In Honor of Yom Hazikaron leShoah ve-leG’vurah (Remembrance Day for the Holocaust and Heroism) most commonly referred to as Yom HaShoah, our International MA students in Holocaust Studies have compiled a list of the Holocaust books they found most thought-provoking, impactful, and moving. From the philosophical to the purely historical, here are ten recommended, non-fiction and fiction books to read today.
1. Our Holocaust, Amir Gutfreund 2006
Translated from the original Hebrew and written by a second generation Holocaust survivor, ‘Our Holocaust’ shares with the reader the difficulty, confusion, and heartbreak of growing up in a family with survivor parents.
2. Into That Darkness, Gitta Sereny 1974
Based on 70 hours of interviews with Franz Stangl, commandant of Treblinka (the largest of the five Nazi extermination camps), ‘Into That Darkness’ bares the soul of a man who continually found ways to rationalize his role in Hitler’s final solution.
3. Women in the Holocaust, ed. Dalia Ofer & Lenore J. Weitzman 1999
‘Women in the Holocaust’ was a groundbreaking book when it was originally published in 1999. It was the first of original scholarship devoted to the unique experiences of women in the Holocaust.
4. Mila 18, Leon Uris 1961
A work of historical fiction from the author of ‘Exodus’, ‘Mila 18′ is set in the midst of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. A particularly poignant read as Yom Hashoah 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the uprising.
5. Man’s Search For Meaning, Victor E. Frankl 1946
A classic in Holocaust literature, ‘Man’s Search For Meaning,‘ first published in 1946, continues to prob the reader to imagine how an individual could persist in finding meaning in life while enduring the horrors of daily life in a concentration camp.
6. This Way for the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen, Tadeusz Borowski 1959
‘This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen‘ is a collection of short stories. Translated from the original Polish, these stories were inspired by the author’s personal experiences in Auschwitz, Dautmergen subcamp of Natzweiler-Struthof, and Dachau.
7. If This Is A Man, Primo Levi 1947
The moving memoir of Primo Levi’s personal account of the Holocaust. ‘If This Is A Man’ is a classic piece of work, just as powerful today as it was when it was originally published.
8. Eyewitness Auschwitz, Filip Müller 1979
One of few to survive life working in the Auschwitz crematoria, Filip Müller’s ‘Eyewitness Auschwitz’ is a profoundly painful source of testimony describing the innermost circle of hell.
9. Alone in Berlin, Hans Fallada 1947
‘Alone in Berlin’ garnered wide acclaim and circulation when in 2009, it was translated into English for the first time. However, few know that the book is actually based on a true story and was originally published in 1947, posthumously, as one of the first anti-Nazi books to be published after the war
10. Out Of The Depths, Cheif Rabbi, Israel Meir Lau 2011
‘Out of the Depths’ is a harrowing and inspiring account of one of the youngest survivors of Buchenwald. The author was only 8-years-old when the camp was liberated. A descendant of a 1000-year, unbroken chain of Rabbis, he grew up to become Chief Rabbi of Israel. His story of survival is a miraculous one.
Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program? You can find the application and more information at our website: http://holocauststudies.haifa.ac.il/