100 books like Our People

By Efraim Zuroff, Rūta Vanagaite,

Here are 100 books that Our People fans have personally recommended if you like Our People. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Ettie Zilber Author Of A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience: Mama's Survival from Lithuania to America

From my list on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in a displaced persons camp in Germany after World War 2, Ettie immigrated with her parents to the USA. She grew up and was educated in New York City and Pennsylvania and immigrated to Israel after completing graduate school. After retiring from a career in international schools in 6 countries, she currently resides in Arizona with her husband. She is a Board member for the Phoenix Holocaust Association and devotes much time to giving presentations to youth and adults worldwide. 

Ettie's book list on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe

Ettie Zilber Why did Ettie love this book?

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…

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…


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

Ettie Zilber Author Of A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience: Mama's Survival from Lithuania to America

From my list on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in a displaced persons camp in Germany after World War 2, Ettie immigrated with her parents to the USA. She grew up and was educated in New York City and Pennsylvania and immigrated to Israel after completing graduate school. After retiring from a career in international schools in 6 countries, she currently resides in Arizona with her husband. She is a Board member for the Phoenix Holocaust Association and devotes much time to giving presentations to youth and adults worldwide. 

Ettie's book list on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe

Ettie Zilber Why did Ettie love this book?

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…

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…


Book cover of The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews

Jeffrey Veidlinger Author Of In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust

From my list on the Holocaust in Ukraine.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father survived the Holocaust in Budapest and my mother’s immediate family fled Poland just before she was born, leaving behind a large extended family. I grew up witnessing the trauma of suffering and loss. As a professional historian, I had already written several books on Russian-Jewish history, mostly on culture and theater, when I joined a group that was interviewing Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors in Ukraine. Since 2014, I have been teaching courses on the Holocaust at the University of Michigan and soon after became involved with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where I serve on the Academic Committee.

Jeffrey's book list on the Holocaust in Ukraine

Jeffrey Veidlinger Why did Jeffrey love this book?

In deeply personal terms, Father Desbois describes how his curiosity about his grandfather’s incarceration in Ukraine led him to study the atrocities committed there against the Jews. The book is written in an almost conversational style, creating a sense of intimacy between Father Desbois and the reader. Desbois is able to persuade those who witnessed atrocities to open up and confess what they have seen and what they remember. Together with a team of ballistic experts, interpreters, historians, and archaeologists, he identified numerous sites of mass graves. Desbois, who popularized the term “The Holocaust by Bullets,” has been instrumental in expanding our understanding of the Holocaust beyond the death camps and the ghettos to the more intimate killings that took place in Ukraine and elsewhere in the Soviet Union.

By Patrick Desbois,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this heart-wrenching book, Father Patrick Desbois documents the daunting task of identifying and examining all the sites where Jews were exterminated by Nazi mobile units in the Ukraine in WWII. Using innovative methodology, interviews, and ballistic evidence, he has determined the location of many mass gravesites with the goal of providing proper burials for the victims of the forgotten Ukrainian Holocaust. Compiling new archival material and many eye-witness accounts, Desbois has put together the first definitive account of one of history's bloodiest chapters.Published with the support of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


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

Ettie Zilber Author Of A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience: Mama's Survival from Lithuania to America

From my list on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in a displaced persons camp in Germany after World War 2, Ettie immigrated with her parents to the USA. She grew up and was educated in New York City and Pennsylvania and immigrated to Israel after completing graduate school. After retiring from a career in international schools in 6 countries, she currently resides in Arizona with her husband. She is a Board member for the Phoenix Holocaust Association and devotes much time to giving presentations to youth and adults worldwide. 

Ettie's book list on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe

Ettie Zilber Why did Ettie love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience: Mama's Survival from Lithuania to America

Adena Bernstein Astrowsky Author Of Living among the Dead: My Grandmother's Holocaust Survival Story of Love and Strength

From my list on Holocaust survivor true stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Adena Astrowsky is the grandchild of two Holocaust survivors. Her grandmother often spoke to her about her experiences during the Holocaust, which had a profound impact on her life. She continues to honor her grandmother's life by speaking about her grandmother’s survival and lessons learned from the Holocaust.

Adena's book list on Holocaust survivor true stories

Adena Bernstein Astrowsky Why did Adena love this book?

A beautifully written and compelling true story about the author’s heroine, her mother. The memoir shares with the reader the unspeakable horrors and tragic times that her mother lived through and witnessed – and of course, the impact of those events on the author, herself. The book is a testament to persistence, hope, and strength.

By Ettie Zilber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With the Nazi occupation of Kovno (Lithuania), her life changed forever. Zlata Santocki Sidrer was Jewish, but she survived the horrors of the Holocaust. Gone was her normal life and her teenage dream of becoming a doctor. Instead, she witnessed untold deprivations, massacres, imprisonment, hunger and slave labor before being transported to the Stutthof Concentration Camp. Her story of the death march is a testament to her fighting spirit and the limits of human endurance. Yet the challenges did not end with liberation.

Lovingly compiled from recorded interviews and researched by her eldest daughter, Ettie, this is an account of…


Book cover of After the War

Kathy Clark Author Of Ivan's Choice

From my list on youth during the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a child of Holocaust survivors. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I truly appreciated the horrendous circumstances that they lived through. But even more than their plight and will to survive, I was impressed with the heroism of the people willing to sacrifice their lives in order to help others. It is their story, above all else that I want to tell in my books.

Kathy's book list on youth during the Holocaust

Kathy Clark Why did Kathy love this book?

I like this book because it shows in an exciting and engaging way, that a war is not over, just because it is declared to be over. For many survivors, such as Ruth Mendenberg, it is the beginning of a new war in which they fight to re-establish their identity and their right to a place to call home once again.

By Carol Matas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked After the War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

"Didn't the gas ovens finish you all off?" is the response that meets Ruth Mendenberg when she returns to her village in Poland after the liberation of Buchenwald at the end of World War II. Her entire family wiped out in the Holocaust, the fifteen-year-old girl has nowhere to go.
Members of the underground organization Brichah find her, and she joins them in their dangerous quest to smuggle illegal immigrants to Palestine. Ruth risks her life to help lead a group of children on a daring journey over half a continent and across the sea to Eretz Israel, using secret…


Book cover of Tzili: The Story of a Life

Tara Lynn Masih Author Of My Real Name Is Hanna

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Tara Lynn Masih 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. 

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…


Book cover of We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust

Allan Zullo Author Of Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust

From my list on about children in the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have penned more than 120 nonfiction books on a broad range of subjects for general audiences and middle-school readers, including five books about the true-life experiences of young people during the Holocaust.  The most heartbreaking, yet inspiring, moments in my decades-long writing career have been my interviews with Holocaust survivors, who, as children, relied on their courage, their faith, their smarts—and sometimes their luck—to endure years of unbelievable terror.

Allan's book list on about children in the Holocaust

Allan Zullo Why did Allan love this book?

Yes, it’s heartbreaking to know that these young people died in the Holocaust, but their words live on.  The author, who is a Holocaust survivor, does an outstanding job of putting each diarist’s thoughts, dreams, and hopes—and fears—in context with his gifted commentary.  Among the excerpted diaries featured in this book is the most famous of them all—Anne Frank’s.

By Jacob Boas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Are Witnesses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The five diarists in this book did not survive the war. But their words did. Each diary reveals one voice, one teenager coping with the impossible. We see David Rubinowicz struggling against fear and terror. Yitzhak Rudashevski shows us how Jews clung to culture, to learning, and to hope, until there was no hope at all. Moshe Ze'ev Flinker is the voice of religion, constantly seeking answers from God for relentless tragedy. Eva Heyman demonstrates the unquenchable hunger for life that sustained her until the very last moment. And finally, Anne Frank reveals the largest truth they all left for…


Book cover of Max and Helen: A Remarkable True Love Story

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?

This novel is the story of an Eastern European Jewish man (Max), who is imprisoned by the Nazis during WW2 and by the Soviets immediately after. His story is amazing and is being told to famed Nazi hunter and the author of this book, Simon Wiesenthal, in the 1960's. Wiesenthal's involvement surrounds the Nazi camp commander who persecuted Max and his fiancée. The Nazi, Werner Schulze, resurfaces as a German plant manager twenty years after the war and Wiesenthal must decide whether or not he has sufficient evidence to prosecute him.

By Simon Wiesenthal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Relates the remarkable story of two Holocaust survivors who persuaded Wiesenthal not to pursue their Nazi tormentor, Werner Schultze


Book cover of Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Beate and Serge Klarsfeld

Mirla G. Raz Author Of The Birds Sang Eulogies: A Memoir

From my list on the Holocaust and remembering the world's failure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always known that my parents survived the Holocaust. I often listened in when they, my aunt, uncle, and their survivor friends would sit and talk of their lives during the Holocaust. I am the past president for the Phoenix Holocaust Survivor’s Association (now called the Phoenix Holocaust Association) and am on its Board and the Chair of its Education Committee. During this year of Covid, I have been instrumental in hosting numerous writers from around the world who have spoken, in Zoom, about their Holocaust writings and research.

Mirla's book list on the Holocaust and remembering the world's failure

Mirla G. Raz Why did Mirla love this book?

Beate and Serge Klarsfeld made it their life missions to find Nazi war criminals and bring them to justice. In their memoir Hunting the Truth, they detail their efforts in tracking down Nazi war criminals. We are with them when we read how they put their lives and well-being at considerable risk for many years. Hunting the Truth is an incredible book about two incredible people.

By Beate Klarsfeld, Serge Klarsfeld, Sam Taylor (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They were born on opposite sides of the Second World War: Beate grew up in the ruins of a defeated Weimar Germany, while Serge, a Jewish boy in France, was hiding in a cupboard when his father was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. They met on the Paris metro and fell in love, and became famous when Beate slapped the face of the West German chancellor - a former Nazi - Kurt Georg Kiesinger.

For the past half century, Beate and Serge Klarsfeld have hunted, confronted, prosecuted, and exposed Nazi war criminals all over the world, tracking down the notorious…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Holocaust, Lithuania, and Nazi hunters?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Holocaust, Lithuania, and Nazi hunters.

The Holocaust Explore 394 books about the Holocaust
Lithuania Explore 20 books about Lithuania
Nazi Hunters Explore 8 books about Nazi hunters