Holocaust Memorial day some suggested reading

Here in the UK it is Holocaust Memorial day .The 27th January was picked as it was the day that Auschwitz was liberated by the soviets .The day is a chance for us all to remember those who have suffered at the hands of Tyranny ,ethnic cleansing or unfair regimes .Here at winstonsdad I have read a number of books set before during and after the Holocaust both fiction and non-fiction .So thought be a good idea to suggest a few books you could try that are all about the Holocaust.

Blooms of darkness 2

Blooms of Darkness by Aharon Appelfeld – Last years IFFP winner follows a young boy coming to manhood ,as he tries to escape the Nazis .Hidden in a house of ill repute .Aharon Appelfeld novels have mostly been set and about the Holocaust .

treblinka 1

Treblinka A survivor’s memory by Chil Rajchman When I reviewed this I just start with the words”just read this book .I stand by that Chil takes you through his time in The Treblinka camp and the horrors he saw whilst there .

the emperor of lies

The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg The story of King Chaim that was the Jewish head of the Ghetto in Lodz and how by being himself and make sure he kept in line with the germans saved many lives of people in the Ghetto .

Lanzmann  the patagonian hare

The Patagonian Hare – Claude Lanzmann The memoir of the French editor and film maker .He made Shoah the most definitive view of the holocaust with numerous interviews people involved .We found out how he made it .

trieste dasa drndic

Trieste by Dasa Drndic A story of a women meeting here son that was part of the Nazis Lebensborn programme ,but also mention and has a list of all the Italian Jews that died during world war two .

the last brother

The last brother by Nathacha Appanah A young boy after the Holocaust trying for a new life in the promised land and he  end up in Mauritius after  he was expelled from Palenstine .

sarajevo marlboro

Sarajevo Malboro by Miljenko Jergovic  A collection stories set in and around the Balkan conflict ,which show the horror of this recent war on the people of Bosnia .

That’s just a few of course there is  many other books out there  by the likes of Primo Levi ,Anne Frank ,Etty Hilesum and many others .The next book to be covered here on Holocaust will be Train to Budapest by Dacia Maaini an Italian novel about a friend trying to find out what happened to her friend after she went to a concentration camp set during fifties as she travels to Budapest .

This years theme for Holocaust memorial day is to build a bridge 

Also visit the main site for Holocaust memorial day 

Have you a favourite read about the holocaust ?

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Jan 27, 2013 @ 17:27:38

    I think the first book I read on the topic was Primo Levi’s “The Periodic Table” – which has yet to be bettered in my view.

    But even small things can reflect on this – there is a section in Nabokov’s “Pnin” (which I just read and reviewed) where his childhood love perishes in a camp – the writing is absolutely heartbreaking.


  2. Kelly
    Jan 27, 2013 @ 18:49:19

    I so agree with you about Chil Rajchman’s book on his time in Treblinka. I think I cried through most of it. Definitely recommend that one to people interested in reading more on the Holocaust.


  3. pburt
    Jan 27, 2013 @ 20:39:18

    Thank you for both the reminder and the list.


  4. kimbofo
    Jan 27, 2013 @ 21:40:43

    An interesting list, Stu. Recently read The Emperor of Lies… not sure “King Chaim” did save any lives—he sent children, the sick and the elderly away to the extermination camps. It seems he was in cahoots with the Nazis and only really in it to save himself.


    • winstonsdad
      Jan 27, 2013 @ 21:44:10

      Hi Kim I did wonder about putting on but it does say on his wiki page that 5000 to 10000 Jews people have him to thank for there lives controversial figure in many ways all the best stu


  5. Lisa Hill
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 00:51:00

    Well done, Stu, for this reminder.
    Many survivors of the Holocaust came to Melbourne after the war – about as far away as anyone could get from Germany, and most of the neighbours in the street I grew up in were survivors with tattoos on their wrists as a daily reminder of what they had been through. I remember vividly the day when my mother explained why this was so, and at first I could not believe such evil existed …
    Just recently I visited the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia which is home to the Makor Project, recording the stories of survivors for posterity. I have read some of these and they are very moving.
    Two books I would recommend for everyone to read: Reading the Holocaust by Inga Clendinnen, (see the NYT review at http://tinyurl.com/b3hxgry) and The Fiftieth Gate by Mark Raphael Baker (who looks at it from he POV of a survivor’s child).


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  7. Rise
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 03:23:46

    W. G. Sebald’s novels, though they’re not exclusively about the Holocaust.


  8. acommonreaderuk
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 08:08:57

    Very good post Stu. I think most of we book bloggers have covered these themes quite a bit over the last few years but it’s good to be reminded of the importance of all the literature written about it


    • winstonsdad
      Feb 06, 2013 @ 02:13:13

      Yes the does seen a number of very well written fiction and non fiction books last couple of years good to remind people of what happen think that is what I love about Treblinka It is so real all the best stu


  9. Caroline
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 11:59:06

    Great list. I just read a very new story on this topic, quite provocative. Nathan Englander’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank”. I thought it was excellent.


  10. parrish lantern
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 19:15:49

    Definitely Primo Levi, especially is this a man or the periodic table, another possible is Georges Perec’s A Void. But what about if we include nuclear holocaust & then we can add Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse.


  11. Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 01:20:30

    Hi, Stu–
    I loved and admired Appelfeld’s A Story of A Life, which I read for Caroline’s Literature and War Readalong. Perhaps you did, too. That wonderful reading experience prompted me to buy one of Appelfeld’s most highly acclaimed titles, Badenheim 1939. Have you read it? I haven’t yet but hope to soon.

    I’m so glad you’ve listed as many books as you have, and I haven’t read any of them! I’ll make a list.

    I’ve read many books about the Holocaust, but it’s interesting that one of the ones that has affected me the most deeply is by a writer who was later discredited. I devoured Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl when I was 17, and it made a huge impact on me. Then, in my fifties, we learn that he may not have had the experiences he claimed to have had. A strange story.

    Best to you!
    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)


    • winstonsdad
      Feb 06, 2013 @ 02:17:12

      Yes the similar story in uk about someone during war may not have done what they said they did I think that why sometimes fiction works better as we know its fiction but like emperor is based on lot of facts all the best stu


  12. parrish lantern
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 16:55:45

    Been pondering this post, as is my want & have thought of a name that must be included here – Miklos Radnoti, a Hungarian Jewish Poet, although he was a Catholic convert. He died whilst be forced to march to central Hungary (was shot because to weak to continue) buried in a mass grave. Eighteen months after his death, the mass grave was exhumed & in the front pocket of his overcoat his small notebook of final poems was found. These poems are lyrical and poignant & represent some of the few works of literature composed during the Holocaust that survived.


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January 2013


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