10 books like A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience

By Ettie Zilber,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr,

Book cover of All the Light We Cannot See

My father was a teenager when he fought in World War II. All my life I have tried to reconcile the dichotomy of my gentle father with the boy who joined the German military when he was 15. Werner Pfennig, the novel’s teenaged German protagonist, illustrates simply and powerfully that, even in a war, our moral compass allows us to make decisions to preserve our humanity.   

In one of the book’s final chapters, Marie-Laure, the blind French protagonist, admits to Werner she is not brave: “I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?” Werner implies that we all have a choice when he replies, “Not in years. But today. Today maybe I did.” 

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked All the Light We Cannot See as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR FICTION

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.'

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic…


The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak,

Book cover of The Book Thief

The story unfolds somewhat mysteriously, in that WWII historians may be a bit confused. The annihilation of Dresden, Germany through intense fire-bombing by the allies leaves little hope that anyone could survive long, yet a young girl is moving through the neighborhoods unscathed. She steals books from the library of a rich, sophisticated lady who has all but surrendered to her fate. The premise provides a nice counter to the book burning by the Nazis in the years leading up to military action. Although the girl is hardly a military hero, her persistence and courage renders her a testament to the raw power of the human spirit. In her own way, she is defiant of the aggressors attacking her home and threatening her life.

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked The Book Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Life affirming, triumphant and tragic . . . masterfully told. . . but also a wonderful page-turner' Guardian
'Brilliant and hugely ambitious' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Telegraph
___

HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT…


The Tattooist of Auschwitz

By Heather Morris,

Book cover of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Although set in such a terrible place this book tells the story of one young man’s hope and resilience. The tattooist’s true life experience is sympathetically used by the author as a base for the storyline and it makes for a very unsettling but compulsive read. I like that there isn’t too much description and yet I still felt the bleakness of the camp and the desperation of its prisoners. The love story running throughout the book helped to show the strength of the human spirit in spite of inhumane conditions.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

By Heather Morris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Tattooist of Auschwitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the bestselling books of the 21st century with over 6 million copies sold.

Don't miss the conclusion to The Tattooist of Auschwitz Trilogy, Three Sisters. Available now.

I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl.…


The Children of Willesden Lane

By Mona Golabek, Lee Cohen,

Book cover of The Children of Willesden Lane: A True Story of Hope and Survival During World War II

A beautiful read set otherwise on a very dark backdrop. Learning of Lisa Jura’s journey on the Kindertransport to a country she’s never been to at the age of fourteen, really exemplifies the very difficult, and not fair, choices parents were forced to make during this time period. However, the memoir really demonstrates the power of music and hope to uplift and fulfill many human needs.

The Children of Willesden Lane

By Mona Golabek, Lee Cohen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Children of Willesden Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A young readers' edition of an important and inspiring true story of hope and survival during World War II.

Fourteen-year-old Lisa Jura was a musical prodigy who hoped to become a concert pianist. But when Hitler's armies advanced on pre-war Vienna, Lisa's parents were forced to make a difficult decision. Able to secure passage for only one of their three daughters through the Kindertransport, they chose to send gifted Lisa to London for safety.

As she yearned to be reunited with her family while she lived in a home for refugee children on Willesden Lane, Lisa's music became a beacon…


Our People

By Efraim Zuroff, Rūta Vanagaite,

Book cover of Our People: Discovering Lithuania's Hidden Holocaust

The partnership of these two authors, one, a Lithuanian national and prominent figure and the other, a Jewish/Israeli Nazi hunter, even surprised them both. While they come from the polar opposite ends of the cultural spectrum, their ultimate research collaboration offers the reader a view into the reason why 96% of Lithuanian Jews were murdered during – and after – the Holocaust – many, before the Nazis fully occupied the country. Travelling together throughout Lithuania, they interviewed non-Jewish eyewitnesses, who told them (on the record) what they saw and what they remembered of those horrible days when the Jews were murdered …by bullets… and who collaborated, assisted, and who pulled the trigger. 

I am passionate about the book because both my parents were survivors of the Lithuanian version of the Holocaust. There were very few survivors from Lithuania, and the Vanagaite-Zuroff book helps me understand why. I started learning about…

Our People

By Efraim Zuroff, Rūta Vanagaite,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This remarkable book traces the quest for the truth about the Holocaust in Lithuania by two ostensible enemies: Ruta a descendant of the perpetrators, Efraim a descendant of the victims. Ruta Vanagaite, a best-selling Lithuanian writer, was motivated by her recent discoveries that some of her relatives had played a role in the mass murder of Jews and that Lithuanian officials had tried to hide the complicity of local collaborators. Efraim Zuroff, a noted Israeli Nazi-hunter, had both professional and personal motivations. He had worked for years to bring Lithuanian war criminals to justice and to compel local authorities to…


We Are Here

By Ellen Cassedy,

Book cover of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust

The author and I have somewhat similar backgrounds, with ancestry back in Lithuania. We both made the commitment to travel to Lithuania, but for different reasons. Her quest to improve her knowledge and fluency of the Yiddish language, (my native language) brought her to Vilnius, Lithuania to study with a master teacher.  While she was there, she was determined to learn as much as she could about the long history of the Jews of Lithuania, the fate of her ancestors, and why (and how) almost 96% of the Lithuanian Jewish population was murdered- the highest percentage of any European country. Through research, interviews, songs, and Yiddish expressions, the author weaves together a nostalgic, literary, and academic odyssey into the past- and discovers the answer to the percentage question – the Nazis had willing collaborators.

I am passionate about the book because both my parents were survivors of the Lithuanian version…

We Are Here

By Ellen Cassedy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Are Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ellen Cassedy's longing to recover the Yiddish she'd lost with her mother's death eventually led her to Lithuania, once the "Jerusalem of the North." As she prepared for her journey, her uncle, sixty years after he'd left Lithuania in a boxcar, made a shocking disclosure about his wartime experience, and an elderly man from her ancestral town made an unsettling request. Gradually, what had begun as a personal journey broadened into a larger exploration of how the people of this country, Jews and non-Jews alike, are confronting their past in order to move forward into the future. How does a…


The Nazi's Granddaughter

By Silvia Foti,

Book cover of The Nazi's Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was a War Criminal

While the author and I came from different sides of the same fence, I found myself empathizing with her deathbed promise, her fears, her worries, her self-doubt, and her commitment to finding, and eventually exposing, the truth. Setting out to write what should have been a fairly ‘easy’ biographical tribute to her late grandfather – hailed as a Lithuanian hero- she discovered - and uncovered - details and documents which shattered her world and confirmed “the gossip.” She began to doubt the stories she was told as a child and the people who told them- both in her Lithuanian-American neighborhood and back in the old country. What a page-turner…what agony and pain…until she finally made her courageous decision. Bravo, Silvia.

I am passionate about the book because both my parents were survivors of the Lithuanian version of the Holocaust. There were very few survivors from Lithuania, and Foti’s book helps…

The Nazi's Granddaughter

By Silvia Foti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nazi's Granddaughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hero–or Nazi?

Silvia Foti was raised on reverent stories about her hero grandfather, a martyr for Lithuanian independence and an unblemished patriot. Jonas Noreika, remembered as “General Storm,” had resisted his country’s German and Soviet occupiers in World War II, surviving two years in a Nazi concentration camp only to be executed in 1947 by the KGB. His granddaughter, growing up in Chicago, was treated like royalty in her tightly knit Lithuanian community.

But in 2000, when Silvia traveled to Lithuania for a ceremony honoring her grandfather, she heard a very different story—a “rumor” that her grandfather had been a…


A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet

By Rita Gabis,

Book cover of A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet: My Grandfather's SS Past, My Jewish Family, a Search for the Truth

The author, a daughter of an uncommon ‘mixed marriage’ between a Lithuanian-Jewish Holocaust survivor and a Lithuanian-Christian immigrant family. Both sides of her families were kept separate, except for rare special occasions. As a child, she was told wonderful stories about how her Lithuanian grandfather helped save Jews. As an adult and as an historian, she began to investigate the true activities of her grandfather, during those dark days in Lithuania. Like, Silvia Foti, she was emotionally fractured when she learned the truth. 

There were very few Jewish survivors from Lithuania, and Gabis’ book helps me understand why.

A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet

By Rita Gabis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In prose as beautiful as it is powerful, Rita Gabis follows the trail of her grandfather’s collaboration with the Nazis--a trail riddled with secrets, slaughter, mystery, and discovery.

Rita Gabis comes from a family of Eastern European Jews and Lithuanian Catholics. She was close to her Catholic grandfather as a child and knew one version of his past: prior to immigration he had fought the Russians, whose brutal occupation of Lithuania destroyed thousands of lives before Hitler’s army swept in.

Five years ago, Gabis discovered an unthinkable dimension to her family story: from 1941 to 1943, her grandfather had been…


Children of the Holocaust

By Helen Epstein,

Book cover of Children of the Holocaust: Conversations with Sons and Daughters of Survivors

I found this book decades ago symbolically languishing on a remainders table in the back of Moe’s Bookstore in Berkeley. I nearly fainted when I read the title. Could this book be about me and others like me, members of a generation that wasn’t supposed to be born? This groundbreaking book, considered the Bible of children of Holocaust survivors, gives voice to the multigenerational impact of the Holocaust which we, the second generation, inherited directly from our parents who were the lucky few to survive while two-thirds of European Jewry was wiped out. As a psychotherapist, I have recommended this book to clients and their partners to better understand family dynamics, grief, trauma, resiliency, and determination to create a better world.

Children of the Holocaust

By Helen Epstein,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Children of the Holocaust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I set out to find a group of people who, like me, were possessed by a history they had never lived."

The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Helen Epstein traveled from America to Europe to Israel, searching for one vital thin in common: their parent's persecution by the Nazis. She found:

* Gabriela Korda, who was raised by her parents as a German Protestant in South America;
* Albert Singerman, who fought in the jungles of Vietnam to prove that he, too, could survive a grueling ordeal;
* Deborah Schwartz, a Southern beauty queen who-at the Miss America pageant, played the…


When Time Stopped

By Ariana Neumann,

Book cover of When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains

This is an extraordinary memoir. Arianna’s father, Hans, came from a family with 34 family members living in Czechoslovakia before WWII; by 1945, 25 would have been murdered by the Nazis. He experienced unspeakable horrors, but he did not speak of them to his family. Having grown up in Venezuela, Arianna knew nothing of his past—not even, in fact, that Hans’ family was Jewish. Upon his death, Hans left her a box crammed with letters, diary entries, and memorabilia, including an identification card that had his picture but bore a different name. Investigating the various threads of his life, this book tells the story of her search for her father and his family, while uncovering the devastating details of life and death in Nazi Germany.

When Time Stopped

By Ariana Neumann,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked When Time Stopped as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this astonishing story that “reads like a thriller and is so, so timely” (BuzzFeed) Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past: “Like Anne Frank’s diary, it offers a story that needs to be told and heard” (Booklist, starred review).

In 1941, the first Neumann family member was taken by the Nazis, arrested in German-occupied Czechoslovakia for bathing in a stretch of river forbidden to Jews. He was transported to Auschwitz. Eighteen days later his prisoner number was entered into the morgue book.

Of thirty-four Neumann family members, twenty-five were murdered by the Nazis. One of the…


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