Return to Education…A Legacy Forum
Annotated Holocaust Bibliography II
- 3. Biography
- 4. Fiction
- 5. Memoirs
- 6. Diaries
- 7. Poetry, Drama, and Art
- 8. Literary Criticism
Baker, Leonard. Days of Sorrow and Pain: Leo Baeck and the Berlin Jews. New York:Oxford University Press, 1980.
Leo Baeck was the leading rabbi in Berlin when Hitler came to power, and he assumed a main role in helping Berlin Jews, first to emigrate, and when that wasno longer possible, to resist through underground activities. Refusing to leave Germany himself, he eventually was sent to Theresienstadt.
Breitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991.
This is not a biography of Himmler in the traditional sense that it chronicles the life of the man from birth to death. Rather, it focuses on his years as a Nazi, his relationship with Hitler, and his role in masterminding the Final Solution. Other Nazi leaders, like Goering and Goebbels, are discussed at length.
Brietman, Richard and Walter Lanqueur. Breaking the Silence. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986.
Eduard Schulte was a major German industrialist who abhorred Hitler and Nazism.He is the man credited with passing on to the Allies news, not only of troop movements and weapon programs, but revelation of the Nazi plans for genocide.This biography relates Schulte s story from his childhood to his postwar years.The authors also describe the responses of Allied governments to the information he passed on to them.
Bullock, Alan. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.
The focus of this study is less on Hitler himself than on his position within the Nazi Party. Bullock explores the connection between Hitler and Nazism and places both in historical context. In addition, he traces the roots of Nazism back to the Weimar Republic
Keneally, Thomas. Schindler’s List. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.
Oskar Schindler was an influential German industrialist with high-level connections in Nazi Germany. He used his position to protect many Jews. Keneally’s absorbing biography is based on interviews with many of those helped by Schindler.
Sereny, Gitta. Into that Darkness. New York: Random House, 1983.
Franz Stagl, a convicted Nazi war criminal, was interviewed in prison by the author. These interviews are supplemented by testimony from witnesses. Stagl was Commandant of the camps at both Sobibor and Treblinka. His testimony, as told to Sereny, is revealing and chilling.
Appelfeld, Aharon. Badenheim, Nineteen Thirty-Nine. New York: Pocket Books, 1981.
The story revolves around a group of upper-class Jews in an Austrian resort town,on the eve of war. The author, himself a Holocaust survivor, creates a haunting picture of impending tragedy, heightened by the reader s awareness of the events to come.
Begley, Louis. Wartime Lies. New York: David McKay, 1991.
Begley, himself a child caught up in the Holocaust, has written a first-person novel about a young Jewish boy and his aunt who survive only due to a pattern of denial and compromise that leaves its own scars.
Borowski, Tadeausz. This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. New York: Viking Penguin, 1992.
Through this collection of remarkable short stories, Borowski describes his experiences in Auschwitz and Dachau. His focus is on the atmosphere of the camps and its effect on the inner being. He probes the minds of both victims and perpetrators.
Fink, Ida. A Scrap of Time. New York: Schochen, 1989.
The title story in this collection of short stories concerns the way time was measured by Holocaust victims. Other stories describe people in a variety of normal human situations distorted by the circumstances of the times.
Friedlander, Albert. Out of the Whirlwind. New York: Schocken, 1989.
Not all of the entries in this anthology are fiction; excerpts are also included from historical works and personal narrative. The book is arranged thematically,making it especially helpful for a teacher looking for material to support specific aspects of a curriculum.
Glatstein, Jacob. Anthology of Holocaust Literature. New York: Macmillan, 1973.
Chapters in this collection cover life in the ghettos, children, the camps,resistance, and non-Jewish victims. Excerpts are included from both works of fiction and primary source materials such as diaries, memoirs, and ghetto documents. Man of these pieces can be especially useful if teachers provide additional background information on the authors and context of the writings.
Kosinski, Jerzy. The Painted Bird. New York: Random House, 1993.
In this autobiographical novel, Kosinski chronicles the horrors visited upon asix-year old boy wandering through Europe during the Holocaust. This is without doubt the most graphic and brutal Holocaust material in existence.
Ozick, Cynthia. The Shawl. New York: Random House, 1990.
Originally published as two separate stories in the New Yorker, the first, very brief, title story tells of a mother witnessing her baby s death at the hands of camp guards. The second story, Rose, describes that some mother, 30 years later, still haunted by that event. This is Holocaust fiction at its best, brief but unforgettable.
Schwarz-Bart, Andre. The Last of the Just. Cambridge, MA: R. Bently, 1981.
Based on the Talmudic legend of thirty-six men of each generation upon whose virtue the existence of the world depends, this novel traces the history of the Levy family from medieval time to Ernie Levy, the last of the just, who died at Auschwitz.
Wiesel, Elie. The Town Beyond the Wall. New York: Schocken, 1982.
In this post-Holocaust novel, a survivor returns to his home town seeking to understand and confront those who stood by and watched his deportation. Wiesel probes the issue of survivors coming to terms with the Holocaust experience.
Anatoli, A. Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of Novel. Cambridge, MA: Robert Bentley, 1979.
As a Russian boy of twelve, A. Anatoli used to play in the and was in earshot of the machine gun fire that signaled the massacre by Nazi mobile killing units of more than 33,000 Jews on September 29 and 30, 1941. Long regarded as one of the greatest Soviet novels of World War II, Babi Yar is an unforgettable account of the years of German occupation.
Delbo, Charlotte. None of Us Will Survive. Boston: Beacon Press, 1968.
Delbo is one of the most eloquent of Holocaust writers. She writes of her experiences at Auschwitz in prose so powerful that the reader seems to become apart of the experience. Through the poetic use of language rather than graphic descriptions of atrocities, she creates unforgettable images.
Donat, Alexander. The Holocaust Kingdom. New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1963.
The author, a Polish Jew whose Holocaust experiences included the Warsaw ghetto, Majdanek, and Dachau, was separated from his wife and son at Majdanek but reunited with them after the war. He tells his own story and the stories of others with whom he came in contact. His wife describes her own experiences in the final section of the book.
Eliach, Yaffa. Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.
Through interviews and oral histories, Eliach garnered eighty-nine tales, both true stories and fanciful legends. This beautiful, compelling collection bears witness, in a traditional idiom, to the victims suffering, dying, and surviving.
Frankl, Viktor. Man’s Search for Meaning: An lntroduction to Logotherapy. NewYork: Pocket Books, 1984.
A psychiatrist as well as a concentration camp survivor, Frankl s work is only secondarily a personal memoir. Primarily, it is an attempt to understand and explain the psychology of camp victims through Frankl s own experiences and observations.
Hillesum, Etty. An Interrupted Life. New York: Pocket Books, 1991.
Hillesum s diary entries from 1941-1942 and her letters to family and friends from the Westerbork transit camp in occupied Netherlands reveal her personal development in a time of terror. Soon after being deported from Westerbork, she died in Auschwitz, at the age of twenty-nine.
Leitner, Isabella. Fragments of lsabella: A Memoir of Auschwitz. New York: Dell,1983.
A survivor of Auschwitz recounts the ordeal of holding her family together after their mother is killed in the camp. This slim volume is an eloquent account of survival in the midst of chaos and destruction. A glossary of camp language is a valuable addition. Leitner’s story is continued in Saving the Fragments.
Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz. New York: Macmillan, 1987.
Levi was an Italian Jew captured in 1943 and still at Auschwitz at the time of liberation. He not only chronicles the daily activities in the camp, but hisinner reactions to it, and the destruction of the inner as well as the outer self. This memoir is one of the most important books on the Holocaust.
Meed, Vladka. On Both Sides of the Wall. New York: Holocaust Publications, 1979.
This is an informative memoir of the Warsaw ghetto by one of the young smugglers who maintained contact between the ghetto and the Aryan side of the city. Working for the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB), Vladka Meed helped smuggle weapons
Nir, Yehuda. The Lost Childhood. San Diego: Harcourt Publications, 1979.
This compelling memoir chronicles six extraordinary years in the life of a Polish Jewish boy, his mother, and his sister, who all survived the Holocaust by obtaining false papers and posing as Catholics. Yehuda Nir lost almost everything, including his father, his possessions, his youth and innocence, and his identity, but he managed to live with the help of chance, personal resourcefulness, and the support of his family.
Szwajger, Adina B. I Remember Nothing More: The Warsaw Children’s Hospital and the Jewish Resistance. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.
The author was beginning her last year of medical school when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939. From that time until January 1943, she worked in the Children’s Hospital of the Warsaw Ghetto. When the hospital was closed after the first armed Jewish resistance, she left the ghetto with false papers, and from then until theliberation, worked as a courier for the resistance.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Bantam, 1960.
Wiesel is one of the most eloquent writers of the Holocaust, and this book is his best known work. This compelling narrative describes his own experience in Auschwitz. His account of his entrance into Auschwitz and his first night in the camp is extraordinary. This narrative is often considered required reading forstudents of the Holocaust.
Yoors, Jan. Crossing: A Journal of Survival and Resistance in World War II. NewYork: Simon and Schuster, 1971.
Every summer during his teen years, Yoors left his comfortable, upper middle class family life in Belgium to travel around Europe with a Rom (Gypsy) family.This beautifully written journal focuses on the participation of Yoors and hisfondly remembered Rom friends in resistance activities during World War II.
Frank, Anne. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1989.
This edition of the internationally acclaimed diary includes three different versions: the portion that was originally found, the revisions made by Anne herself, and the version edited by her father. In addition, there is extensive commentary on each version.
Hilberg, Raul, et. al., eds. The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow. Lanham, MD:Madison Books, 1982.
Czerniakow was chairman of the Nazi-appointed Jewish Council in Warsaw from th German invasion in 1939 until his suicide in 1942. His diaries record the history of the period as well as his personal involvement with the Germans.
Ringelblum, Emmanuel. Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto: The Journal of Emmanuel Ringelblum. New York: Schocken, 1974.
The official archivist of the Warsaw ghetto, Ringelblum’s training as an historian made him uniquely qualified to understand the importance of documenting events inside the ghetto. He carefully collected and hid documentary evidence and personal notes.
Tory, Avraham. Surviving the Holocaust: The Kovno Ghetto Diary. Cambridge, MA:Harvard University Press, 1990.
Tory, a ghetto inmate and secretary of the Jewish Council, wrote this account under conditions of extreme danger. This remarkable, detailed chronicle documents life and death in the Jewish ghetto of Kovno, Lithuania, from June 1941 to January 1944. Translated from the Yiddish, the book includes a valuable collection of photos and sketches by artists in the ghetto.
Fuchs, Elinor, ed. Plays of the Holocaust: An International Anthology. New York:Theater Communications Group, 1987.
This represents the only major anthology of Holocaust drama from a variety of nations in a number of literary styles. In addition to the plays themselves, the book includes a bibliography of Holocaust drama.
Heyen, William. Erika: Poems of the Holocaust. St. Louis, MO: Time Being Books,1991.
Heyen and his immediate family emigrated to the United States from Germany before the war, but he had two uncles who remained there and died serving Germany. Heyen’s poems reflect his unique perspective and his ambivalent feelings about his family s painful history. Earlier editions were published under the titleSwastika Poems.
Hinz, Berthold. Art in the Third Reich. New York: Pantheon, 1979.
The art and architecture produced during the Third Reich is examined not only for its content and technique, but for the role it played in Nazi politics and philosophy. Numerous reproductions supplement the text.
Hyett, Barbara Helfgott. In Evidence: Poems of the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986.
Part of a team that interviewed American liberators of concentration camps, Hyett translated their words into these poems. The selections are brief and the language is spare and stark reflecting the difficulty these men had in articulating the horrors they witnessed.
Aaron, Frieda W. Bearing the Unbearable: Yiddish and Polish Poetry in the Ghettos and Concentration Camps. Albany, NY: State University of New York, 1990.
Aaron, herself a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto and Majdanek concentration camp,has undertaken the first study of Yiddish and Polish camp poetry. She emphasizes the distinction between contemporary writings and works written after the experience, the latter typical of most Holocaust literature.
Ezrahi, Sidra D. By Words Alone: The Holocaust in Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
This literary history of the Holocaust discusses a number of specific works, including works in American literature. The author also focuses on the language of the Holocaust and the ways in which different writers interpret the same facts.
Fine, Ellen. The Legacy of Night: The Literary Universe of Elie Wiesel. Albany,NY: State University of New York Press, 1983.
Fine looks closely at the works of Wiesel, tracing the literary and spiritual patterns she finds. In addition to looking at connections between books, from Night to The Testament, she examines individual books in depth. Other works on Wiesel include The Vision of the Void by Michael Berenbaum and Confronting the Holocaust edited by Alvin Rosenfeld and Irving Greenberg.
Heinemann, Marlene E. Gender and Destiny: Women Writers and the Holocaust. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1986.
Focusing on six specific Holocaust books by women writers, including Charlotte Delbo’s “None of Us Will Return”, Heinemann examines the areas in which Holocaust literature by female writers differs from that created by male writers.
Insdorf, Annette. Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Films from both Hollywood and Germany are examined here, as well as films produced in other, mostly western, European countries. Both documentaries and fictional films are included, as are both short and feature-length films. Insdorf particularly looks at whether a film confronts or evades the real issues of the Holocaust.
Langer, Lawrence L. The Age of Atrocity: Death in Modern Literature. Boston:Beacon Press, 1978.
In this study, Langer analyzes four major literary works, by Mann, Camus, Solzhenitsyn, and Delbo. Using these works as examples, he traces the evolution of the twentieth-century concept of death, from individual death, to mass death, to death by atrocity, and death by extermination. From both literary and historical perspectives, this book contributes a great deal to the understanding of the Holocaust and of inappropriate death.
Langer, Lawrence L. The Holocaust and the Literary Imagination. New Haven, CT:Yale University Press, 1975.
Examining specific literary works, Langer provides detailed analysis of a number of novels, including Schwartz-Bart’s “The Last of the Just” and Kosinki’s “The Painted Bird”. He also includes some poetry and Wiesel’s “Night”, which, although non-fiction, qualifies as literature due to its imaginative power and artful presentation.
Rosenfeld, Alvin H. A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature.Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1980.
This survey of Holocaust literature includes works of both fiction and non-fiction. Rosenfeld focuses particularly on the criteria for judging books on the Holocaust. He discusses a number of individual books, from classics lik Night to more recent works, including some which he describes as exploiting the Holocaust. The usefulness of this source is augmented by an excellent bibliography.
Roskies, David. Against the Apocalypse: Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1984.
This scholarly study of Jewish literature includes both pre- and post-Holocaust literature in addition to Holocaust literature itself. It also includes monuments and other works of art. It focuses on the literary and artistic expression of modern Jewish experience in eastern Europe, beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing through World War I and the Holocaust into the post-Holocaust world.
Return to Education…A Legacy Forum