14 Powerful Holocasust Books

Holocasust Books

Chance: Escape from the Holocaust: Memories of a Refugee Childhood by Uri Shulevitz

With backlist sales of over 2.3 million copies, Uri Shulevitz, one of FSG BYR’s most acclaimed picture-book creators, details the eight-year odyssey of how he and his Jewish family escaped the terrors of the Nazis by fleeing Warsaw for the Soviet Union in Chance.

It was during those years, with threats at every turn, that the young Uri experienced his awakening as an artist, an experience that played a key role during this difficult time. By turns dreamlike and nightmarish, this heavily illustrated account of determination, courage, family loyalty, and the luck of coincidence is a true publishing event.

The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees,

On June 1944, Freda Wineman and her family arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous Nazi concentration and death camp. After a cursory look from an SS doctor, Freda’s life was spared and her mother was sent to the gas chambers. Freda only survived because the Allies won the war – the Nazis ultimately wanted every Jew to die. Her mother was one of millions who lost their lives because of a racist regime that believed that some human beings simply did not deserve to live – not because of what they had done, but because of who they were.

The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees,

Why? explores one of the most tragic events in human history by addressing eight of the most commonly asked questions about the Holocaust: Why the Jews? Why the Germans? Why murder? Why this swift and sweeping? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why did survival rates diverge? Why such limited help from outside? What legacies, what lessons?

An internationally acclaimed scholar, Peter Hayes brings a wealth of research and experience to bear on conventional views of the Holocaust, dispelling many misconceptions and challenging some of the most prominent recent interpretations.

American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World by David E. Stannard

For four hundred years from the first Spanish assaults against the Arawak people of Hispaniola in the 1490s to the U.S. Army’s massacre of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in the 1890s the indigenous inhabitants of North and South America endured an unending firestorm of violence. During that time the native population of the Western Hemisphere declined by as many as 100 million people. Indeed, as historian David E. Stannard argues in this stunning new book, the European and white American destruction of the native peoples of the Americas was the

Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz by Olga Lengyel

Olga Lengyel tells, frankly and without compromise, one of the most horrifying stories of all time. This true, documented chronicle is the intimate, day-to-day record of a beautiful woman who survived the nightmare of Auschwitz and Birchenau. This book is a necessary reminder of one of the ugliest chapters in the history of human civilization. It was a shocking experience. It is a shocking book.

IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation-Expanded Edition by Edwin Black

IBM and the Holocaust is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling shocker–a million copies in print–detailing IBM’s conscious co-planning and co-organizing of the Holocaust for the Nazis, all micromanaged by its president Thomas J Watson from New York and Paris. This Expanded Edition offers 37 pages of previous unpublished documents, pictures, internal company correspondence, and other archival materials to produce an even more explosive volume. Originally published to extraordinary praise in 2001, this provocative, award-winning international bestseller has stood the test of time as it chronicles the story of IBM’s strategic alliance with Nazi Germany. IBM and the Holocaust provides nothing less than a chilling investigation into corporate complicity. Edwin Black’s monumental research exposes how IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies for the Nazis, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s.

First One In, Last One Out: Auschwitz Survivor 31321 by Marilyn Shimon

While growing up in New York, Marilyn Shimon often visited her uncle in California. She saw his scars, gaped at his “31321” tattoo, and listened to his horrific stories of the Holocaust. However, she could not relate to the suffering he endured or understand the significance of his accounts—until now.

In this grisly memoir, Marilyn resurrects Murray Scheinberg’s stories of six hellish years in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The Polish Jew was one of the first eight men to enter Auschwitz, as a political prisoner in 1940, and one of the last to escape Dachau.

Rejected by a publisher in the 1960s because of its incredible details, this true story, finally available to the public, will shock, horrify, and touch readers.

The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer and Susan Dworkin

Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and went underground. With the help of a Christian friend, she emerged in Munich as Grete Denner. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who fell in love with her. Despite Edith’s protests and even her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity a secret.

War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (Critical Issues in World and International History) by Doris L. Bergen

In examining one of the defining events of the twentieth century, Doris L. Bergen situates the Holocaust in its historical, political, social, cultural, and military contexts. Unlike many other treatments of the Holocaust, this revised, third edition discusses not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: Roma, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, the disabled, and other groups deemed undesirable. In clear and eloquent prose, Bergen explores the two interconnected goals that drove the Nazi German program of conquest and genocide—purification of the so-called Aryan race and expansion of its living space—and discusses how these goals affected the course of World War II. Including firsthand accounts from perpetrators, victims, and eyewitnesses, her book is immediate, human, and eminently readable.

Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust by Samantha Baskind, Malka Drucker

First published in 1992 to widespread acclaim, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust is a landmark photobook on the commemoration of the Holocaust. Featuring photograph portraits, archives and interviews, it was the first book (and exhibition) by Houston-born photographer Gay Block (born 1942); the exhibition has been seen in over 50 venues in the US and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm, Christa Lewis

On a sunny morning in May 1939, a phalanx of 867 women – housewives, doctors, opera singers, politicians, prostitutes – was marched through the woods 50 miles north of Berlin, driven on past a shining lake, then herded in through giant gates. Whipping and kicking them were scores of German women guards. Their destination was Ravensbrück, a concentration camp designed specifically for women by Heinrich Himmler, prime architect of the Holocaust. By the end of the war 130,000 women from more than 20 different European countries had been imprisoned there; among the prominent names were Geneviève de Gaulle, General de Gaulle’s niece, and Gemma La Guardia Gluck, sister of the wartime mayor of New York. Only a small number of these women were Jewish;

My Mother's Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story by J.L. Witterick

Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, are simple, ordinary people…until 1939, when the Nazis invade their homeland. Providing shelter to Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland is a death sentence, but Franciszka and Helena do exactly that. In their tiny home in Sokal, they hide a Jewish family in a loft above their pigsty, a Jewish doctor with his wife and son in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen, and a defecting German soldier in the attic—each party completely unknown to the others. For everyone to survive, Franciszka will have to outsmart her neighbors and the German commander.

My Mother's Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story by J.L. Witterick

Swept up as a child in the events of Nazi-era Europe, Ruth Kluger saw her family’s comfortable Vienna existence systematically undermined and destroyed. By age eleven, she had been deported, along with her mother, to Theresienstadt, the first in a series of concentration camps which would become the setting for her precarious childhood. 

The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister by Denise George , Carolyn Tomlin

Nonna Bannister carried a secret almost to her Tennessee grave: the diaries she had kept as a young girl experiencing the horrors of the Holocaust. This book reveals that story. Nonna’s childhood writings, revisited in her late adulthood, tell the remarkable tale of how a Russian girl from a family that had known wealth and privilege, then exposed to German labor camps, learned the value of human life and the importance of forgiveness. This story of loss, of love, and of forgiveness is one you will not forget.