Hellman, Peter. The Auschwitz Album: A Book Based Upon an Album Discovered by a Concentration Camp Survivor. Lili Meier. New York: Random House, 1981.
This book is a collection of photographs taken inside Auschwitz. It is the only surviving pictorial evidence of the extermination process from inside the notorious concentration camp. In 1944, Lili Jacob (now Lili Jacob Meier) was deported from a small town in the Carpathian Mountains to Auschwitz. Everyone else in her family was slaughtered. When Auschwitz was liberated by the Americans, she was ill with typhus and when she awoke in a newly vacated SS barracks, she discovered an album of photographs which were taken by an SS photographer as people from her hometown and the surrounding area arrived in Auschwitz. The images follow the processing of newly arrived Hungarian Jews in the early summer of 1944. They document the Jewish prisoners getting off the boxcar trains and the selection process, performed by doctors of the SS and wardens of the camp, which separated those who were considered fit for work from those who were to be sent to the gas chambers.
Nieuwsma, Milton J. Surviving Auschwitz: Children of the Shoah. New York: Brick Tower Press, 2005.
Surviving Auschwitz presents the stories of three girls who survived Auschwitz - Tova Friedman, Frieda Tenebaum, and Rachel Hyams. It includes their personal testimony and photographs.
Weiss, Ann. The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2001, updated and expanded 2005.
In 1986 Ann Weiss visited Auschwitz and discovered a locked room with an archive of over 2,400 photographs brought to the camp by Jewish deportees from across Europe. The photos had been confiscated, but, instead of being destroyed, were hidden at great risk and saved. In many cases, these pictures are the only remnants left of entire families. This book is a collection of over 400 of these remarkable photographs. Since 1986, Weiss has traveled the globe in search of family and friends who might recognize the photos.
Bachrach, Susan D. Tell Them We Remember: The Story of the Holocaust. Boston: Little, Brown, 1994.
This book tells the story of the Holocaust as presented in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in brief thematic segments illustrated by artifacts and historical photographs. It includes the personal stories of more than 20 young people of various social, religious and national backgrounds.
Bachrach, Susan D. The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936. Boston: Little Brown, 2000.
The author traces the troubled history of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, examining the Nazi dictatorship, the escalating persecution of German Jews, and the abortive movement in the United States to boycott the games. Includes information on athletes banned from competition.
Berenbaum, Michael. A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of its Survivors. Bullfinch Press, 2003. Grades 7 and up.
This interactive history of the Holocaust is accessible and includes removable documents and an audio CD. Each chapter of this concise history of the Holocaust addresses a different topic, moving from the rise of the Nazis and ghettoization to the death camps and liberation. An hour-long CD accompanies the testimonies.
Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1993, 2006 second edition.
Written to mark the occasion of the April 1993 opening of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, this book provides a well written historical overview of the Holocaust. The book utilizes the museum's photographs, oral histories, and other documents to show the gradual evolution of the war against the Jews from the perspectives of the victims, perpetrators, and bystanders.
Dawidowicz, Lucy S. The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945. New York. Bantam, 1986.
The author raises three questions: How was it possible for a modern state to carry out the systematic murder of a people for no reason other than that they were Jewish? How did European Jewry allow itself to be destroyed? How could the world stand by without halting this destruction? In Dawidowicz’s view, World War II was the direct result of Hitler’s antisemitism. She believes war was waged to allow the Nazis to implement the “Final Solution”.
Gilbert, Martin. The Boys: The Untold Story of 732 Young Concentration Camp Survivors. New York: Henry Holt and Co., Inc., 1996.
Fewer than 100,000 Jews survived the death camps. This is the story of 732 of those Jews—all under the age of sixteen in 1945. It is the story of what they lost, of what they, as children, suffered, and, most of all, what they overcame. Robbed of their childhoods, orphaned by violence and bestiality, they ought to have become sociopaths. Instead, they rebuilt their lives and dedicated themselves to the memory of those who were not as lucky. Told in their voices, The Boys bears witness to the power of the human spirit.
Gilbert, Martin. Never Again: The History of the Holocaust. Universe, 2000.
Martin Gilbert is one of the world's pre-eminent historians of the Holocaust. Representing 40 years of research that Gilbert began in Poland in 1959, this comprehensive, illustrated volume traces the history of the Jewish people in Europe before, during, and after the Holocaust. Gilbert blends this great swath of history with detailed accounts of individual drama: the rise of Nazism in Germany, the Jewish children who found refuge in Britain, the rejected refugees of the U.S.S. St. Louis, the Warsaw Ghetto revolt, the stories of Anne Frank, Oskar Schindler, and reflections of survivors today.
Gilbert, Martin. Atlas of the Holocaust, 4th ed. Routledge, 2009
Sir Martin Gilbert is one of the great students and scholars of the Holocaust. This 2009 edition includes 333 detailed maps. The maps, text and photographs in this book powerfully depict the fate of the Jews between 1933 and 1945, while also setting the chronological story in the wider context of the war itself. This revised edition includes a new section which gives an insight into the layout and organization of some of the most significant places of the Holocaust, including Auschwitz, Treblinka and the Warsaw ghetto, maps that will be especially useful to those visiting the sites.
Leapman, Michael. Witnesses to War: 8 True Life Stories of Nazi Persecution. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.
This collection of biographies describes the experiences of eight children from different European countries during World War II. Each story is unique, as some of the children hid during the Holocaust, some left their native countries behind and made a new start in another country, some hid their true identities, and some were taken to concentration camps.
Roth, John, ed. The Holocaust Chronicle: A History in Words and Pictures. Publications International, 2000.
This massive hardback recounts the Holocaust in 14 by-the year chapters (1933 through 1946). Includes more than 2000 photographs, clear factual language, essays setting the stage for each year, hundreds of sidebars that detail people, places, issues, and events, and a running timeline of Jewish history. The entire book may be found on the internet at www.holocaustchronicle.org.
Staff of the Washington Post. The Obligation to Remember.
A chronicle of the gathering of Jewish Holocaust survivors in Washington, D.C., April 11-14, 1983.
Wiesel, Elie. After the Darkness: Reflections on the Holocaust. New York: Schocken Books, 2002.
In this book, Nobel laureate and concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel reflects upon the Holocaust experience. His commentary accompanies photographs from the USHMM’s archives. Also included are testimonials written by Holocaust survivors describing such events as Hitler's rise to power, Kristallnacht, and liberation.
Cormier, Robert. Tunes for Bears to Dance To. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, 1992.
An elderly Holocaust survivor living in the United States has lovingly carved his vanished village and its inhabitants out of wood. The town grocer, a mean-spirited bigoted man tries to coerce his young employee, Henry, into destroying the wood carving.
Kerr, Judith. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. Puffin Books, 1997. Grades 3-7
Told from the perspective of Anna, a nine year old Jewish girl, this engrossing autobiographical novel recounts one family’s escape from Nazi Germany and experiences as refugees traveling through a number of countries. It emphasizes solidarity in a time of crisis.
Laird, Christa. Shadow of the Wall. New York: Greenwillow, 1990.
Set in 1942 in the Warsaw ghetto, this novel features a boy living with his two younger sisters in an orphanage run by Janusz Korczak, a distinguished physician, writer, and educator. This work is short and much easier to read than Korczak’s biography and could either complement it or serve as an alternative to it.
Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984. Grades 3-7
Annemarie Johansen is ten years old in 1943 when the Nazis plan to round up all the Jews in Denmark. This is the story of the Danish resistance as seen through her eyes and of the Danish people who helped to rescue almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark.
Matas, Carol. Daniel’s Story. New York: Scholastic Inc.,1993 Grades 4-7
“Remember my story. I was one of the lucky ones.” Daniel, a once-happy Jewish boy, is torn from his native Frankfurt and shipped to a series of Nazi death camps. Every incident in this novel is based on accounts given by Holocaust survivors. Daniel, his younger sister, and parents are sent first to the Lodz Ghetto, then to Auschwitz, and finally Buchenwald. By war’s end, only Daniel and his father survive to be rescued by the Americans. In this moving account, young readers identify with real characters to gain a strong sense of the Holocaust and the suffering of its six million victims.
Orlev, Uri. The Island on Bird Street. Sandpiper, 1992. Middle school.
Alex, the hero of the story, hides in a ruined house that was bombed out at the beginning of the war, although all the other houses around it are untouched and full of possessions. Alex has to wait in it until his father returns for him. But his father does not come back right away and Alex must survive by himself for many months, taking what he needs from other houses. With only the companionship of a little white mouse named Snow, Alex waits for his father.
Orlev, Uri. The Man from the Other Side. Puffin Books, 1995. Grades 9 and up.
This is the story of a non-Jewish boy living outside the Warsaw ghetto who joined his stepfather in smuggling goods in and people out of the ghetto. The author himself was a child in the ghetto and based his novel on the actual experiences of a childhood acquaintance.
Richter, Hans. P. Friedrich. New York: Puffin Books, 1987. Grades 5-9
Told in the first person, this autobiographical novel describes the friendship between two German boys, one Jewish and one not, and what happens to that relationship after the Nazis come to power and the non-Jewish boy’s father joins the Nazi party.
Williams, Laura E. Behind the Bedroom Wall. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1996. Grades 4-9.
In this novel, Korinna, 13, loves her country and is active in the Jungmadel, Hitler's youth group for girls. When she learns that her parents are hiding Jews, she is shocked and angry. A series of events, including her reluctant, but growing attachment to the little girl hidden behind the wardrobe in her room, leads her to conclude that the price of being loyal to the Fatherland is too high. It is Korinna's quick thinking that saves the family during a night raid. The atmosphere and mood of the times are palpable, with Korinna and her family forced to flee Germany. If the characters are "types," such as the brave father, the nasty so-called "best" friend, and the vicious Gestapo agent, they are clearly drawn and appropriately employed in a fast-moving, believable story.
Adelson, Alan, and Robert Lapides, eds. Lodz Ghetto: Inside a Community Under Siege. New York: Viking Penguin, 1991.
As the source book for the film Lodz Ghetto, this work is an excellent supplement to the documentary, but it also stands on its own. It contains German, and ghetto documents as well as the personal expressions of ghetto residents in a variety of forms, including diaries, speeches, paintings, photographs, essays and poems.
Grossman, Mendel. My Secret Camera: Life in the Lodz Ghetto. San Diego: Gulliver Books, 2000.
The author was a Jewish photographer who depicted life in the Lodz ghetto in 1941 and 1942. An excellent companion to the Lodz Ghetto film and the Adelson book.
Landau, Elaine. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
Describes the creation of the Warsaw ghetto and then concentrates on the 28 day uprising. Text and photographs are graphic at times but only to the extent necessary to accurately describe events.
Frank, Anne. Tales from the Secret Annex. Bantam, 1994.
Anne Frank’s famous diary of her private life and thoughts reveals only part of her story. This book completes the portrait of this remarkable and talented young author. Tales from the Secret Annex is a complete collection of Frank's lesser-known writings: short stories, fables, personal reminiscences, and an unfinished novel. Here, too, are portions of the diary originally withheld from publication by her father. These writings reveal the astonishing range of Anne Frank's wisdom and imagination--as well as her indomitable love of life.
Friedlander, Albert H., ed. Out of the Whirlwind. New York: UAHC Press, 1968.
This book is an anthology of literature from and concerning the Holocaust. It includes more than 40 accounts that stand out as testimony to the broad range of experiences of the Holocaust. Not all of the entries included in this anthology are fiction. Excerpts are also included from historical works and personal narratives. The book is arranged thematically, making it especially helpful for teachers.
Schiff, Hilda, ed. Holocaust Poetry. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.
This poetry anthology contains poems by W. H. Auden, Anne Sexton, Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and others. The book is divided into thematic sections and contains an introduction by the editor.
Boaz, Jacob. We are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust. Square Fish, 2009. Grades 7 and up.
The journal entries of four youths from war-torn Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary, as well as journal entries from Anne Frank of Holland, are presented to show that hope can exist even in terrible times.
Editors of Time Magazine, Yad Vashem. Rutka's Notebook: A Voice from the Holocaust. Yad Vashem Publications, 2008.
Rutka Laskier was a 14-year-old Jewish girl in the town of Bedzin in Poland. She died in Auschwitz in 1943 but kept a journal documenting her thoughts, her dreams and her fears, her hopes and her despairs. Her notebook offers important insights into the experiences of the Polish Jews during the Holocaust.
Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.
This classic account presents an eloquent picture of adolescence for a Jewish girl growing up during the Holocaust years. The focus is more personal than historic, so accompanying background material is recommended to put it into historical perspective.
Holliday, Laurel. Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries. Washington Square, 1996. Grades 7 and up.
The eyewitness diaries of 23 children, ages 10 to 18, recount the daily difficulties and horrors of ghettos and concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Shneiderman, S.L. The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing Up in the Warsaw Ghetto. Oxford, England: One World Publications Ltd, 2006. Grades 7 and up.
This book presents the story of a teenage girl living in the Warsaw Ghetto. The diary describes the feelings characteristic of a teenager, influenced by the Holocaust and the experiences of ghetto life. With sunny and gloomy moments, the diary provides information about life in the Warsaw Ghetto with the unique perspective of an older teen.
Zapruder, Alexander, editor. Salvaged Pages: Young Writers Diaries of the Holocaust. Yale University Press, 2004.
This collection of diaries written by young people during the Holocaust reflects a vast and diverse range of experiences—some of the writers were refugees, others were hiding or passing as non-Jews, some were imprisoned in ghettos. The book offers the first comprehensive collection of such writings, with extensive excerpts from fifteen diaries, ten of which have never before been translated and published in English.
Ayer, Eleanor, Waterford, Helen and Heck, Alfons. Parallel Journeys. Aladdin. 2000. Grades 8 and up.
She was a young German Jew. He was an ardent member of the Hitler Youth. This is the story of their parallel journey through World War II. Helen Waterford and Alfons Heck were born just a few miles from each other in the German Rhineland, but their lives took radically different courses: Helen’s to the Auschwitz Extermination Camp; Alfons to a high rank in the Hitler Youth.
Bitton-Jackson, Livia. I Have Lived a Thousand Years. Simon Pulse. 1999. Grades 7 and up.
What is death all about? What is life all about? When the Nazis invade Hungary, Elli can no longer attend school, have possessions, or talk to neighbors. She and her family are forced to leave their house behind to move into a crowded ghetto, where privacy becomes a luxury of the past and food becomes a scarcity. This memoir is a story of cruelty and suffering, but at the same time a story of hope, faith, perseverance, and love.
Bitton-Jackson, Livia. My Bridges of Hope: Searching for Life and Love After Auschwitz. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999.
After liberation from Auschwitz, 14-year-old Elli, her brother, and their mother attempted to rebuild their lives in Czechoslovakia. The atrocities of the Holocaust were behind them, and they were ready to resume normal lives. But anti-semitism was not over, and escaping from Czechoslovakia to America was an ordeal. This memoir shows that the fight to survive for survivors extended well beyond liberation from the concentration camps.
Chiger, Krystyna with Paisner, Daniel. The Girl with the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust’s Shadow. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008. Grades 6 and up.
This is an amazing, true story of how 7 year old Krystyna survived in the rat-infested sewers of L’vov for 14 months with her family. The memoir tells of the story of the righteous Christian sewer worker who hid the family, brought them food, and eventually led them to safety.
Cretzmeyer, Stacy. Your Name is Renee: Ruth Kapp Hartz’s Story as a Hidden Child in Nazi-Occupied France. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Written simply and beautifully, this highly personal memoir describes the events in France during Nazi occupation through the eyes of a German-Jewish child who was told “Your name is Renee” to help her assume a French persona. As friends and relatives fell victim to informers, Ruth/Renee and her parents fled one home after another, avoiding capture with the help of a few brave families.
Gold, Alison Leslie. Memories of Anne Frank: Refections of a Childhood Friend. Scholastic Trade, 1997. Grades 5 to 8.
Anne Frank's neighbor and friend, Hannah Elizabeth Pick-Goslar, recounts the tragedy of World War II. Gold uses Hannah's reminiscences of her childhood in Amsterdam to fill in the gaps of what happened to Anne after her diary ended. The account traces the childhood friendship of the two girls from the time Anne disappeared to the removal of Hannah and her family to concentration camps. The narrative also tells of the brief meeting between Anne and Hannah at Bergen-Belsen shortly before Anne's death.
Klein, Gerda Weissmann. All But My Life. Toronto: Douglas and McIntyre Ltd, 1995.
This book presents the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein, of her six years as a victim of the Nazi regime. The story begins with Gerda’s comfortable life in Poland and proceeds to her experiences in the camp, her fight for survival and her liberation by the Americans, including the man who was to become her husband.
Leitner, Isabella. Isabella: From Auschwitz to Freedom. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.
Leitner, a survivor of Auschwitz, recounts the ordeal of holding her family together after her mother was killed. Leitner describes her deportation from Hungary in the summer of 1944, her experiences in Auschwitz, and her evacuation to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near the end of the war.
Levine Karen. Hana’s Suitcase. Albert, Whitman and Co., 2003. Grades 4-8.
This is the true account of two brave children caught in the Holocaust and a young Japanese woman’s determination to tell their story. The story takes place on three continents over a period of almost seventy years. It brings together the experiences of a girl and her family in Czechoslovakia in the 1930’s and 1940’s and those of a young woman and a group of children in Tokyo, Japan, and a man in Toronto, Canada, in modern times. The suitcase – Hana’s suitcase – is a key to the success of the young woman’s mission. In it lies a story of terrible sadness and great joy, a reminder of the brutality of the past and of hope for the future.
Levi, Primo. Moments of Reprieve: A Memoir of Auschwitz. Penguin Books, 1995. Grades 9 and up
The book is an impressive memoir which presents 15 portraits of distinctive characters encountered by the author during the time he spent at Auschwitz. The memoir documents the individual stories of each of these 15 characters, emphasizing the profoundness of each experience.
Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz. New York: Macmillan, 1987. Grades 9 and up.
Levi was an Italian Jew captured in 1943 who was still at Auschwitz at the time of the liberation. He not only chronicles the daily activities in the camp but also his inner reactions to it and the destruction of the inner as well as the outer self.
Ligocka, Roma. The Girl in the Red Coat. Delta, 2003. Grades 9 and up.
This reads-like-a-novel memoir was written after Ligocka saw Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and recognized that she was the girl in the red coat in the film. Ligocka recollects a childhood at the heart of evil: the flashing black boots, the sudden executions, her mother weeping, her father vanished…then her own harrowing escape and the strange twists of fate that allowed her to live on into the haunted years after the war.
Mais, Yitzchak. To Life: 36 Stories of Memory and Hope. New York: Museum of Jewish Heritage. Bulfinch Press, 2002
This collection of memoirs includes 36 personal recollections and inspiring stories of survivors of the Holocaust's concentration camps, of partisans and liberators, and of Zionists. The book documents the horrors of the Holocaust and celebrates the continuity of Jewish life.
Muszynski, Stuart. Searching for Values: A Grandmother, A Grandson, and the Discovery of Goodness. Hiram, Ohio: Hiram College Press, 2005.
This compelling memoir is based on Stuart Muszynski’s family’s struggle in Poland during the Holocaust and his self discovery after traveling there to thank the Christians who saved them. It dramatically interweaves the author’s personal journey recovering from serious illness with the life and death choices his grandmother and parents had to make in order to survive after the Nazis invaded their native Poland.
Nir, Yehuda. The Lost Childhood. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991.
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.
Reiss, Johanna. The Upstairs Room. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.
Reiss, from a Dutch Jewish family, tells the story of the years she spent hiding with her sister in the farmhouse of a Dutch family who protected them. She relates her experiences after the war in a sequel, The Journey Back.
Sender, Ruth M. The Cage. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
Sender’s account of her experiences is one of the most graphic and dramatic in young people’s literature. Her story begins just before the Nazi invasion of Poland and continues through life in the Lodz ghetto and finally, at Auschwitz. A sequel, To Life, continues her narrative from liberation to her arrival in the U.S.
Siegel, Aranka. Upon the Head of a Goat: A Childhood in Hungary, 1939-1944. New York: Penguin Books, 1981.
In this memoir, nine-year-old Piri describes the bewilderment of being a Jewish child during the German occupation of her home town (then in Hungary and now in Ukraine) and relates the ordeal of trying to survive in the ghetto. Her father served at the Russian front while her mother tried desperately to get passage to America, until the family was taken to Auschwitz.
Spiegelman, Art. Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986. Grades 9 and up.
Spiegelman, Art. Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991. Grades 9 and up.
These somewhat controversial books in comic book format disarm the reader’s preconceptions about the Holocaust. The books are autobiographical, with the cartoonist depicting himself in the process of recording his father’s Holocaust experiences. His father’s story is told with the Jews drawn as mice and the Nazis as cats.
Weitz, Sonia. I Promised I Would Tell. Brookline, MA: Facing History and Ourselves, 1993, revised 2004.
This is a combination of Weitz’s memoirs of her time during the Holocaust and her poetry, written during or about that time. Weitz survived 5 death camps, writing poetry all the while, and is now a Holocaust educator.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Bantam, 1982. Grades 9 and up.
Wiesel is one of the most eloquent writers of the Holocaust, and this book is his best-known work. The compelling narrative describes his experience in Auschwitz. This narrative is often considered required reading for students of the Holocaust
Zar, Rose. In the Mouth of the Wolf. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1983.
This is Rose Zar’s own story about passing as a non-Jew in Nazi-occupied Poland. Zar’s story is unusual because she is one of the few Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust years in Poland. She fled the Piotrkow ghetto and lived under false papers as a Christian Pole. She survived the war working in the household of a German officer and his wife.
Atkinson, Linda. In Kindling Flame: The Story of Hannah Senesh 1921-1944. New York: William Morrow, 1992.
History and biography are combined in this story of the noted Jewish-Hungarian resistance fighter. The book includes an account of Senesh’s capture and execution and essential historical background. The book can be used to complement Senesh’s diary or serve as an alternative for younger readers.
Bierman, John. Righteous Gentile: The Story of Raoul Wallenberg, Missing Hero of the Holocaust. New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1981.
The first half of the book is a biography of the well-known figure who helped save at least 30,000 Jews in Hungary. The second part describes the circumstances surrounding Wallenberg’s disappearance and subsequent attempts to located him or find out what happened to him.
Bretholz, Leo and Olesker, Michael. Leap into Darkness. New York: Random House, 1998.
Leo Bretholz was 17 in 1938, when Germans took over his native Austria. The young Jewish man escaped the Nazis for the next 7 years, traveling in fear through Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Switzerland. He daringly avoided death, even escaping from a train headed for Auschwitz, and joined the French Resistance.
Duffy, Peter. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews. New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 2003.
The book documents the story of three brothers, Tuvia, Zus, and Asael Bielski, who decided to resist the Nazis, after witnessing their parents and two other brothers being taken by the Nazis in 1941. The cruelty of the Nazis and the despair because of the loss causes them to fight back and engage in a guerrilla war against the Nazis. Their knowledge of the dense forests surrounding Belarusan towns contributed to their success in hiding in the forests and establishing a community as more and more other Jews joined them. Their time in the forests ended in 1944, when they learned about the retreating German armies and came out from their hiding place.
Fox, Anne L. and Abraham-Podietz. Ten Thousand Children: True stories by children who escaped the Holocaust on the Kindertransport. West Orange, NJ: Behrman House, 1999.
This is an anthology of true stories of young people, including the authors, who were on the Kindertransport, a program which allowed 10,000 children from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to escape to England without their parents. This book clearly explains the historical circumstances which drove these children to England. Photographs add understanding to these compelling stories.
Fry, Varian. Assignment, Rescue: An Autobiography. New York, Scholastic Inc., 1945.
Varian Fry, an American journalist was one of the first to report on Hitler’s anti-Jewish demonstrations, was sent by an American relief organization to Nazi-occupied France in 1940 to evacuate refugees detained in Marseilles by the Vichy government. He didn’t know anything about undercover work, but it was his task to get as many Jews out of Nazi-occupied France as possible, before they were shipped back east to the concentration camps. In this true and dramatic story, Fry describes the methods he used to save more than 2000 refugees.
Harris, Mark J. Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport. Bloomsbury USA, 2000. Grade 9 and up.
For nine months before the outbreak of World War II, Britain ran the Kindertransport rescue operation and opened its doors to over 10,000 endangered children -- 90 percent of them Jewish --from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. These children were taken into foster homes and hostels in Britain, expecting eventually to be reunited with their parents. Most of the children never saw their families again. Child survivors, rescuers, parents, and foster parents recount the horror of Kristallnacht, the agonizing decision by the parents to send their children away, the journey, the difficulties of adjustment in Britain, the outbreak of war, and the children's tragic discovery afterward that most of their parents had perished in concentration camps.
Levine, Ellen. Darkness Over Denmark. New York: Holiday House, 2000.
On October 1, 1943, Nazi authorities launched a lightning strike to round up more than 7000 Danish Jews and transport them to Theresienstadt concentration camp. The raid was a failure thanks to Danes who learned of the plan in time to help all but a few hundred of their Jewish neighbors flee to Sweden.
Lifton, Betty Jean. The King of Children: A Portrait of Janusz Korczak. New York: Schocken, 1989.
This biography is a personal portrait of Korczak, a distinguished physician, writer, and educator. The book includes information from Korczak’s diaries, interviews with many of his former charges and people who worked with him, and diaries of other Warsaw ghetto victims.
Meltzer, Milton. Rescue: The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust. New York: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 1991.
This book focuses on non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. It uses material from diaries, letters, personal interviews and eyewitness accounts.
Pettit, Jane. A Place to Hide: True Stories of Holocaust Rescues. New York: Scholastic, 1993.
One of the most readable books for younger students, this collection includes the stories of Miep Gies, the Schindlers, and Denmark’s rescue of its Jews.
Rosenberg, Maxine B. Hiding to Survive: Stories of Jewish Children Rescued from the Holocaust. New York: Clarion Books, 1994.
This book shares the true stories of 14 Jewish children hidden by righteous gentiles throughout the Holocaust.
Stadtler, Bea. The Holocaust: A History of Courage and Resistance. West Orange, N.J.: Behrman House, 1994 (revised edition).
One of the first Holocaust books written for young people, it focuses on Jewish resistance. Good companion to Meltzer’s Rescue; together the two books present an excellent picture of both Jewish and non-Jewish resistance.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Resistance During the Holocaust. Washington D.C.: USHMM pamphlet.
This pamphlet explores examples of armed and unarmed resistance by Jews and other Holocaust victims. Many courageous acts of resistance were carried out in Nazi ghettos and camps and by partisan members of national and political resistance movements across German-occupied Europe. Many individuals and groups in ghettos and camps also engaged in acts of spiritual resistance such as continuing religious traditions and preserving cultural institutions. Although resistance activities in Nazi Germany were largely ineffective and lacked broad support, some political and religious opposition did emerge.
Schroeder, Peter W. and Schroeder-Hildebrand, Dagmar. Six Million Paperclips: The Making Of A Children’s Holocaust Memorial. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben Publishing, 2004.
This book describes how students from a small rural town in Tennessee collected millions of paperclips – each one honoring a victim of Nazi hatred and murder – to create a unique Holocaust memorial. Paperclips were a symbol used by the Norwegians to show solidarity with their Jewish neighbors during World War II. The story of the memorial project is interwoven with facts about the Holocaust.
Volavkova, Hana, ed. I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944. New York: Schocken, originally published in Prague in 1958, Revised edition, 1978, 1993.
A poignant memorial to the children of Terezin, the collages, drawings, and poems published in this selection are impressive for their artistic merit and their value in documenting the feelings and lives of the children in the camp. Some prior knowledge of what life in the camp was like will make this book more meaningful to students.
Krizkova, Marie Rut; Kotouc, Kurt Jiri; Ornest, Zdenek; Novak, R. Elizabeth; Wilson, Paul. We are Children Just the Same: Vedem, the Secret Magazine by the Boys of Terezin. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1994.
This book contains extracts from the secret newspaper published by the children of Terezin between 1942 and 1944. It contains essays, interviews, poems and artwork written behind the blackout shades of their cell block.
Genocide, 1941-1945 - The World at War Series (50 minutes) - Produced and directed by Michael Darlow, 1982. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
The story of the destruction of European Jewry is told using archival footage and testimonies of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders.
The Holocaust: In Memory of Millions (90 minutes) - Hosted by Walter Cronkite for the Discovery Channel, 1993. Recommended for High School and Adult
This film serves as an introduction to the Holocaust and traces the gradual escalation of the persecution of Jews under the Nazis. It includes interviews with survivors and soldiers who liberated concentration camps as well as archival film and personal photographs.
Image Before My Eyes (90 minutes) YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Produced by Josh Waletzky, Susan Lazarus, 1980. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This documentary uses photographs, drawings, home movies, music and survivor interviews to re-create Jewish life in Poland from the late 19th century up to the time of the Holocaust.
Heil Hitler: Confessions of a Hitler Youth (30 minutes) HBO. 1991. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
Alfons Heck, a former member of the Hitler Youth and now a U.S. Citizen dedicated to Holocaust education, recounts the compelling story of how he became a fanatic supporter of Nazism. Documentary footage demonstrates how songs, youth camps, speeches, and propaganda turned millions of young Germans like Heck into a fervent and loyal proponent of Nazi racism and militarism.
Faces of the Enemy (57 minutes) 1987. California Newsreel. Recommended for upper grades of High School and Adult.
This video examines how humans perceive, define, and make enemies. It looks at the use of loaded words, slanted news, twisted images, and propaganda and proposes methods of escape from such behaviors. It examines the sociological, psychological, and political aspects of war to discover what drives nations—and individuals—to kill.” Note: Graphic images of racism, war and atrocities.
The Wave (55 minutes) Zenger Media. 1981. Recommended for Middle School and High School.
This video is a thought provoking dramatization of an actual classroom experiment on individualism vs. conformity in which a high school teacher formed his own “Reich”, called “The Wave” to show why the German people could so willingly embrace Nazism.
Anne Frank Remembered (117 minutes) Narrated by Kenneth Branagh and Glenn Close, 1995 Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This film uses archival film and photos, interviews with Anne’s family and friends, as well as documents to present the life of Anne Frank and her family from her years in Frankfurt, Germany, through her final years in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
I’m Still Here: Real Diaries of Young People Who Lived During the Holocaust. (48 minutes) Directed by Laura Lazen. 2008. Grades 6 and up.
While Anne Frank’s diary is widely recognized as a central document of the Holocaust, less well known are 60 other surviving accounts which bear witness to that dark moment in world history. This powerful documentary is based on the book Salvaged Pages by the film’s writer Alexandra Zapruder. The film includes archival and location footage, plus photos, text and drawings from the diaries.
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport. (117 minutes) 2000 Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This Academy Award winning documentary, produced by Deborah Oppenheimer, includes testimony by many Kindertransport survivors. It is one of the great Holocaust documentaries and provides an unforgettable experience with these children-survivors.
My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports. (76 minutes) 2003. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult
Docudrama interweaves remembrances with archival footage to present accounts of children rescued and parents left behind to their inevitable fate. Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee.
Survivors of the Holocaust (70 minutes). Produced by June Beallor and James Molls for Stephen Spielberg and the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and Turner Home Entertainment. 1996 Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This documentary examines the work of director Stephen Spielberg in compiling and documenting the testimony of Holocaust survivors. It includes survivor testimony on their life before, during and after World War II.
One Survivor Remembers (36 minutes) HBO in association with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Wentworth Films, 1995. Recommended for High School and Adult
Survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein eloquently recounts the personal story of her life before the war in Poland, her Holocaust experiences, including the painful loss of most of her family, and the suffering she endured on a final “death march” near the end of the war.
The Warsaw Ghetto (51 minutes) BBC Production, 1969. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
Narrated by a ghetto survivor, this documentary uses historic film footage made by the Nazis and shows the creation of the ghetto, early Nazi propaganda, scenes from everyday life, and the final weeks of resistance before the ghetto was liquidated.
Lodz Ghetto. Produced by Alan Adelson and Directed by Alan Adelson and Kathryn Taverna, 1989. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This documentary recounts the history of one of the last ghettos to be liquidated using written accounts by Jews, photographs, slides and rare film footage. Good companion to Adelson's book.
Auschwitz: If You Cried, You Died (28 minutes) Impact America Foundation, 1991, 1993. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult
Two survivors recount their experiences in Auschwitz after returning there with family members. Combined with historic footage, this is a moving commentary on prejudice. It also discusses Holocaust deniers.
Escape from Sobibor (149 minutes) Directed by Jack Gold and starring Alan Arkin and Rutger Hauer, 1987. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This film is a recreation of the prisoner uprising at the Sobibor extermination camp in occupied Poland. In mid-October 1943, more than 300 Jewish prisoners escaped from the camp in the face of German machine-gun fire by running across a minefield. More than 100 were recaptured and later shot.
Daring to Resist: Three Women Face the Holocaust (57 minutes) Produced and directed by Barbara Attie and Martha Goell Lubell and narrated by Janeane Carofalo, 1999. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This film tells the story of three Jewish young women: Faye Schulman, a photographer and partisan fighter in the forests of eastern Poland: Barbara Rodbell, a ballerina in Amsterdam who delivered underground newspapers as well as secured food and other aid for Jews in hiding, and Schulamit Lack, who acquired false papers and a safe house for Jews attempting to flee Hungary.
The Courage to Care (28 minutes) Produced and directed by Robert Gardner with Executive Producers Sister Carol Rittner, R.S.M. and Sondra Meyers, 1986. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult
Elie Wiesel narrates this documentary film which deals with rescuers, It asks why some individuals under physical, emotional, and ethical duress “do the right thing,” and it stresses the principle that each individual does make a difference. Odette Meyers (a French Jew), Irene Opdyke (a Polish Catholic), Marion P. Van Binsbergen Pritchard (a Dutch rescuer), Emanuel Tanay (a Polish Jew), and Magda Trocmé (wife of Protestant Pastor Andre Trocmé at Le Chambon-sur-Lignon) present their moving testimonies.
Schindler’s List (3 hours, 17 minutes) Directed by Steven Spielberg, adapted from Thomas Keneally’s fictionalized account of a true story, 1993. Recommended for upper grades in High School and Adult.
Shot on location in Poland in stark black-and-white, this compelling Oscar-winning film tells the story of German businessman Oskar Schindler who saved more than 1,000 Jews from deportation and death. Contains graphic violence, strong language, and nudity.
The Other Side of Faith (27 minutes) Produced by Sy Rotter, 1990. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
Filmed on location in Przemsyl, Poland, this first-person narrative tells of a courageous sixteen-year-old Catholic girl who, for two and a half years, hid thirteen Jewish men, women and children in the attic of her home.
Assignment Rescue: The Story of Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee (26 minutes) Narrated by Meryl Streep; directed by Richard Kaplan, produced by Richard Kaplan and Christina Lazardi; written by Christina Lazardi, 1997. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This film tells the story of Varian Fry, an American who was able to enter Vichy France and help hundreds of people, including prominent artists such as Marc Chagall, to escape the Nazis to safety in the U.S. in 1940.
Weapons of the Spirit (38 minutes) Written, produced, and directed by Pierre Sauvage,1988. Recommended for Middle School, High School, and Adult.
This is the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a small Protestant village in south-central France, and how its predominantly Protestant citizens responded to the Nazi threat against the Jews. Residents of the area hid and cared for 5,000 Jews, many of them children.
America and the Holocaust-- Deceit and Indifference: The American Experience (90 minutes) Produced and directed by Martin Ostrow, WGBH Boston Video, 1994, 2005. Recommended for High School and Adult.
This video shows how WWII American immigration policies prevented hundreds of thousands of Jews from finding refuge in the U.S. using newsreel footage, interviews with authorities, official documents , statistics, and the personal story of Kurt Klein, a German national who liberated Nazi prisoners.
The Double Crossing: The Voyage of the St. Louis (29 minutes) A production of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois and Loyola University of Chicago. Produced by Elliot Letkovitz and Nancy Partos, 1992. Recommended for High School and Adult.
More than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939 on the luxury cruise ship the St. Louis were denied entry to Cuba and the United States and forced to return to Europe. The film includes survivor interviews, archival footage and photos. The general issues this film addresses---racism, quota systems for refugees, and immigration policies---remain urgent ones today.
The Boat is Full (104 minutes) Produced by George Reinhart, Limbo Films, Inc., in coproduction with SRG, ZDF,ORF and directed by Markus Imhoo, 1980. Recommended for High School and Adult.
In 1942, the Swiss government, alarmed at the vast numbers of people fleeing Nazi Germany, established stringent immigration policies as they declared the country’s “lifeboat” full. This suspenseful drama tells the story of a group of refugees forced back to the border by ordinary citizens too frightened or indifferent to take them in. In German, with English subtitles.
Liberation 1945: Testimony (76 minutes) Produced by Sandy Bradley, Wentworth Films, in association with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1995. Recommended for High School and Adult.
This film includes expanded eyewitness testimony produced for the Museum’s special exhibit, Liberation 1945. Jewish survivors and Allied liberators recall liberation and describe conditions inside the camps, including difficulties faced by medical relief teams working in the liberated camps. Survivors interned in displaced persons (D.P.) camps describe the organization of those camps and their efforts both to find surviving family members, and, by marrying, to establish new families.
You Are Free (Ihr Zunt Frei) (20 minutes) Direct Cinema Education. 1983. Recommended for Middle School and Up.
Focusing on the remembrances of four American soldiers who participated in the liberation, and a woman who survived several years of internment, this film combines their stories with archival footage of Holocaust events to record the horror and human compassion of the time.
Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story (188 minutes) HBO Pictures, Robert Cooper Production. Produced by John Kemeny and Robert Cooper, 1988. Recommended for High School and Adult.
The true story of a Holocaust survivor who committed himself in the years after liberation to the task of hunting Nazis and bringing them to justice. Useful for examining the response to the Holocaust in the postwar period.
At Face to Face, we like to remind the students and teachers of the importance of obtaining accurate information about the Holocaust when they are conducting research. The internet has both accurate and false information about the Holocaust. We recommend the following websites and linking to other websites from there.
The ADL/Echoes and Reflections, Facing History and Ourselves, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, University of South Florida and the Yad Vashem websites include curriculum materials for teachers. The University of Minnesota and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Eduction websites will get you to more extensive lists of good websites. The USC Shoah Foundation/iWitness and the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University offer survivor testimony. The Holocaust Chronicle site provides access to the entire 698 page Holocaust Chronicle book.
Anti-Defamation League, USC Shoah Foundations, Yad Vashem. Echoes and Reflections. New York 2005.
Echoes and Reflections is a multi-media Holocaust curriculum which is the result of the partnership among three leaders in education: the Anti-Defamation League, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, and Yad Vashem. It is a resource book with DVD which describes the events of the Holocaust through survivors’ accounts, offering at the same time materials and teaching strategies for teachers.
Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior Resource Book. Brookline, Massachusetts. Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation, 1994.
This book is a comprehensive anthology and ideal book for dealing with the subject of genocide in the 20th century. It presents extensive readings and activities for raising important issues.
Gagnon, Kathleen and Ruxton, Dianne. Holocaust Literature: Study Guides to 12 Stories of Courage. Portland, Maine: J. Weston Walch Publisher,1997.
This book provides study guides for teaching 12 books about the Holocaust. The class is divided into small groups with each group reading a different book. Group presentations end the month long unit. A teacher can decide which of the books to cover or adapt one book’s material for the entire class.
Langer, Lawrence. Art from the Ashes: A Holocaust Anthology. Oxford University Press, 1995.
This exceptional collection of Holocaust literature includes both fiction and nonfiction, as well as drama and poetry. Teachers can pull poetry, short stories, or non-fiction pieces from the work to supplement their Holocaust literature selections.
Moger, Susan. Teaching The Diary of Anne Frank (Revised): An In-Depth Resource for Learning about the Holocaust Through the Writings of Anne Frank. Scholastic, 1998, 2009- revised edition. Grades 5-8.
This extensively illustrated guide places Anne Frank and her diary within the wider framework of the Holocaust. It includes guided reading questions, maps, ideas for journal writing, poetry lessons, reproductions of historic documents, more than 50 photographs, and an annotated bibliography.
Crimes Against Humanity: A Holocaust Resource Book. Madison, Wisconsin. Knowledge Unlimited, Inc., 1999.
This book is a teacher’s guide to teaching about events before, after and during the Holocaust. It provides essay topics and discussion questions as well as a reproducible timeline activity.
Schweber, Simone. Making Sense of the Holocaust: Lessons from Classroom Practice. Teachers College Press, 2004.
Case-studies drawn from real high schools address three questions: How do experienced teachers teach the Holocaust? What moral messages are conveyed? What do their students learn? Stories, classroom dialogues, and reflections from students, teacher, and author illuminate each case-study.
Shawn, Karen and Goldfrad, Karen, editors. The Call of Memory: Learning about the Holocaust Through Narrative: An Anthology. Ben Yehuda Press, 2008.
Twenty-seven stories are organized chronologically and thematically, allowing teachers to organize appropriately any related course of study. A companion Teacher's Guide illuminates each story with a literary analysis and specific and immediately useful teaching suggestions.
Totten, Samuel and Feinberg, Stephen. Teaching and Studying the Holocaust. Allyn and Bacon, 2000
Essays focus on use of media, development of rationale statements, using primary documents, incorporating first-person accounts, and choosing literature for the classroom.
Teaching About the Holocaust: A Resource Book for Educators. Washington, D.C.: USHMM, 2001.
This book, put out by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is an essential guide for students and teachers to learn about and teach the Holocaust. It contains an overview of the Holocaust and an annotated bibliography, as well as information about the museum