuth’s developing change of heart about his country and leadership. It concerns one German citizen’s stand for what is right in his fight against the Nazis.
Becker, Jurek. Jakob the Liar. New York City: Plume, 1999. MS and HS; DVD movie also available.
Jakob the Liar is set in the Lodz ghetto during WWII. The story centers on an unlikely hero, Jakob Heym, who accidentally overhears news of vital importance: the Russians are advancing on a city three hundred miles away. Forming a protective bond with a young orphan girl, Jakob becomes caught in his own web of optimistic lies. The story calls into question the difference between living and surviving, and what the role of hope plays, not only in those Jewish ghettos during the Holocaust, but for all those facing impossible circumstances.
Bishop, Claire Huchet. Twenty and Ten. New York: Penguin. 1978. DVD movie also available, titled Miracle at Moreaux. ES
Suitable for elementary students as an introduction to the Holocaust. This historical fiction is set in 1944 in occupied France at a parochial school. Twenty school children hide ten Jewish children from the Nazis occupying France during World War II. In frightening and difficult circumstances, there are elements of naiveté as the very young students encounter German officials. With the author’s use of appropriate language for elementary age children, this story is memorable and thought-provoking.
Dauvillier, Loic. Illustrators: Marc Lizano & Greg Salsedo. Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust. New York: First Second, 2012. MS
For younger readers, this is a poetic graphic novel set in France. Dounia, now a grandmother, reveals to her granddaughter the story of her life during the Holocaust. As a young Jewish girl in Paris, Dounia was hidden away from the Nazis by a series of neighbors and friends who risked their lives to keep her alive after her parents had been taken to concentration camps. Hidden is a touching story ending with Dounia and her mother rediscovering each other as World War II ends.
Duba, Ursula. Tales from a Child of the Enemy. New York: Penguin, 1997. HS
This extraordinary poetry anthology is suitable for secondary students and addresses the author’s associations and sentiments with her German family and acquaintances after the war. She did not begin asking questions about the Third Reich until she was nineteen years old. She was surprised and dismayed that most of those with whom she spoke claimed to know nothing at all about the atrocities committed. Some felt the German population was targeted without discrimination by the Allies when the war began to turn against Germany. Further, she found that regret was noticeably missing. With the poetic language, this is a powerful book that became a Sydney Taylor Winner from the Association of Jewish Libraries.
Fink, Ida. A Scrap of Time. New York: Pantheon Books, 1987. MS, HS
This is a collection of short stories relating various characters to the Jewish experience of the Holocaust. While it is classified as fiction, each story is taken from actual accounts during the Holocaust. Those include round-ups, when Jews were murdered in the forest or sent to labor camp and extermination camp. Each individual story represents a specific moment. The stories, despite being unrelated, are arranged in a chronological order from the beginning of the war to its aftermath.
Gillham, David. City of Women. New York: Berkeley Publishing, 2012. HS
For older secondary students, this is a captivating novel of life in 1943 in Berlin. It is told from the perspective of a good German wife of a German soldier serving on the Russian front. Sigrid adheres to the traditional life expected of her, sharing a home with her constantly complaining mother-in-law, until extraordinary circumstances bring her into a life of hiding Jews and others who are escaping the Nazis. Sigrid falls in love with an escaping Jew and struggles with the complications this brings. There are numerous additional female characters who also strive to make a comprehensible life in Berlin, yielding a glimpse of extraordinary life in Germany during WWII.
Holm, Anne. I Am David. Orlando: Harcourt, 1965.
This historical fiction is the compelling story of twelve-year old David who lived in a grisly Eastern European concentration camp ever since he was a toddler. Although arrested with his parents, he was soon separated from them. There was always a particular guard who watched over him. David escaped from the camp and, with hints from the guard, set out to find his mother who he had heard lived somewhere in Denmark. The story highlights David’s struggle to make sense of the world outside of the concentration camp compounded by his constant evasion of his pursuers. This is a poignant and tense story of survival.
Jablonski, Carla & Leland Purvis. Resistance Trilogy:
Resistance: Book 1. New York: First Second, 2010. HS
Defiance: Resistance Book 2. New York: First Second, 2011. HS
Victory: Resistance Book 3. New York: First Second, 2012. HS
This trilogy of graphic novels follows the French Resistance adventures of siblings Sophie, Paul, and Marie Tessier as the Germans march into and occupy France, including the children’s small country town. Their father is kept hostage by the Germans, their friend Henri’s parents disappear, and Henri himself goes into hiding because of his Jewish ancestry. The children know they must take a stand and do it without the Germans knowing. Their experiences are appealing to all ages of secondary students. Jablonski and Purvis won the Sydney Taylor Book Award for the trilogy.
Jacot, Michael. The Last Butterfly. New York: Ballantine Books, 1975. HS
The Last Butterfly: Beautiful and heartbreaking … It is in the changing of one man … that one finds the most moving movements of the novel, as Antonin, the has-been clown, becomes a kind of hero of the human spirit. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Keneally, Thomas. Schindler’s List. New York: Scribner, 1982. DVD movie also available.
Winner of the Booker Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, this book is a classic of Holocaust literature. Based on actual testimony of the Schindlerjuden--Schindler’s Jews, the author recounts the extraordinary story of German businessman Oskar Schindler, a Gentile who saved more than one thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust. He was named Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government in 1963. See also Leyson’s The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible...on Schindler’s List.
Meyer, Susan Lynn. Black Radishes. New York: Delacorte, 2010. ES
For upper elementary children, Black Radishes is a book based on actual events set in France during the time of the Holocaust. The region of focus is unoccupied France. Although not directly governed by the German occupiers, life was challenging and frightening as both occupied and unoccupied France suffered fear, tension, cold and hunger. The Beckers are a French Jewish family who experienced increasing episodes of anti-Semitism and struggled to leave France by planning to get to the Spanish border.
Ritter, Andrea. Sunflower of the Third Reich. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Corporation, 2001.
Based on the experiences of the author born in Bavaria, Germany in 1939, the novel is about a typical German family in a typical German town from 1943 to 1945 and a few months after the war. It is about hopeful and courageous wives, children, and the elderly as they experience the nightly terrors of air raids and bombings all over Germany. Famine and all kinds of deprivation are prevalent from 1943 on. When the Americans arrive, they are greeted as an unwanted outcome.
Roy, Jennifer. Yellow Star. Las Vegas, NV: Amazon Publishing, 2006.
Written in free verse and easy to read, the author collected information from interviews with her aunt Sylvia Perlmutter fifty years after the Holocaust. Sylvia’s family lived in Lodz, Poland and was imprisoned in the ghetto for the duration of the war. Because of her father’s intuition, courage, ingenuity, and ability to deceive the Germans, Isaac was able to keep his family alive. At the liberation of the ghetto, only twelve children survived. Sylvia was one of those twelve children.
Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray. New York: Penguin Young Readers, 2011. HS
This historical fiction youth novel describes atrocities in Siberia committed by the Communists. The events are concurrent with WWII when the countries of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania were absorbed by Soviets. The focus population of the story is the Lithuanians who were removed from their homes by the Soviet secret police and sent to labor camps in Siberia. The story is one of hope, resourcefulness, awakening, and love intermingled with hunger, illness, and horror. The Lithuanian population relegated to Siberia did not return for ten or more years after treaties ending WWII were signed. Even then, those who had been imprisoned were fearful for their lives and kept silent about recounting their experiences in the labor camps.
Sharenow, Robert. The Berlin Boxing Club. New York: Harper Teen, 2011. HS
Set in Nazi Germany in the mid-to-late 1930s, this youth novel depicts one Jewish family’s fall from being valued citizens to persecuted, tyrannized, and powerless non-citizens. Karl Stern is a teen living comfortably in Berlin until the persecutions begin. Karl’s father knows Max Scheming, Germany’s most accomplished boxer and the model of fitness and excellence to many Germans. Because of Max and his tutelage, Karl becomes an accomplished young boxer who wins glory until his Jewish ancestry is revealed. At Kristallnacht, Karl’s father is imprisoned and disappears. Eventually, Max is able to facilitate the immigration of Karl and his sister to America. The book won the Sydney Taylor Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries.
Spiegelman, Art. Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History. New York: Pantheon, 1973. Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began. New York: Pantheon, 1986. HS
These two graphic novels are written as a metaphor with animals portrayed as the populations of the Holocaust, for example, the Jews, Nazis, Gentiles. It is a story of the increasingly restrictive measures of the oppressors over the victims to the point of the Final Solution. The setting is occupied Poland, concentration camps, and eventually freedom in America. The story is of survival, but there is also a focus on a victim’s effect on succeeding generations.
Spinelli, Jerry. Milkweed. New York: Random House, 2003. ES, MS, HS
This historical fiction is an excellent story for upper elementary and older students. Misha is an orphan child roaming the streets of Warsaw in 1939. He and other orphans survive by stealing food and staying together, sleeping where they find convenient places to do so. Misha is completely unaware of the political and emotional climate being wrought by the Nazis who are taking over the city. While stealing food in one of the more comfortable neighborhoods, he becomes fast friends with Janina Milgrom. When the Milgroms are rounded up and sent to the Warsaw ghetto, Misha finds it natural to accompany them. Misha becomes quite useful in the ghetto as he is small enough to pass through holes in the walls and smuggle in food. The story is about Misha’s survival and growing realization of the atrocities being committed.
Whitney, Kim Ablon. The Other Half of Life: A Novel Based on the True Story of the MS St. Louis. New York: Alfred Knopf Books, 2009. HS
Whitney writes a fictionalized record of the voyage of the St. Louis, a luxury liner that left Germany in 1939. It was sailing to Cuba with over 900 Jews aboard—all striving to escape Nazi Germany. In the book, the ship is called the MS St. Francis, and the author writes of the events as based on the actual events of the St. Louis. Fifteen-year-old Thomas Werkmann is a passenger on the voyage at his parents’ great sacrifice to get him out of Germany. The reader discovers a number of Latin American countries, the U.S., and Canada wouldn’t accept the desperate passengers. One excuse was their refugee quotas had been met. The ship was forced to return to Europe where England, France, Belgium, and Holland agreed to take as many as possible. Yet, by the end of the war, over 200 of the former passengers were killed in concentration camps.
Wiseman, Eva. My Canary Yellow Star. Toronto, Canada: Tundra Books, 2001.
In this historical fiction, the reader is introduced to the work of Raoul Wallenberg, an extraordinary Swedish diplomat who was responsible for saving as many as 100,000 lives during the Holocaust. The setting is Budapest where young Marta’s life is shattered because she is Jewish. The restrictions on the Jews are incomprehensible culminating in Jews disappearing into cattle cars on their way to concentration camps. But Marta’s family has an unusual chance at life since they are among those who can be saved by Raoul Wallenberg. He forcefully and confidently faced Nazi authorities demanding freedom for “Swedish citizens” living in Budapest. He issued papers to thousands of Jews, declaring them to be Swedish citizens. The Swedish passports were known as Schultz-Passes.
Yolen, Jane. Briar Rose. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1992. ES, MS, HS
Historical fiction suitable for upper elementary and older students. In America, Rebecca and her sisters listen to their Grandmother Gemma’s stories, especially one she tells over and over—the fairytale of Briar Rose, a Sleeping Beauty adaptation. Gemma’s family knows nearly nothing at all of her life, and Gemma is not forthcoming with information about where she came from, what her family name is, and what her experiences have been. Over time, only Rebecca continues to listen with rapt attention to the repeated storytelling. As her grandmother reaches the end of her life, she reveals to Rebecca that she is Briar Rose and encourages Rebecca to travel to Germany to discover the truth of her life as Briar Rose. Against much resistance, Rebecca learns of her grandmother’s life as a victim during the Holocaust.
Yolen, Jane. The Devil’s Arithmetic. New York: Scholastic, 2000. DVD movie also available. ES, MS, HS
This captivating historical fiction should hold the attention of upper elementary students as well as older readers. Yolen uses a writing device of parallel stories in two time eras—current day in America and a concentration camp during the Holocaust. Twelve-year-old Hannah is transported to a village in Poland in the 1940s where she becomes Chaya. Chaya is taken captive by the Nazis and sent to a death camp. As Chaya, Hannah learns about the atrocities of the Holocaust and, even more, about herself as a Jewish girl in current time. She learns to appreciate the history of her family and understand the traditions of her Jewish faith.
Kerr, Judith. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. London: William Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., 1971. 5th grade and above
The story is based on Kerr’s real life experience and describes how she and her family escape from Germany: first to Switzerland, then to France and finally to Britain. Set in the 1930s, shortly before the beginning of World War II, it shows a young girl growing up under extremely difficult circumstances. She needs to adapt to new countries, new surroundings, new people and, even more difficult, to new languages over and over again. But while all this is happening, the only thing that matters to her is that her family stays together. This is an easy read but presents a somewhat simplified picture of life for Jews who managed to depart Germany before being prevented from leaving after Hitler came into power.
Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1990. Advanced ES, MS, ELL and SpEd. DVDs of the Danish rescue: Miracle at Midnight, A Day in October, and the documentary The Danish Solution.
In 1943 Denmark, the Nazis began “relocating” the Jewish citizens to concentration camps. Annemarie Johansen and her family allow her best friend, Ellen Rosen, to live with them until they can help her escape to Sweden. This historical fiction is a wonderful account of how the Danish people saved many of their Jewish citizens from the concentration camps. It is also an amazing story about how a ten-year-old girl, Annemarie, can have courage and make a difference in the lives of many. The story is praised for its ability to express to younger readers the seriousness of the Holocaust without including the horror and the tragedy.
Accomando, Clair Hsu. Love and Rutabagas: A Remembrance of the War Years. New York: St. Martins Publishers, 1993. HS
In this poignant memoir for older students, young Clair and much of her family are stuck in Vichy France for the duration of WWII. Even though there is a little more freedom in this area of France, the presence of the Germans is constantly felt, and there is much fear of them. There is an account of characters in the French Resistance in terms of how some interacted with Clair’s family. The title refers to the scarcity and limited food during that time and how the family lived on rutabagas and an intense love for each other.
Ayer, Eleanor H., In the Ghettos: Teens Who Survived the Ghettos of the Holocaust. Rosen: 1999. HS.
Chronicles the deportation of Jews into ghettos during Hitler's Third Reich and presents the narratives of three individuals who, as teenagers, lived in the ghettos of Lodz, Theresienstadt, and Warsaw and survived physical deprivations, abuse, and deportation to the death camps.
Ayer, Eleanor H., Alfons Heck, and Helen Waterford. Parallel Journeys. New York: Atheneum Books, 1995. Advanced MS, HS
Parallel Journeys is a nonfiction account of Helen Waterford, a Jewish girl who survived Auschwitz, and Alfons Heck, a powerful member of Hitler Youth. The chapters alternate between Helen and Alfons. Interspersed between their first-person diary entries is the well-researched chronicling of the events leading up to and through World War II, primarily from Germany's perspective. This will definitely be a challenging read for students, especially on an emotional level.
Bard, Mitchell, ed. The Holocaust. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2000. HS
Bard edits this reference book with detailed informational text from the Turning Points in World History series. Essays address the political, cultural, and social issues of the Holocaust. Topics include isolation and dehumanization, The Final Solution, and the creation of a Jewish homeland. This is useful for research for older secondary students.
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow. New York: Scholastic Nonfiction, 2005. HS
This extraordinary informational text won the Robert F. Siebert Non-Fiction Award and the Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award. It chronicles the development and purposes of the youth population in Hitler’s Third Reich. Secondary students should be able to determine if Hitler Youth were willing participants within Nazi ideology or if they were merely overcome with misplaced enthusiasm. Powerful first-hand interviews with several former Hitler Youth give the text meaning and emotional depth.
Beer, Edith H. The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust. New York: William Morrow Paperbacks, 2000.
The memoir yields insights on ordinary citizens living in Austria and Germany during the Third Reich. Edith Hahn was a Jewish woman hiding among the general population as an Aryan woman, her hiding done under the facade of a loyal German hausfrau. With borrowed official papers, Edith moved to Munich, married a Nazi official in her new persona, and then survived in Germany for a while under Russian rule. Her daily fears, tension, and terror are palpable for the 10-year period depicted in the book.
Emanuel, Muriel and Vera Gissing. Nicholas Winton and the Rescued Generation: Save One Life, Save the World. London: Vallentine Mitchell Publishers, 2001. MS, HS. DVD Menemsha Films: Nicky’s Family and documentary Power of Good.
When Nicholas Winton met a friend in Prague in December 1938, he was shocked by the plight of thousands of refugees and Czech citizens desperate to flee from the advancing German army. After witnessing their desperation, Winton set about trying to save the Jewish children of these families and his efforts rescued 669 of them. One of these children was co-author, Vera Gissing. For a long time, she wanted to know who had saved her and eventually, she found out. This book is her testament to one man's selfless spirit and his desire to do what he considered was right. His motto “If something is not impossible, then there must be a way to do it” led him to follow his own convictions to respond to the urgent situation of the Czech Jews in 1938 and, ultimately, bring eight trainloads of Jewish children to England.
Greenfeld, Howard. The Hidden Children. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 1997. ES-HS
In this powerful and compelling work, 25 people share their experiences as hidden children. Black-and-white photos illustrate the stories of Jews who, as children, survived the Holocaust in hiding. Incorporating testimonies into succinct accounts of individual survival, Greenfeld produces a well-rounded and varied picture of their collective experiences, from the first stirrings of war through their liberation and beyond. This moving, thoughtful approach to the study of the Holocaust will help young readers grasp the horrors endured in those years by people their own age. Ages 8-up. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Hallie, Philip. Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed. New York: Harper Perennial, 1994. MS, HS DVD story by Pierre Sauvage, Weapons of the Spirit. Also, The Courage to Care, narrated by Elie Wiesel.
This is the story of Le Chambon, a village in southeastern France that saved thousands of refugees during World War II. Pastor Andre Trocme and his wife Magda led the effort that rescued 2,500 to 5,000 Jews and others (no official records were kept as a matter of security) from the Nazis through nonviolent resistance. Each villager who sheltered and helped a refugee fleeing the Nazis risked his or her life, and some paid with their lives. This is a crisp exploration of how a belief that each life is precious, a deeply held conviction in non-violence, and the courage of ordinary people who do the extraordinary, create a true story that shines as a beacon of hope in today’s world.
The Hidden Child. Prod. Lisa Bair Miller. Sara Lee Kessler, Writer. DVD (Rated PG). NJN Public Television, 2007.
Of the 1.6 million Jewish children who lived in Europe before WWII, only 100,000 survived the Holocaust. Most were hidden children, shuttered away in attics, cellars, convents or farms. This hour long documentary, is Maud Dahme's story of courage, hope and bravery in the face of evil and death. It chronicles the wartime experiences of Dahme, one of an estimated 5,000 Jewish children hidden from the Nazis by righteous gentiles in the Netherlands.
Klein, Gerda Weissmann. All But My Life. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995. MS, HS. DVD documentary available.
Although a non-fiction book, this will keep your attention as well as a fiction book. Gerda Weissmann Klein tells her horrifying experience of living through the Holocaust from beginning to end. She was one of only 120 women who survived a three-hundred-mile march from a labor camp in western Germany to Czechoslovakia. All but My Life is a moving story of Gerda’s suffering as a slave laborer, and of others who did not survive.
Leyson, Leon. The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible...on Schindler’s List. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Children, 2013. HS
Appropriate for younger secondary students as well as older readers, the memoir was written by Leyson, who was born in Poland, experienced years of atrocities as a Jew during the Holocaust, was saved from extermination by Oskar Schindler, and finally became an immigrant and valuable citizen in the United States. The forthright writing style, indicative of a young teenager during his horrific experiences, is compelling as he recounts the stories of his family and Schindler’s courage and compassion to Jews. Awards for this book include the Christopher Award, the #1 New York Times Best Seller, and the #1 Best Seller in Children’s Judaism Books.
Müller, Melissa and Reinhard Piechocki. A Garden of Eden in Hell. London: Pan Books, 2008. MS, HS. DVDs: The Lady in #6, documentary
Alice Sommer was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in1903 and identified as musically gifted in her early teens. Depressed after her mother was deported in 1942, she plunged deeply into her piano studies and resolved to learn Chopin's 24 Etudes, the most technically demanding piano pieces she knew of and some of the most difficult pieces ever composed. A year later, she, too—together with her husband and their six-year-old son—was deported to Theresienstadt where her musical talent became her salvation. In the course of more than 100 concerts she gave her fellow prisoners hope in a world of pain and death and managed to create a happy childhood for her beloved only son in the midst of atrocity and barbarism. Of 15,000 children sent to the camp, her son, Raphael, was one of the 130 who survived. *Note: Alice Herz-Sommer was the oldest Holocaust survivor and died at 110 years of age in February 2014.
Opdyke, Irene Gut, and Armstrong, Jennifer. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer. New York: Laurel Leaf Books, reissue edition, 2004. MS, HS
Opdyke, born in 1922 to a Polish Catholic family, was a 17-year-old nursing student when Germany invaded her country in 1939. Her schooling ended and thrust Irene into a world of degradation, fear, and opportunity to exercise her moral strength and faith. Because of Irene’s Aryan good looks, she was forced into the service of the German army. Her work in an officers’ club enabled her to steal food and supplies (and even information overheard at the officers’ tables) for the Jews in the ghetto. She smuggled Jews out of the work camps, ultimately hiding a dozen people in the home of a Nazi major for whom she was housekeeper. In 1975, Irene was moved to write her story after hearing a neo-Nazi group claim the Holocaust was a hoax.
Reiss, Johanna. The Upstairs Room. New York: HarperCollins, 1972. MS
Johanna de Leeuw Reiss (Annie de Leeuw) has written a moving account of her own experiences as a young girl during World War II. Annie de Leeuw was eight years old in 1940 when the Germans attacked Holland and marched into the town of Winterswijk where she lived. Annie was ten when, because she was Jewish and in great danger of being captured by the invaders, she and her sister Sini had to leave their father, mother, and older sister Rachel. They hid in the upstairs room of a remote farmhouse until the war was over in 1945.
Thomas, Gordon, and Witts M. Morgan. Voyage of the Damned. Stillwater, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1994. Print. HS. DVD available.
In May 1939, the SS St. Louis set sail from Hamburg carrying 937 German Jews seeking asylum from Nazi persecution. Unknown to the captain, the ship was merely a pawn of Nazi propaganda. Among the crew were members of the dreaded Gestapo, and the steward himself was on a mission for the SS. Made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1976, Voyage of the Damned is the gripping, day-by-day account of how those refugees on board the liner struggled to survive.
Thomson, Ruth. Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2011.
From 1941 to 1945, the concentration camp at Terezin, Czechoslovakia was set up to be a show camp. Outsiders were invited to see just how humane, educational, and healthful the camp was for the prisoners. Artists of all genres were imprisoned there. The Nazis intended the works of the artists to be shown as evidence of the high quality treatment of inmates; but, the truth of the cruelty and horrific living conditions shown through the artwork. Through meticulous research, Thomson has collected secret diary entries, excerpts from memoirs and recordings narrated after the war, and the many artists’ artwork. This collection tells a clear and poignant story of the actual life in Terezin.
Toll, Nelly. Behind the Secret Window. Missouri: Turtleback Books, 1993. Advanced E, MS
The Nazis came to Poland when Nelly was six and by the time she turned eight, the events of World War II took almost everyone she loved. Scared, lonely, and running from the Nazis, Nelly and her mother hide in the bedroom of a Gentile couple in Poland. For over a year, she lives in fear of discovery. At the urging of her mother, Nelly wrote stories and painted pictures, conjuring for herself the pleasures of a normal childhood. Illustrated with her original watercolors, this powerful memoir tells the true story of how a little girl's imagination helped her survive a nightmare. Twenty-nine of Nelly Toll’s watercolors are included in the book.
Wiesenthal, Simon. The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. New York: Schocken Books, 1969. HS
In The Sunflower, Wiesenthal re-traces his steps to a personal question of forgiveness. Divided into two sections, the first part recounts Wiesenthal's experience in the Lemberg concentration camp in Poland when he was taken one day from his work detail to the bedside of a dying SS man. The soldier, haunted by the crimes in which he'd participated, wanted to confess to—and obtain absolution from—a Jew. Faced with the choice between compassion and justice, silence and truth, Wiesenthal said nothing. In the second part of the book, 53 distinguished men and women respond to Wiesenthal's questions, including theologians, political leaders, writers, jurists, psychiatrists, human rights activists, Holocaust survivors, and victims of attempted genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, China, and Tibet. The book and its subject matter challenge readers to define their personal beliefs about justice, compassion, and responsibility.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Hill and Wang, 1972.
In this short but comprehensive memoir, Wiesel has written what has become a classic of Holocaust literature, a must-read for anyone interested in the subject. The narrative is of a horrific year in Wiesel’s life. He was a Jewish prisoner of the Germans, experiencing the atrocities of Buchenwald. His mother and younger sister were killed early on in another camp, and his father was with him and died only a few days before liberation. It chronicles how a captive can become animalistic in a desperate struggle for survival. Wiesel’s extraordinary writing craft brings the experiences to life. Wiesel became a Nobel Prize winner for promoting efforts for peace.
Altman, Linda Jacobs. Escape—Teens on the Run. New Jersey: Enslow Books, 2010. MS, HS
Thousands of Jews lived on the run during the Holocaust. Some were able to escape Germany before the war started. Others had to move throughout Europe to flee the Nazis. And many more could not escape at all. Stuck in an airtight boxcar on a cattle train, Eva was destined for a Nazi death camp. Her brother and sister were both shot and killed by the Nazis after the three of them jumped off the speeding train. At seventeen, Eva had to live alone, on the run, to survive. Photographs, lists of resources, and chapter notes make the information accessible and encourage further reading.
Altman, Linda Jacobs. Shattered Youth in Nazi Germany. New Jersey: Enslow Books, 2010. MS and HS
Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party's rise to power in the 1930s changed life dramatically for all people living in Germany. Hitler used propaganda, fear, and brutality as his main weapons. Jewish children faced strong anti-Semitism in their schools and on the street, and saw their families ripped apart. Non-Jewish children deemed “undesirable” suffered a similar fate. “Aryan” children were forced to enter Hitler Youth groups or endure humiliation. Told through the words of teenagers, Altman’s resource book gives readers a neutral, yet focused look into how Hitler affected the heart of Germany by decisively attacking its youth.
Auerbacher, Inge. I Am a Star: Child of the Holocaust. United Kingdom: Puffin Books, 1993. Advanced E, MS
This author is one of the one hundred children who survived Theresienstadt, a concentration camp where fifteen thousand children were temporarily housed before being sent on to their death at other extermination camps. Inge Auerbacher, a German girl, was seven when she was sent to Terezin in 1942. Her memoir includes poetry, drawings, and photographs that help document her experiences at Terezin. Inge and her parents managed to survive until the Allies liberated the camp in 1945. This book also includes background information on the Holocaust that is appropriate for younger children.
Boas, Jacob. We Are Witnesses. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1995. MS, HS
The story is told from the perspective of five Jewish teens David, Yitzhak, Moshe, Eva, and Anne, about their struggle with survival during the Holocaust. Starvation, fear of death, and being left to die are some of the experiences that these teenagers face. This book can be used in the classroom when learning about the Holocaust. Salvaged Pages by Alexandra Zapruder offers a broader look at the diaries of teens during the Holocaust.
Byers, Ann. Courageous Teen Resisters. New Jersey: Enslow Books, 2010. MS and HS
As the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland went up in flames in April 1943, Jewish fighters fought bravely for twenty-seven days against Nazi soldiers. With deportation to a death camp all but certain, young Jews in the ghetto decided not to go quietly. Although the Nazis defeated the Jewish resistance group, the spirit of the uprising lived on. For Jews living in Europe during the Holocaust, survival was often the only form of resistance. But Jews in ghettos, concentration camps, and partisan groups across Europe did fight back. Told through the words of teen resisters, author Ann Byers details the stories of courageous young people who fought back against Nazi Germany.
Byers, Ann. Youth Destroyed—The Nazi Camps. New Jersey: Enslow Books, 2010. MS and HS
Upon her arrival in 1944 at Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp, Alice Lok faced a “selection.” Alice had to stand in line as a Nazi doctor examined the new camp inmates. If the doctor pointed one direction, it meant hard labor—but labor meant life. If the doctor pointed the other way, that meant immediate death. Alice was lucky. She survived Auschwitz and two other camps. However, millions of Jews were not so lucky. There were six Nazi death camps in operation during World War II and thousands of other work and prison camps. These are some of the stories of young people who were forced to live in Nazi camps during the Holocaust.
Heller, Robert. Living On: Portraits of Tennessee Survivors and Liberators: A Project of the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2008. Print.
Through the accounts of Holocaust survivors and liberators, readers become witnesses to an important and frightening period when government leaders persecuted and killed ordinary citizens because of who they were. Their stories of strength and courage serve as a permanent reminder that nothing can ever extinguish the light of the human spirit. It is a complement to the Living On documentary film. Living On gives voice to survivors and offers the opportunity to meet fellow citizens through the medium of photographic portrait and biographical sketch when physical encounters prove impossible.
Kimmelman, Mira. Echoes from the Holocaust: A Memoir. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1997. MS and HS
This first-person memoir of Mira Kimmelman’s life details her childhood in Danzig, Poland, the family’s move to the ghetto, and finally to the deportation and separation from her family. Although she spent several years in concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, she escaped the gas chamber by being selected for slave labor. After liberation in 1945, Mira reunited with her father while most of the other members of her family had perished. Her story concludes with her marriage, her subsequent life in the United States, and her visits to Israel and to the places in Europe where the events of her youth transpired. The author is a resident of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and lectures widely in schools about her experiences during the Holocaust.
Large, David Clay. And the World Closed its Doors: The Story of One Family Abandoned To The Holocaust. New York: Basic Books, 2004. HS—advanced students
David Large uses family letters and other documents chronicling the Schohl family's efforts to escape together with FDR's documented pre-war policy denying desperately sought asylum to the bulk of Europe's Jews. Much of the book is in the form of letters, many of them between Max Schohl and Julius Hess, a cousin in West Virginia. Max Schohl's family, including his wife and two teenage daughters, fled Germany for Yugoslavia in 1940. As a Jew, Max was no longer permitted to live and work in his own country. In 1942, Schohl was deported to Auschwitz, where he died the following year. His wife and daughters were sent back to Germany to work as slave laborers. They survived and finally were able to emigrate to the U.S. after World War II. More clearly than many other books, Large's account depicts the tragic abandonment of the Jews by Western nations.
Schwertfeger, Ruth. Women of Theresienstadt: Voices from a Concentration Camp. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. HS
This is the first book in English on Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp in former Czechoslovakia and the only one of its kind which focuses on the women who were forced to live in it. Interwoven with the description of everyday life in the camp are memoirs and poems selected from the work of over twenty women. Carefully translated into English, these testimonies form an extraordinary and moving collection.
Secret Lives: Hidden Children and Their Rescuers During World War II. 2002. Slesin, Aviva, Dir., Toby Appleton Perl, Writer. DVD. Fox Lorber, 2004.
During the Second World War, some tens of thousands of Jewish children were saved from almost certain death by an equally small number of non-Jewish neighbors, friends, or even—in many cases—total strangers. These rescuers, men and women of uncommon decency, did everything from bringing Jewish children into their families under false identities to securing hiding places in closets, attics, or hastily-dug bunkers. What happened between these children, their parents, and rescuers is the focus of Secret Lives. Through interviews we meet some of the people who risked their lives to hide Jewish children during World War II and how this experience has continued to affect the survivors.
Sender, Ruth. The Cage. New York: Simon Pulse Books, 1997. HS
This reflective Holocaust memoir presents a series of brief scenes from 1939, when the author was 12 and Hitler invaded Poland, through the Russian liberation of the Mittelsteine Labor Camp in 1945. Riva's widowed mother is arrested early on, and much of the first part of the book concerns Riva’s courageous efforts to preserve their family. Riva and her three younger brothers cling to their mother’s brave words, “When there is life, there is hope,” to help them endure life in the Lodz ghetto until the family is rounded up, deported to Auschwitz, and separated. After a brief ordeal in Auschwitz, Riva is transported to a slave labor camp, where she becomes seriously ill. Through determination, courage, and unexpected small acts of kindness, she does live to write this unforgettable memoir that is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.
Zapruder, Alexandra. Salvaged Pages. Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2002. MS and HS
The volume contains extensive excerpts from fifteen diaries. The diarists ranged in age from twelve to twenty-two and represent a vast and diverse collection of experiences. Some of the writers were refugees, others were hiding or passing as non-Jews, and some were imprisoned in ghettos. Although some survived the Holocaust, most perished. Zapruder provides informative introductions about when and where each diary was written; the diarist's biographical, religious, cultural and economic circumstances; the fate of the diarist; and the circumstances of the diary's discovery. An appendix gives details about the known diaries written by young people during this period, more than fifty-five in all. A second appendix provides a study of related materials, such as rewritten and reconstructed diaries, letters, diary-memoirs, and texts by non-Jewish young victims of the war and Nazism.
Adler, David A. Illustrator: Lloyd Bloom. One Yellow Daffodil: A Hanukkah Story. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace, 1995.
This historical fiction focuses on an episode in the life of a Polish Auschwitz survivor, Morris Kaplan, an elderly gentleman who owns a flower shop. Two children from the Becker home in the neighborhood frequent Kaplan’s shop and ask him to dinner to celebrate Hanukkah with them. Morris had not celebrated since he lost all his family in the Holocaust. His heart was touched, and he returned to the Becker home with an old menorah that his family had used before the Nazis took the family away. Morris told them the story of the loss of his family and of his experiences in Auschwitz. One dark and dull day while in the camp, he saw a yellow daffodil poking through the mud striving to face the sun. The daffodil gave him hope. The loving acceptance of the Becker family began emotional healing for Morris and the ability to celebrate Hanukkah again.
Borden, Louise. The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2010.
Hans Augusto Reyersback (born 1898) and Margarete Elisabeth Waldstein (born 1906) both grew up in Hamburg, Germany, both artists, and both Jews. They were living in France when the Germans invaded Belgium and Luxembourg on their way to France. As informed Jews, the Reys fled to southern France, to Spain, and then to Portugal in 1940. They sailed to Rio de Janeiro and then to New York City. Once in the United States, they became prolific and important illustrators and authors of children’s literature. The story highlights the notion that the millions who died in the Holocaust may have been destined for significant accomplishments that would have had benefit for the entire world. Children in many cultures are familiar with the Curious George books. These would never have been written if the Reyersbacks (Reys) had been caught and exterminated, so it is a strong connection for children to understand.
Bunting, Eve. Illustrator: K. Wendy Popp. One Candle. New York: Harper Collins, 2004.
This picture book provides an introduction of the Holocaust to younger readers. One Candle is narrated by a little girl who tells of her family’s Hanukkah. Every year her grandmother and Great-Aunt Rose tell their story of survival in the Buchenwald concentration camp. To remember and replicate these difficult Hanukkah celebrations at Buchenwald, Grandma scoops out a potato to make a Hanukkah candle for the current-day family. Her granddaughter puts the single lit candle in the window. The little girl thinks this tradition “has to do with being strong in the bad time and remembering it in the good time.” Well written and beautifully illustrated.
Bunting, Eve. Terrible Things. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 1989.
Bunting crafts a clever allegory that depicts a group of animals who prey upon all the other animals in the forest until none are left. It is, therefore, an effective introduction to the Holocaust for any age reader. The increasing disappearances of the animals are presented in a manner not frightening to young children, and the Terrible Things are not clearly illustrated at all. Yet, a message of responsibility for other people is clear.
Deedy, Carmen Agra. The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers, 2000.
This legend exemplifies the unity of the people Denmark to help their Jewish citizens escape the atrocities of the Nazis during World War II. In this fictitious story, the King of Denmark worried over the Nazi directive to have all the Jews wear yellow stars on their clothing. He thought the best way to hide something was to place it in full view among many items like it; therefore, he wore a yellow star on his clothing while the citizens of Denmark all then followed his example. The Jews were “hidden” among the compassionate Danish citizens befuddling the Nazi authorities.
Elvgren, Jennifer. Illustrator: Favio Santomauro. The Whispering Town. Minneapolis, MN: Kar-Ben Publishing, 2014.
Grounded in the actual hiding and smuggling of 1,700 Jews out of Denmark by the Danish citizenry, the fictitious episode depicted in this picture book is based on the escape from the small fishing village of Guileless, Denmark. On the night that the Jews set out for the boats, people stood in doorways whispering, “this way,” to guide them. This is appropriate for early elementary children as it is not horrific. The dark illustrations help give credence to the fear both the citizens and the Jews experienced.
Gallaz, Christophe. Illustrator: Roberto Innocenti. Rose Blanche. Mankato, MN: Creative Paperbacks, 2011.
Although this is a picture book, it is not suitable for young children. The story is historical fiction set in a town in Nazi Germany. Rose Blanche is a curious child, interested in what she sees—soldiers leaving her town, other soldiers riding in trucks, tanks rolling through town, and the capture of a young boy who tried to escape from one of the trucks. She followed the truck holding the captured boy to a concentration camp on the outskirts of town. She secretly takes food to the boy and other prisoners. The day the Russians liberate the town, Rose Blanche is accidentally shot.
Green, Gerald. The Artists of Terezin. New York: Hawthorn Books, 1969.
Gerald Green, author of the NBC TV series Holocaust and the book based on the script, as well as many best-selling novels, including The Last Angry Man, achieves a profound eloquence in this unique memorial to the inmates of the Terezin concentration camp. The more than 100 drawings and paintings reproduced here survive as testaments to the triumph of the human spirit.
Hesse, Karen. Illustrator: Wendy Watson. The Cats in Krasinkski Square. New York: Scholastic, 2004.
The combination of illuminating pictures and sensitive words results in a captivating story. It is based on a true account of Polish Jewish Resistance in Warsaw. A young girl and her older sister have lost all their family and become part of the resistance. They help get some people out of the ghetto while also getting food and medicine into the ghetto. They hear of a train of people coming in, their luggage filled with food and medicine for those in the ghetto. The Germans hear of it as well and plan to meet the train at the station with dogs to sniff out those smuggling in food. The resistance finds out and bring cats in baskets to the station. When the Gestapo release the dogs, the resistance releases the cats. Rather than sniff out the smugglers, the dogs run for the cats. Excellent picture book to introduce the Holocaust.
Hoestlandt, Jo. Illustrator: Johanna Kang. Star of Fear, Star of Hope. Paris, France: Walker Children’s Publishing, 1996.
Two young Parisian girls are good friends, Helen, who is a Gentile, and Lydia, who is Jewish. When the Germans occupied France, the Jews were ordered to wear the yellow stars on their clothing. Lydia came to Helen’s house wearing her star. This and other odd behaviors among their neighbors were increasingly unusual and frightening to both girls. One day, the French police marched Jews wearing their yellow stars past Helen’s window. Helen’s father went to check on Lydia’s family—they were gone. Helen never saw her friend again but always hoped that she was alive somewhere in the world, making the yellow star of fear a star of hope.
Johnston, Tony. Illustrator: Ron Mazellan. The Harmonica. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2008.
As a National Jewish Book Award finalist and IRA/CBC Children’s Choice, this historical fiction picture book is beautiful in words and in illustrations. It is based on the true story of Henryk Rosemaryn who grew up in Poland. He was gifted musically and was given a harmonica by his father. With the harmonica, he entertained and soothed his family. When the Nazis took over, Henryk’s family was pulled apart. Henry was taken to Dyhernfurth concentration camp where he learned to play his harmonica to help both himself and the other prisoners to survive the hideous hardships.
Kopelman, Judy Tal: Grandpa’s Third Drawer: Unlocking Holocaust Memories. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 2014.
Grandpa’s Third Drawer takes up the difficult challenge of discussing the Holocaust with young children, of teaching its heritage and memory, all in a gentle and unobtrusive manner. The story of a silent grandfather unexpectedly confronted by his curious and loving grandchild is accompanied by rich illustrations that show authentic preserved objects donated by Holocaust survivors from Theresienstadt. This picture book, appropriate for elementary children and older, was published first in Israel in 2003 where it won several awards. The artifacts and illustrations used by Kopelman are courtesy of Beit Theresienstadt Archives in Givat-Haim Ichud, Israel.
Krinitz, Esther Nisenthal. Memories of Survival. Singapore: Art and Remembrance, 2010.
This is a narrative account from the late 1930s through the early 1940s of a Polish Jewish girl who survived the Nazis. The presentation of the story is unique in that the illustrations are captured in exquisite needlework. There are thirty-four panels that portray her childhood home, the Nazi invasion, forced labor and death camps, escape and hiding, end of the war, and her journey to America. Esther used the needlework art to tell and preserve the stories of her family who did not survive.
Massachusetts College of Art. Seeing through “Paradise”: Artists and the Terezin Concentration Camp. Boston: Massachusetts College of Art, 1991.
Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Massachusetts College of Art, March 6-May 4, 1991, and at other locations. Some contributions translated from Czech. Includes bibliographical references.
Patz, Nancy. Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat? New York: Dutton Books, 2003.
With text written in free verse and few words on each page, this is an easy-to-read picture book for younger students. Patz visited the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam and was fascinated by a woman’s hat displayed in a glass case. She began to wonder who could the hat’s owner have been and what was her life like. Though a simple concept, this book causes the reader to think more deeply about museum artifacts and their possible owners. Those who owned the artifacts were real people who met with horrifying fates.
Polacco, Patricia. The Butterfly. New York: Puffin Books, 2000.
Polacco pulls from the experiences of her family to create this historical fiction that is an effective introduction to the Holocaust for younger children. It takes place in a French village in the home of a family of Gentiles. Monique is frightened by the Nazis and the differences life takes under their control, but she is completely surprised when one night she encounters a little ghost sitting at the end of her bed. The little ghost is Sevrine, a Jewish girl, who has been hiding in the basement of Monique’s home. The two girls become friends, playing after dark. A neighbor sees them through a window, and a nighttime flight ensues to avoid the Nazis. Polacco’s illustrations and beautiful use of language depict the story sensitively but with the appropriate amount of tension the topic requires.
Russo, Marisabina. I Will Come Back for You: A Family in Hiding During WWII. New York: Schwartz & Wade, 2011.
This historical fiction is based on a true story the author heard when growing up: what it was like to grow up Jewish in Italy during World War II. Grandmother Nona tells the story of her childhood in Rome, of being separated from her father, and of going into hiding in the mountains. Based on the experiences of the author's own family, this deeply moving book set during the Holocaust deals with a difficult subject in a way that is accessible and appropriate for young readers. Readers are drawn to the significance of Nona’s charm bracelet and the events represented by each keepsake. This is appropriate for elementary age children.
Ungerer, Tomi. Otto: The Autobiography of a Bear. London, England: Phaidon Press, 2010.
Otto is a teddy bear who recounts his creation in Germany before World War II, his arrival as a birthday present for David, a young Jewish boy, and his time with David and David's friend, Oskar. When authorities force David to wear a yellow star and transport him and others away, Otto stays behind with Oskar. Over time, David, Oskar, and Otto are all separated. Otto has many owners and finds himself in New York decades later. With unusual and hopeful twists in the story, elderly David and Oskar, and Otto are reunited. The book addresses a difficult subject, but since the story is told from the bear’s perspective, it enables a child-centered discussion.
Volavkova, Hana, ed. I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944. New York: Schocken Books, 1993.
Although not a connected narrative, the compilation of visual art and poetry of the children imprisoned at Terezin yields a dramatic story of life in that camp. Terezin was set up by the Nazis to be perceived as a comfortable, beneficial, and ideal work camp for those imprisoned there. The children’s engagement in the arts clearly tells a different story of extreme cruelty and abuse. A total of about 15,000 children under the age of 15 passed through Terezin. Of these, only about 100 survived.
Wild, Margaret. Illustrated by Julie Vivas. Let the Celebrations Begin. Somerville, Massachusetts, Candlewick Press, 1991.
The collaboration of Wild and Vivas results in a poignant, exquisite picture book suitable for an introduction to the Holocaust for young children. Mothers and children have survived the Belsen camp and heard rumors of pending liberation. Working at night to avoid the guards, they create toys for their children from scraps of their clothing. These toys are to be a surprise for the children when the celebration begins. The story is based on a reference to a small number of stuffed toys made by the women in Belsen as they waited for the liberation and succeeding celebratory party.
Wiviott, Meg. Illustrator by Josee Bisaillon. Benno and the Night of Broken Glass. Minneapolis, MN: Kar-Ben Publishing, 2010.
The story is told through the perspective of Benno, a neighborhood cat on Rosenstrasse Street in Berlin, who spends his days visiting various families and small businesses. He made regular visits to the butcher, the dress shop, to the playground, all places where he was fed and was loved. It was a congenial and relaxed time. Suddenly, the atmosphere began to change. The people in the neighborhood became less friendly; eventually, the discord turned into a night of terror. There were riots, burning of buildings, and people screaming. After Kristallnacht, people were silent and distant, and some even completely disappeared from Rosenstrasse Street. Bisaillon’s mixed media collages reflect the mood of Berlin in 1938, first the congeniality of the neighborhood where Jews and Gentiles live together and then the fear and horror of Kristallnacht.
Zee, Ruth Vander. Illustrator: Roberto Innocenti: Erika’s Story. Mankato, MN: Creative Editions, 2003.
This astounding picture book is based on a story told by Erika to the author in 1995 at a chance meeting in Germany. Erika revealed that she really does not know who she is. What she does know is that during the Holocaust, her parents threw her from a train bound for a concentration camp, making the heart-rending decision to get the baby off the train rather than have her endure the inevitable atrocities at a concentration camp. In the book, Erika wonders...wonders who her parents were, wonders what sort of anguish they went through to make such a decision, wonders at their courage to be separated from their child, and wonders about the hope they must have had for the baby. Innocenti’s exquisite illustrations highlight the desolate nature of the story, the desperation of victims, and the life-long aftermath of the Holocaust.
Bachrach, Susan D. Tell Them We Remember. New York: Little, Brown & Co., 1994. MS, HS
The book begins with Jewish life before the Holocaust and continues to the end of the Holocaust at liberation. It touches on points of Nazi terror, Nuremburg Race Laws, Hitler’s Final Solution, Liberation of refugees, and the Nuremburg Trials. Key points of the 1933-1945 years are detailed in a somewhat easy read. Many pictures of people and places in Nazi-controlled Europe help the reader with understanding this historical event of the 20th century. A chronology, index, glossary, and suggestions for further reading at the end of the book are also useful tools.
Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know. New York: Little, Brown Publishing, 1993. MS, HS
Berenbaum’s book is a good introduction to the Holocaust. He gives his reader a general idea of the Holocaust’s events and developments while highlighting specific details to cast into sharp relief the horrific cruelty and inhumanity of the events. He presents statistics and personal accounts and discusses the general development of the Final Solution. The pictures and illustrations are outstanding and the text is extremely well written in a manner that is very understandable. The book also contains a comprehensive resource list to guide further inquiry.
Berkley, George E. Hitler's Gift: The Story of Theresienstadt. Boston: Branden Books, 1993. HS.
Adolf Hitler had a way with deception to the point of fooling even representatives of the Red Cross. He corralled the Jewish intelligentsia from all over Europe and gathered them in Theresienstadt where he had them write and perform plays, compose music and offer it in extraordinary concerts, and even paint and exhibit their art in their own galleries—in front of bedazzled inspectors who never checked the railway carriages parked behind the camp.
Bor, Josef. The Terezin Requiem. New York: Knopf, 1963. HS
Verdi’s Requiem was played in the Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto by prisoners for the German officers who ordered conductor Raphael Schachter to put together an orchestra from the many Jewish musicians in the ghetto. Despite disease, death and deportation, the orchestra played until it was deported as a group to Auschwitz.
Fleming, Paul. Teacher’s Guide: The Holocaust and Other Genocides: History, Representation, Ethics. Nashville Tenn.: Vanderbilt UP, 2002. Print.
A guide to the primary source documentation found in the book The Holocaust and Other Genocides: History, Representation, Ethics.
Karas, Joza. Music in Terezin. New York: Pendragon Press, 1985. HS
When Adolf Hitler created the model camp at Theresienstadt (Terezín in Czech) for the better-known of Europe's Jewish transportees, he gathered together many of the continent's finest musicians. This examination of the associations, the compositions, the performances, and above all, the people in Terezín accentuates the roles the active musical life played in the struggle for hope in those darkest of times.
Nicholas, Lynn H. The Rape of Europa: the Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War. New York: Knopf, 1994. Print. DVD available of the same title.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. The story told in this superbly researched and suspenseful book is that of the Third Reich's war on European culture and the Allies' desperate effort to preserve it. From the Nazi purges of “Degenerate Art” and Goering's shopping sprees in occupied Paris to the perilous journey of the Mona Lisa from Paris and the painstaking reclamation of the priceless treasures of liberated Italy, The Rape of Europa is a sweeping narrative of greed, philistinism, and heroism that combines superlative scholarship with a compelling drama. Made into an award-winning documentary in 2006.
Smith, Helmut Walser. The Holocaust and Other Genocides: History, Representation, Ethics 1st Edition. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2002. MS and HS
The Holocaust and Other Genocides is designed as a model for flexible, innovative teaching about this complex subject. It is also a sophisticated, interdisciplinary effort to create the conditions for discussing and understanding the genocides of the twentieth century.