100 books like Holocaust Testimonies

By Lawrence L. Langer,

Here are 100 books that Holocaust Testimonies fans have personally recommended if you like Holocaust Testimonies. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Diary of Bergen-Belsen: 1944-1945

Joshua M. Greene Author Of Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend

From my list on Holocaust testimony.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joshua M. Greene is the author of a dozen Holocaust biographies that have sold more than a half-million copies worldwide. He sits on the board of Yale University Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies and has spoken on issues of Holocaust memory for such outlets as NPR and Fox News. His editorials on Holocaust history have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

Joshua's book list on Holocaust testimony

Joshua M. Greene Why did Joshua love this book?

The world knows about Anne Frank through her diary. Yet Anne Frank knew nothing about the Holocaust apart from reports on radio and glimpses of roundups through the window of her attic hideaway. She never lived long enough to write a second volume, which would have included her experiences in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen (where she died of typhus). In her diary, Hanna Levy-Hass provides us with a more realistic, first-hand account of the Holocaust as experienced by a young woman inside Hitler’s camps.

By Hanna Lavy-Hass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diary of Bergen-Belsen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A unique, deeply political survivor's diary of the author's final year inside the notorious concentra camp of Bergen Belsen. Levy-Hass, a Yugoslavian socialist and Jew, emerged a defiant survivor of the Holocaust. Her observations shed new light on the lived experiences of Bergen Belsen, and hers is the only diary of a socialist within the camps. Contains a lengthy introduction by Levy-Hass' daughter Amira Hass, journalist and award-winning author, which addresses the meaning of the Holocaust for Israelis and Palestinians today.


Book cover of Survival in Auschwitz

Richard Zimler Author Of The Incandescent Threads

From my list on survivors of a horrific trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m originally from New York but have lived in Portugal for the last 33 years. I write my novels in English and my children’s books in Portuguese. As anyone who reads my latest novel will discover, I have been greatly influenced the mythology and mystical traditions of various religions, especially Judaism (kabbalah). Happily, I discovered early on that I adore writing about people who have been systematically persecuted and silenced. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to explore taboo subjects and topics that others would prefer to forget or conceal. When I’m not working on a book, I like to garden and travel. 

Richard's book list on survivors of a horrific trauma

Richard Zimler Why did Richard love this book?

Almost all the survivors of the Holocaust have now died, which makes it more important than ever that we pass on knowledge about this incomparably brutal crime against humanity – and do our best to prevent future genocides.

Survival in Auschwitz is a highly detailed, profoundly disturbing, and, in the end, intensely moving account of Italian chemist Primo Levi’s eleven months in the most notorious of the Nazi death camps, Auschwitz.

If you wish to understand what the Holocaust meant to its victims – and how the prisoners did their heroic best to resist dehumanization, hopelessness, and death – you would do well to start with this important work.  

By Primo Levi,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Survival in Auschwitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true and harrowing account of Primo Levi’s experience at the German concentration camp of Auschwitz and his miraculous survival; hailed by The Times Literary Supplement as a “true work of art, this edition includes an exclusive conversation between the author and Philip Roth.

In 1943, Primo Levi, a twenty-five-year-old chemist and “Italian citizen of Jewish race,” was arrested by Italian fascists and deported from his native Turin to Auschwitz. Survival in Auschwitz is Levi’s classic account of his ten months in the German death camp, a harrowing story of systematic cruelty and miraculous endurance. Remarkable for its simplicity, restraint,…


Book cover of Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life And Letters From Westerbork

Jerome A. Miller Author Of Sobering Wisdom: Philosophical Explorations of Twelve Step Spirituality

From my list on spiritual breakthrough.

Why am I passionate about this?

During my 37 years of teaching philosophy to undergraduate students, most of whom had no prior exposure to it, my purpose was to promote self-examination of the sort practiced and encouraged by Socrates. Such self-examination is upsetting, unsettling. It leads one to insights and realizations one would prefer not to have. But by undermining one’s assumptions, these insights break one open to a whole universe of which one had been oblivious. Breakdowns make possible breakthroughs. My students didn’t realize that, just as I was trying to provoke this kind of spiritual transformation in them, their questions, criticisms, challenges, and insights provoked it in me. 

Jerome's book list on spiritual breakthrough

Jerome A. Miller Why did Jerome love this book?

Why include on this list the diaries of a secular Jewish woman who is in the grip of self-centered anxieties and an unusual, if not bizarre, relationship with her analyst? Because spiritual transformation begins and evolves in uncanny ways, leading one to find transcendence where one never would have expected it. Etty’s diaries and letters allow us to follow the process by which she became so profoundly lucid and open-hearted that she was able to see the humanity even in the Nazis organizing extermination.

By Etty Hillesum,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Etty Hillesum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For the first time, Etty Hillesum's diary and letters appear together to give us the fullest possible portrait of this extraordinary woman in the midst of World War II.

In the darkest years of Nazi occupation and genocide, Etty Hillesum remained a celebrant of life whose lucid intelligence, sympathy, and almost impossible gallantry were themselves a form of inner resistance. The adult counterpart to Anne Frank, Hillesum testifies to the possibility of awareness and compassion in the face of the most devastating challenge to one's humanity. She died at Auschwitz in 1943 at the age of twenty-nine.


Book cover of Memory Perceived: Recalling the Holocaust

Joshua M. Greene Author Of Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend

From my list on Holocaust testimony.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joshua M. Greene is the author of a dozen Holocaust biographies that have sold more than a half-million copies worldwide. He sits on the board of Yale University Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies and has spoken on issues of Holocaust memory for such outlets as NPR and Fox News. His editorials on Holocaust history have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

Joshua's book list on Holocaust testimony

Joshua M. Greene Why did Joshua love this book?

Kraft has drawn on 200 hours of testimony by Holocaust survivors to demonstrate how memory responds to atrocity. His juxtaposition of accounts allows one individual to be presented in relation to others, showing personal tragedies as well as the collective atrocity from the insights of multi-voice narratives.

By Robert N. Kraft,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Compelling examples from 200 hours of testimony by Holocaust survivors form the foundation of this volume on how memory responds to atrocity-how people comprehend and remember deeply traumatic experiences, and how they ultimately adapt. Depicting how the Holocaust exists in the minds of those who experienced it, this book simultaneously reveals the principles of enduring memory and makes the Holocaust more specific and immediate to readers. A synthesis of myriad testimonies allows one individual to be presented in relation to others, showing personal tragedies as well as the collective atrocity. The findings are also applied to other groups of people…


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

Marta Fuchs Author Of Legacy of Rescue: A Daughter's Tribute

From my list on with impact on the daughter of Holocaust Survivors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a member of a generation that wasn’t supposed to be born. My parents were Hungarian Holocaust survivors and I was born amidst the fragments of European Jewry that remained. As a psychotherapist, I have specialized in helping people navigate the multigenerational reverberations of the Holocaust. Having a witness to your own experience, in therapy and through books, provides comfort, understanding, and hope.

Marta's book list on with impact on the daughter of Holocaust Survivors

Marta Fuchs Why did Marta love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of The Holocaust: A New History

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From my list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Boaz Dvir Why did Boaz love this book?

As a nonfiction storyteller who often explores the Holocaust and as the director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Initiative at Penn State, I’m sometimes asked to recommend books about the Third Reich’s murder of 6 million Jews and millions of Romany, homosexuals, people with disabilities, and others. A New History is the tome I often suggest. In a deceivingly simple linear approach, Laurence Rees, who conducted 25 years of primary research to construct this historical account, methodically walks us through the Holocaust’s origins and unfolding, from Hitler’s novice-Nazi days to the Allies’ death-camp liberations. But Rees avoids neat narratives, peeling away complex layers of madness. For instance, he demonstrates that boiled-over antisemitism extended far beyond Germany’s borders in the 1930s and that the Final Solution to the Jewish Question was messier than we may imagine. Only a lucid voice like Rees’ can clue us into and…

By Laurence Rees,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER AND THE FIRST AUTHORITATIVE ACCOUNT FOR 30 YEARS.

'By far the clearest book ever written about the Holocaust, and also the best at explaining its origins and grotesque mentality, as well as its chaotic development' Antony Beevor

'Groundbreaking. You might have thought that we know everything there is to know about the Holocaust but this book proves there is much more' Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday

Two fundamental questions about the Holocaust must be asked:

How did it happen? And why?

More completely than any other single work of history yet published, Laurence Rees's…


Book cover of Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust

Helen Roche Author Of The Third Reich's Elite Schools: A History of the Napolas

From my list on childhood in Nazi Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

Why did I end up spending almost a third of my life researching Nazi boarding schools, and childhood under the Third Reich more generally? I sometimes wonder if it was because I myself was sent to boarding school at the age of nine – somehow, I can sympathise with what these children had to endure, as well as knowing full well from a historian’s perspective which hardships were truly unique to a National Socialist elite education, and which were simply the kind of heart-ache that’s common to any institution which takes children away from their parents at a young age… 

Helen's book list on childhood in Nazi Germany

Helen Roche Why did Helen love this book?

Elli tells the true story of a teenage Holocaust survivor – when I first read the book I was still a teenager myself; I could sympathise with Elli’s everyday fears and anxieties over boys she liked or troubles with her family, even as her world descended into the most unimaginable of horrors. It’s one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, and her story stayed with me for a very long time after I finished reading.

By Livia E. Bitton Jackson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Among the most moving documents I have read in years ... You will not forget it' Elie Wiesel

From her small, sunny hometown between the beautiful Carpathian Mountains and the blue Danube River, Elli Friedmann was taken - at a time when most girls are growing up, having boyfriends and embarking upon the adventure of life - and thrown into the murderous hell of Hitler's Final Solution.

When Elli emerged from Auschwitz and Dachau just over a year later, she was fourteen. She looked like a sixty year old.

This account of horrifyingly brutal inhumanity - and dogged survival -…


Book cover of The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale

Donald L. Willerton Author Of Teddy's War

From my list on what our fathers never told us about WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father never talked about his experiences during the war. After he died at 67, we found his handwritten itinerary of three years and ten days in the Army Signal Corps. Plotting it on a map sparked a passion that continued for years, taking me twice to sites in Europe and through hundreds of records and books. I am amazed at all he never told us—the Queen Mary troopship, his radar unit’s landing on Omaha Beach (D+26), the Normandy Breakout, Paris after liberation, fleeing Bastogne, and so on. I grew up on WWII films but never grasped till now what my dad may have seen. 

Donald's book list on what our fathers never told us about WWII

Donald L. Willerton Why did Donald love this book?

To learn about the Holocaust, I read personal remembrances, eyewitness accounts, and detailed descriptions of ghettos, camps, and transports, but this graphic novel based on Spiegelman’s father captured me like none of the others. Its words tell its terrible story masterfully and its drawings fill in what words can’t say, both as his father lived it and as his son learns about it. Banning it from U.S. schools would be completely wrongheaded. It should be required reading.

By Art Spiegelman,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Complete Maus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first and only graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize, MAUS is a brutally moving work of art about a Holocaust survivor -- and the son who survives him

'The first masterpiece in comic book history' The New Yorker

Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Approaching the unspeakable through the diminutive (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), Vladek's harrowing story of survival is woven into the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father.

Against the backdrop…


Book cover of Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History

Matthew Arnold Stern Author Of The Remainders

From my list on Jewish families in crisis.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reseda, California plays an important part in my novels. I grew up there in a middle-class Jewish family, and we experienced the turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s. My parents got divorced, and my brother and I were raised by our working mom until she became paralyzed by a stroke. I found refuge in writing. I wrote The Remainders in 2016 during a tumultuous time when issues of family conflict, homelessness, and the growing cruelty of society came into focus. Still, I believe decency and compassion will prevail. The books I write and enjoy reading seek to find light in the darkest of circumstances.

Matthew's book list on Jewish families in crisis

Matthew Arnold Stern Why did Matthew love this book?

I read this powerful graphic novel series when the first collections came out in the 1980s.

It shows the horrors of the Holocaust and the impact it has on the families of the survivors. Maus is best known for depicting Jews as mice and Nazis as cats, but Art’s troubled relationship with his father Vladik and the death of his mother Anja by suicide frame the story.

Maus is my favorite graphic novel series and a must-read for understanding the Holocaust and how it shaped Jewish life since.

By Art Spiegelman,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Maus I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling first installment of the graphic novel acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker) • PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • One of Variety’s “Banned and Challenged Books Everyone Should Read”

A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats.

Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author’s account of his…


Book cover of The Search: The Birkenau Boys

Simon Hammelburg Author Of Broken on the Inside: The War Never Ended

From my list on the psychological aftermath of the Shoah.

Why am I passionate about this?

Simon Hammelburg is a Dutch author, journalist, and songwriter. During the seventies, he started his career as a news broadcaster with AVRO Broadcasting (Radio & TV) in Holland. He worked as an anchor as well as a travelling journalist. In the eighties, he became the United States Bureau Chief for Dutch and Belgian radio and television, as well as several newspapers and weeklies. He specialized in the psychological aftermath of the Shoah (Holocaust).

Simon's book list on the psychological aftermath of the Shoah

Simon Hammelburg Why did Simon love this book?

A child survivor of the Holocaust, Durlacher long believed that he was the only person still alive from a group of 89 boys assigned to the Birkenau extermination camp in 1944. After he learned that he was wrong, he set himself the task of confronting his past by locating some of the others. As in many other Holocaust memoirs, the prose here is spare, and the lack of detail can be a little confusing. For example, the reader is thrown into the author's search without a description of the process that led him to take his journey. But some psychological truisms emerge in this gray travelogue that, while not fresh, are worth ruminating over. What the author, a professor of sociology at the University of Amsterdam who died in 1996, finds is that even though the survivors shared a common experience, how they have coped with their wartime suffering differs.…

By Gerhard Durlacher, Susan Massotty (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Having thought himself to be the sole survivor of the group of eighty-nine boys assigned to Auschwitz-Birkenau Men's Camp B II D in 1944, Gerhard Durlacher was stunned to discover that he was not alone. He sets off to track down his fellow survivors and find out why such a relatively large percentage of them survived. A remarkable and unique document, The Search ends in a reunion of the "Birkenau boys" in Israel in May 1990 where they finally unravel the mystery surrounding their selection and subsequent survival. The tragic truth is crueller than any of them could have imagined.


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