10 books like Holocaust Cinema Complete

By Rich Brownstein,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Holocaust Cinema Complete. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Eichmann in Jerusalem

By Hannah Arendt,

Book cover of Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

Naomi Roht-Arriaza Author Of The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights

From the list on bringing dictators and evil men to justice.

Who am I?

I grew up in part in Chile, and when the Pinochet dictatorship started killing and torturing people, I wanted to do something about it. Years later, as a professor of international law, I helped countries figure out what to do after mass atrocities. Seeing how trials in other countries – or in international criminal courts – could break through barriers and make it possible to bring those who killed, tortured, or disappeared thousands of people to justice gave me hope. I wanted to tell the stories of the brave people who overcame the odds to do justice, in a readable and exciting way that also explained the legal and political issues involved. 

Naomi's book list on bringing dictators and evil men to justice

Discover why each book is one of Naomi's favorite books.

Why did Naomi love this book?

The grandmama of human rights-related trial accounts, and for good reason. Arendt covered the trial of Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in the 1960s. Eichmann had been living in Argentina, and was kidnapped and taken to Israel, where he was tried and condemned for his role in the Holocaust. Arendt raises profound questions about the value of trials in the face of overwhelming evil, about how trials structure narratives, and about memory. Still issues we grapple with today.

Eichmann in Jerusalem

By Hannah Arendt,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Eichmann in Jerusalem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A profound and documented analysis ... Bound to stir our minds and trouble our consciences' Chicago Tribune

Hannah Arendt's authoritative and stunning report on the trial of German Nazi SS leader Adolf Eichmann first appeared as a series of articles in The New Yorker in 1963. This revised edition includes material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt's postscript commenting on the controversy that arose over her book. A major journalistic triumph by an intellectual of singular influence, Eichmann in Jerusalem is as shocking as it is informative - a meticulous and unflinching look at one…


Night

By Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (translator),

Book cover of Night

James Taing Author Of Under the Naga Tail: A True Story of Survival, Bravery, and Escape from the Cambodian Genocide

From the list on surviving impossible odds.

Who am I?

Since arriving as a refugee in America, my father, Mae Bunseng has always wanted to tell his story. It would take many decades later for me, as I was coming of age, to consider what exactly my father had lived through. I was shocked at what he told me and knew his story had to be told. Thus over a decade ago I worked with my him to what eventually became Under the Naga Tail. In addition to this book, along the way, a short documentary called Ghost Mountain was created and released on PBS, which is accessible for streaming here. The film would win the best documentary at the HAAPI Film Festival.

James' book list on surviving impossible odds

Discover why each book is one of James' favorite books.

Why did James love this book?

The masterpiece memoir by Elie Wiesel is an astonishingly short autobiographical of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. His account of surviving a concentration camp is important as any other, a narrative that is chilling, yet with compassion put into each word. Night is a book that has to be read. Elie would become an important human rights activist and this continued beyond the subject matter of the Holocaust. During the refugee crisis on the Thai-Cambodia border in 1980, he and several other notables (such as Joan Baez, Liv Ullman, and Bayard Rustin), mobilized to bring relief assistance for Cambodians fleeing the dangerous borders of their country. When asked by a journalist why help Cambodia, he replied, “When I needed people to come, they didn't. That's why I am here.” It demonstrated Elie’s resolve and will to prevent the next genocide from happening somewhere else.

Night

By Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (translator),

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped him of humanity, dignity and faith. Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of a people from a survivor's perspective, Night is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust. A compelling consideration of the darkest side of human nature and the enduring power of…


Aftermath

By Harald Jähner, Shaun Whiteside (translator),

Book cover of Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955

Katja Hoyer Author Of Blood and Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Empire; 1871-1918

From the list on German history that aren't about the Nazis.

Who am I?

I was born in East Germany and experienced the disappearance of that country and the huge changes that followed as a child. My history teachers reflected this fracture in the narratives they constructed, switching between those they had grown up with and the new version they had been told to teach after 1990. It struck me how little resemblance the neat division of German history into chapters and timelines bears to people’s actual lives which often span one or even several of Germany’s radical fault lines. My fascination with my country’s fractured memory has never left me since. 

Katja's book list on German history that aren't about the Nazis

Discover why each book is one of Katja's favorite books.

Why did Katja love this book?

Jähner’s Aftermath is one of the best books about post-1945 Germany. Defeated and confronted with the horrors their country had unleashed during the preceding six years of genocidal war in Europe, most ordinary Germans were keen to move on, rebuild and forget. A myth was born that saw 1945 as Germany’s ‘Zero Hour,’ a kind of tabula rasa, from which the nation could start anew. Jähner’s social history of the first ten years after the Second World War shatters this illusion powerfully and definitively. His book is a great foundation for anyone who wants to understand Germany today.

Aftermath

By Harald Jähner, Shaun Whiteside (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How does a nation recover from fascism and turn toward a free society once more?This internationally acclaimed revelatory history—"filled with first-person accounts from articles and diaries" (The New York Times)—of the transformational decade that followed World War II illustrates how Germany raised itself out of the ashes of defeat and reckoned with the corruption of its soul and the horrors of the Holocaust.

Featuring over 40 eye-opening black-and-white photographs and posters from the period.
 
The years 1945 to 1955 were a raw, wild decade that found many Germans politically, economically, and morally bankrupt. Victorious Allied forces occupied the four zones…


Ordinary Men

By Christopher R. Browning,

Book cover of Ordinary Men

Suzanna Eibuszyc Author Of Memory is Our Home

From the list on the trials and tribulations of the generation that came before us.

Who am I?

Professor Elie Wiesel was instrumental in my translating and researching my mother’s journals. My awakening to the dark period in the chapter of the Jewish history happened between 1971-1974 at CCNY, when our paths crossed while I was taking his classes at the department of Jewish studies. It was in his classes that the things that bewildered me as a child growing up in communist Poland in the shadows of the Holocaust aftermath started to make sense. I asked my mother to commit to paper the painful memories, she buried deep inside her. She and the next generations have an obligation to bear witness, to be this history's keepers.

Suzanna's book list on the trials and tribulations of the generation that came before us

Discover why each book is one of Suzanna's favorite books.

Why did Suzanna love this book?

The famous Hannah Arendt coined “the banality of evil." Not monsters, but ordinary people were able to follow Hitler’s murderess ideology. Ordinary Men clearly shows how men and women from all walks of life were capable of becoming cold-blooded killers. Ordinary Men were the Nazi mobile gas units and death squads responsible for the murder of 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Poland & Ukraine.   

Ordinary Men

By Christopher R. Browning,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Ordinary Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews.


They Were Like Family to Me

By Helen Maryles Shankman,

Book cover of They Were Like Family to Me: Stories

Tara Lynn Masih Author Of My Real Name Is Hanna

From the list on the Holocaust: before, during, and after.

Who am I?

I’m a bicultural writer from the U.S. who has always loved reading historical novels, and I recently “found” my writing genre when I published a debut novel, set in Ukraine during the Holocaust. Writing about that horrific time is fraught with difficulty and is often a frightening endeavor. As writers, we’re obligated to get every fact right, as the truth honors the victims and survivors. To that end, I read dozens and dozens of books—history, biographies, art books, memoirs, and fiction. There are many worthy books that could be on this list, but with just 5 to pick, these made a large impact on me beyond just factual research.

Tara's book list on the Holocaust: before, during, and after

Discover why each book is one of Tara's favorite books.

Why did Tara love this book?

This finalist for the Story Prize is one of the most tightly woven, inventive, important collections I've ever read. Shankman draws from personal family history to explore intersecting lives in a Polish village during Nazi occupation. Layered with mystical beings and historical events, somehow she captures, in the midst of the atrocities, the greater reality of our human interconnectedness. Everyone I’ve recommended this book to has thanked me for doing so.

They Were Like Family to Me

By Helen Maryles Shankman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked They Were Like Family to Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the 2017 Story Prize
Honorable Mention in the 2017 ALA Sophie Brody Medal for achievement in Jewish Literature

“An absolutely dazzling triumph…A singularly inventive collection” (Jewish Book Council) of linked stories set in a German-occupied town in Poland during World War II, where tales of myth and folklore meet the real-life monsters of the Nazi invasion.

1942. With the Nazi Party at the height of its monstrous power, Hitler’s SS fires up the new crematorium at Auschwitz and the occupying army empties Poland’s towns and cities of their Jewish citizens. As neighbor turns on neighbor and survival depends…


Ashes in the Wind

By Jacob Presser,

Book cover of Ashes in the Wind: The Destruction of Dutch Jewry

Deborah Hopkinson Author Of We Must Not Forget: Holocaust Stories of Survival and Resistance

From the list on World War II in Europe.

Who am I?

The books I’ve recommended here range from scholarship, young adult historical fiction, literary fiction, and a good spy mystery—all set in World War II. I’ve read widely in the field since I’ve written several nonfiction books for young readers and teens about World War II. Along with We Must Not Forget, these include Courage & Defiance, about the Danish resistance, Dive!, about the submarine war in the Pacific, D-Day: The World War II Invasion that Changed History, and We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport. I’m currently working on a book about a 1945 POW rescue in the Philippines.

Deborah's book list on World War II in Europe

Discover why each book is one of Deborah's favorite books.

Why did Deborah love this book?

The late Jacob Presser (1899-1970) was a historian, scholar, and a Holocaust survivor himself. His wife was deported and died, and he survived by going into hiding He spent fifteen years researching the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and the plight of the Dutch Jews.

He speaks movingly of finding small scraps of paper, messages thrown from trains leaving Westerbork (an internment camp and later a transit camp in the Netherlands), noting that “Before me, hardly anyone has read them and, after me, they are locked into the archives and it’s possible nobody else will see them.” They awoke in him, he said, an awareness that one of the tasks of the historian is to “give the dead a voice.”

Ashes in the Wind

By Jacob Presser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ashes in the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beginning in 1940, 110,000 Jews were deported from the Netherlands to concentration camps. Of those, fewer than 6,000 returned.

Ashes in the Wind is a story of murder on a scale never known before. It is a monumental history of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and a detailed and moving description of how the Nazi party first discriminated against Jews, before segregating them and finally deporting them to the gas chambers (a process fully outlined in the mass of administrative documents discovered by Dr Presser).

At a time when there are increasingly few survivors of the Holocaust, the eye-witness…


Tzili

By Aharon Appelfeld, Dalya Bilu (translator),

Book cover of Tzili: The Story of a Life

Tara Lynn Masih Author Of My Real Name Is Hanna

From the list on the Holocaust: before, during, and after.

Who am I?

I’m a bicultural writer from the U.S. who has always loved reading historical novels, and I recently “found” my writing genre when I published a debut novel, set in Ukraine during the Holocaust. Writing about that horrific time is fraught with difficulty and is often a frightening endeavor. As writers, we’re obligated to get every fact right, as the truth honors the victims and survivors. To that end, I read dozens and dozens of books—history, biographies, art books, memoirs, and fiction. There are many worthy books that could be on this list, but with just 5 to pick, these made a large impact on me beyond just factual research.

Tara's book list on the Holocaust: before, during, and after

Discover why each book is one of Tara's favorite books.

Why did Tara love this book?

Appelfeld is considered one of Israel’s foremost writers. He writes fluidly in beautiful, spare, fable-like prose. Appelfeld himself was a child survivor who escaped a camp and hid in the countryside and woods, making his “faction” all the more authentic and powerful. The title character, Tzili, is a young Jewish girl who hides from the Germans in a country not specified (but is likely Ukraine). This novel brings to light the harsh conditions and horrors that “free” survivors faced, both during and after the war. 

Tzili

By Aharon Appelfeld, Dalya Bilu (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The youngest, least-favored member of an Eastern European Jewish family, Tzili is considered an embarrassment by her parents and older siblings. Her schooling has been a failure, she is simple and meek, and she seems more at home with the animals in the field than with people. And so when her panic-stricken family flees the encroaching Nazi armies, Tzili is left behind to fend for herself. At first seeking refuge with the local peasants, she is eventually forced to escape from them as well, and she takes to the forest, living a solitary existence until she is discovered by another…


A Blessing on the Moon

By Joseph Skibell,

Book cover of A Blessing on the Moon

Hugh Sheehy Author Of Design Flaw

From the list on the world as a dream.

Who am I?

I’ve loved fiction that excites my mind and imagination since I was very young. I spent a lot of time in the library growing up, mostly reading horror and historical narratives. Later, I became interested in music, painting, film, philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, religion, and politics. I’m not an expert in anything—I’m too driven to make things to be a good scholar—but these are the subject areas that inform what I write.

Hugh's book list on the world as a dream

Discover why each book is one of Hugh's favorite books.

Why did Hugh love this book?

This novel evokes an extraordinary range of emotions. Skibell works wonders with folklore and history, turning out a tale of tales that is by turns shocking and horrifying, tender, and outrageously funny. The language is deceptively simple and beautiful. Consider this description from the murdered narrator, on returning to his plundered neighborhood after climbing out of a mass grave: “In front of every house were piles of vows and promises, all in broken pieces. How I could see such things, I cannot tell you.” The balance here—of imagination, grief, and lightness—is exquisite.

A Blessing on the Moon

By Joseph Skibell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Blessing on the Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joseph Skibell’s magical tale about the Holocaust—a fable inspired by fact—received unanimous nationwide acclaim when first published in 1997.

At the center of A Blessing on the Moon is Chaim Skibelski. Death is merely the beginning of Chaim’s troubles. In the opening pages, he is shot along with the other Jews of his small Polish village. But instead of resting peacefully in the World to Come, Chaim, for reasons unclear to him, is left to wander the earth, accompanied by his rabbi, who has taken the form of a talking crow. Chaim’s afterlife journey is filled with extraordinary encounters whose…


Book cover of No One Is Here Except All of Us

Jennifer Rosner Author Of The Yellow Bird Sings

From the list on Jewish-themed imaginative female characters.

Who am I?

I love stories about human connection and creativity. I came to writing later in life; I was moved to research and write a memoir about raising our two daughters, both of whom were born deaf. I discovered in my Jewish ancestry two deaf great-great aunts who tied strings to their babies’ wrists at night so that when their babies cried, they would feel the tug in the darkness and wake to care for them. This innovation of connection has shaped me as a mother, a writer, and a reader. In my novel, The Yellow Bird Sings, a mother and daughter stay connected through music and the power of imagination.

Jennifer's book list on Jewish-themed imaginative female characters

Discover why each book is one of Jennifer's favorite books.

Why did Jennifer love this book?

I read this magical, mystical novel on an airplane, and had to retrieve a spare t-shirt from my suitcase to sob into! A beautiful, heart-wrenching work about family history, memory, and the power of imagination, the story is narrated by a girl, Lena, who leads her village to imagining their way out of the reality of the Holocaust's horrors. For a time, the villagers are spared, even repaired, until the outside world presses its way in and the myths crack, then shatter.  

No One Is Here Except All of Us

By Ramona Ausubel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No One Is Here Except All of Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and the new story collection, Awayland.

In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years- across oceans, deserts, and mountains-but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world:…


Book cover of Modernity and the Holocaust

Jane Stork Author Of Breaking the Spell: My Life as a Rajneeshee and the Long Journey Back to Freedom

From the list on understanding the human condition.

Who am I?

I was born and raised in rural Western Australia, married young, traveled with my geologist husband in the Outback until our children were born, and was settling down to becoming a housewife and mother in a Perth suburb when an Indian guru crossed my path. In no time at all, I packed up my family and we moved to India. Four years later I followed my guru when he went to America, and four years after that, I found myself behind bars. Understanding what led me there, and facing the consequences, was to occupy me for many years to come. I continue to have a deep and abiding interest in what makes us tick and why we do the things we do.

Jane's book list on understanding the human condition

Discover why each book is one of Jane's favorite books.

Why did Jane love this book?

This is a profound and disturbing work written after reading his wife’s account of how she, her mother and sister, all of Jewish origin, survived the Nazi/war years in Warsaw (Winter in the Morning by Janina Bauman (1986)). Bauman exposes the popular fallacy that the Holocaust was a singular event, an unfortunate tear in the fabric of civilization, demonstrating with devastating clarity that it was, in fact, a (logical) product of modernism: “Without modern civilization and its most central essential achievements, there would be no Holocaust”.

Modernity and the Holocaust

By Zygmunt Bauman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Modernity and the Holocaust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new afterword to this edition, "The Duty to Remember-But What?" tackles difficult issues of guilt and innocence on the individual and societal levels. Zygmunt Bauman explores the silences found in debates about the Holocaust, and asks what the historical facts of the Holocaust tell us about the hidden capacities of present-day life. He finds great danger in such phenomena as the seductiveness of martyrdom; going to extremes in the name of safety; the insidious effects of tragic memory; and efficient, "scientific" implementation of the death penalty. Bauman writes, "Once the problem of the guilt of the Holocaust perpetrators has…


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