Here are 40 of the Best Holocaust Books 2020, which help clarify how the Holocaust came about and proceeded with no meaningful opposition for such a long time. They comprise both fiction and nonfiction.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Rated Best Holocaust Books To Read
- 1.1 The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
- 1.2 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
- 1.3 Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
- 1.4 Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen
- 1.5 The librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
- 1.6 If I Should Die Before I Wake by Han Nolan
- 1.7 I’ve Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson
- 1.8 The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
- 1.9 Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
- 1.10 The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
- 1.11 If This Is A Man by Primo Levi
- 1.12 Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
- 1.13 Mendelssohn Is On The Roof by Jiri Weil
- 1.14 Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- 1.15 The Secrets of the Notebook
- 1.16 Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory by Elizabeth Rosner
- 1.17 The Book of Aron by Jim Shepherd
- 1.18 An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
- 1.19 Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz by Omer Bartov
- 1.20 The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
- 1.21 The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith Hahn Beer and Susan Dworkin
- 1.22 The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Rajchman
- 1.23 Rena’s Promise by Heather Dune Macadam and Rena Kornreich Gelissen
- 1.24 The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn
- 1.25 Islam and Nazi Germany’s War By David Motadel
- 1.26 Badenheim 1939 by Aharon Appelfeld
- 1.27 Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
- 1.28 Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendt
- 1.29 Five Chimneys by Olga Lengyel
- 1.30 King of the Jews by Leslie Epstein
- 1.31 Ponary Diary, 1941-1943 by Kazimierz Sakowicz
- 1.32 Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo
- 1.33 The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
- 1.34 The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
- 1.35 The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, Elizabeth Sherrill, and John Sherrill
- 1.36 The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson
- 1.37 The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
- 1.38 Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
Top Rated Best Holocaust Books To Read
The despair, horror, torture, and incredible loss of life during the Holocaust is something that I could never know. To believe something so outrageous might have occurred just seventy and years back is surreal.
Pennbook honors the background by recalling it, and because of the close of World War II, a lot of writers have written novels about the Holocaust to shed light on a few of their most tragic periods ever. These novels concerning gathered below, are concurrently filled with heartbreak and hope. Check from the list of the best books about the Holocaust.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Attempting to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death joins the story of Liesel-a young German woman whose book-stealing and story-telling abilities help preserve her loved ones and the Jewish person they’re hiding, their neighbors.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion, and the family has to move to a different home far, far away, where there isn’t anyone to play with and nothing else to do. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are extremely different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
A Jewish girl-turned-spy must infiltrate a Nazi elite boarding college in this highly commercial, relentlessly nail-biting World War II play! Following her mother is taken to a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah-blond, blue-eyed, and Jewish-finds herself on the run by a government that wishes to find every man like her deceased. Subsequently, Sarah meets a mysterious man with an understated accent, a bare flat, and a lockbox filled with weapons.
He is a spy who wants Sarah to become a person to pull off a mission he can not try infiltrate a boarding school attended by the brothers of high Nazi brass, befriend the girl of a crucial scientist, and throw the patterns into a bomb that could destroy the towns of Western Europe.
Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen
Back in Poland in the 1940s, the lifestyles of both twins Chaim and Gittel feel like a fairy tale torn apart. They need to rely on each other to live life in a ghetto, along with the horrors of a concentration camp at which they eliminate everything but each other.
The librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
Depending on the adventure of real-life Auschwitz captive Dita Kraus, this is the unbelievable story of a woman who risked her life to maintain the magic of novels residing during the Holocaust. Fourteen-year-old Dita is among those numerous imprisoned by the Nazis in Auschwitz. Taken, together with her mother and father, by the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita adapts to the constant terror that’s life from the camp. When Jewish pioneer Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take control of their eight prized volumes that the offenders have been able to sneak past the guards he insists. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.
If I Should Die Before I Wake by Han Nolan
Since Hilary, a Neo-Nazi start is located in a coma; She’s transported back to Poland at the onset of World War II to the Life Span of a Jewish adolescent.
I’ve Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson
What’s passing about? What’s life about? So miracles thirteen-year-old- Elli Friedmann, only one of many innocent Holocaust victims, struggles for her life in a concentration camp. I’ve Lived a Thousand Years is a story of cruelty and distress but, at precisely the same time, a narrative of trust, faith, love, and loyalty.
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom and her family became pioneers in the Underground, hiding Jewish people in their own house in a specially constructed room and helping their escape from the Nazis. For their aid, all but Corrie discovered death in a concentration camp. The Hiding Place is the narrative.
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
Never had a picture novel felt like a punch in the gut than when Art Spiegelman composed the Holocaust classic Maus, which investigates his loved ones – particularly his dad’s – private experience during World War II. It’s memorable for several reasons, not least among them being that the several nationalities are attracted as distinct creatures – Germans as cats, Poles as pigs, and Jews. The mice that provide the title into the item. Real art on each degree, Maus was the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.
The Reader looks at the Holocaust from a different standpoint – in retrospect, through a former concentration camp guard’s eyes. Throughout the book, we know of the injury the country’s dreadful history caused by the people born to post-war Germany and how the entire nation had to work to fix itself. The Reader tells the story of a complicated private relationship and, in doing so, shows much larger historical links.
If This Is A Man by Primo Levi
Along the very same lines as Night and Diary of a Young Girl, If This Is a Man (that in America gets the name Survival at Auschwitz) informs another personal narrative of whatever variant of existence it had been that the offenders had in Auschwitz. Primo Levi, an Italian-Jewish member of this anti-fascist immunity in Italy, was retained at the camp for a year after the war. Along with publication, he poured his encounters into hinges on whether and the way – folks could keep their humanity in the face of such evil.
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
Another narrative of the Holocaust in retrospect, the name of Sophie’s Choice, has entered the English lexicon as an idiom for a hopeless option. From the publication, Sophie, a Polish Catholic, is residing in NYC and finally recounts the horrible choice she needed to make when she arrived at Auschwitz herself, after being detained for smuggling food. The decision that had no potential positive outcome would haunt her for the rest of her life and only imagining it provides readers a whole new measurement of the horrors of the Holocaust.
Mendelssohn Is On The Roof by Jiri Weil
Mendelssohn Is On The Roof begins innocently enough, with a lighthearted story of a pair of bumbling SS soldiers tasked with eliminating a statue of the Jewish composer Felix Mendelssohn on the roof of a concert hall. The publication continues, but to include the stories of numerous unique characters all residing from the Nazi-controlled Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, in conclusion, getting nearly unbearably raw and dreadful, made all the more so since you remember how you laughed at the start. You complete it; however, since you know, since the writer did, the difficulty of this narrative is just what gives it its worth.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
In over three years at a series of four Nazi concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, a young Viennese psychologist concludes that “Life isn’t primarily a pursuit for enjoyment, as Freud thought, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler educated, but a quest for significance.”
The Secrets of the Notebook
Eve Jaretzki was 16 years old when she discovered she had been the great-great-granddaughter of Prince August of Prussia, the fabulously wealthy Warrior Prince who had conquered Napoleon. It was 1940. Six years before, her parents had fled from Nazi Germany and relocated the family to Hampstead, near London. They had been Jewish. How can Eve and her daddy be direct descendants of Prussian royalty, a family infamous for the anti-Semitism?
Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory by Elizabeth Rosner
A novelist and poet laid out to comprehend the effect of her parents’ encounters in World War II in her life. They found himself investigating the controversial phenomenon of epigenetics,” the analysis of environmentally driven changes handed from 1 generation to another.”
The Book of Aron by Jim Shepherd
In 1942, in the months leading up to the doomed Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the thirteen-year-old son of a poor Jewish couple out of a Polish shtetl is forced to take extreme measures to live because the Nazis progressively shrink the boundaries of the Ghetto and starve its occupants.
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Robert Harris’ gripping fictional treatment of the Dreyfus Affair helps illustrate exactly how profoundly antisemitism was entrenched in Europe long before Adolf Hitler came into power. This dreadful episode spanned over a dozen decades around the turn of the 20th Century, and it happened in France, not Germany. Antisemitism was prevalent throughout the Continent and had flared up in violent manners for well more than a thousand years before World War II.
Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz by Omer Bartov
By tracing the history of antisemitism at one Polish-Ukrainian city from the nineteenth century to the present, and detailing the way the Holocaust unfolded there, he brings to light the numerous nuances lost in historic portraits painted using a broader brush.
The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
In this moving narrative of the Holocaust loosely based on historical reality, the “German woman” is Hannah Rosenthal, the blond, blue-eyed, 11-year-old daughter of a wealthy and prominent Jewish family in Berlin’s “more German” compared to her non-Jewish neighbors.
The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith Hahn Beer and Susan Dworkin
The story of Edith Hahn’s success during the Holocaust will amaze you. After being delivered to a labor camp, the Jewish law student went underground, managing to conceal her identity – even after she married a Nazi officer who understood her legacy. We can think of a couple of stories to demonstrate the area of a single individual’s survival instinct.
In Yiddish, in 1945, this harrowing account of a guy who worked in a passing camp is memorable. Rajchman was among the few individuals kept living at Treblinka – a field created for mass murder – so he could function as a barber shaving victims’ heads. He lived to tell the narrative, which Booklist calls for a”memorable contribution to Holocaust scholarship.”
Rena’s Promise by Heather Dune Macadam and Rena Kornreich Gelissen
If you love survival stories with sisters, then place Rena’s Promise in your to-read list. Rena was among the first Jews to be shipped to Auschwitz. Finally, she was reunited with her husband, Danka, whom she had promised her mom to always take good care of. Amidst the horrors of the concentration camp, Rena’s Promise reveals the bonds between girls that provide hope in the darkest times.
The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn
Mystery readers will probably be attracted to the one-of-a-kind memoir mixing history, family, and Biblical allusions. Growing up, Daniel Mendelsohn knew little of his great uncle Schmiel, a guy with whom he bore an uncanny similarity. So Mendelsohn sets out to find what happened to Schmiel along with his loved ones because he travels throughout Europe, occurring upon discoveries and exciting people across the way.
Islam and Nazi Germany’s War By David Motadel
This is a significant work of scholarship, analyzing how the Nazis fostered a relationship with Muslims before the war and particularly during the war. Jeffrey Herf composed a publication a little before,” Nazi Propaganda to the Arab World,” detailing Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda delivered, in Arabic translation, to North African Muslims. Also, Motadel expands the selection of influence, which Hitler knew Islam as a warrior faith may be exploited for propaganda efforts and also to function at either the Wehrmacht and the SS.
The indoctrination of Muslims with Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda might well have experienced long-lasting consequences beyond the conclusion of the war, a subject that warrants extra attention.
Badenheim 1939 by Aharon Appelfeld
Among the beautiful Hebrew books, Badenheim 1939 was dear author Appelfeld’s first novel to be released in English in 1980. It revolves around a literary, mostly Jewish resort city in Austria, where the Nazis, not explicitly said, are disguised from the abstract as the “Sanitation Department,” a specter that compels the Jewish vacationers to diversion. Appelfeld was a survivor himself – and each word he wrote rings true.
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
Yale historian Snyder’s 2010 publication investigates the cluttered intersection between Hitler’s Final Solution and Stalin’s vicious ideology that led to the deaths of an estimated 14 million people during Europe’s “bloodlands”: Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and the Baltics. Snyder’s theory is profound but accessible: The Nazis were not only the “villains,” and the Soviets were not only the “heroes” Instead, but neither regime might also have killed as many as it did with no aiding and abetting of another. A significant history lesson is frequently overlooked.
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendt
A towering publication by a towering figure, theorist, and writer, Arendt’s most renowned work chronicles Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 trial in Jerusalem. Famous for its coining of the term”the banality of evil, which describes the ethical and psychological detachment Eichmann exhibited, this novel is so much more: a dumb, ancestral treatise on the essence of humanity.
Five Chimneys by Olga Lengyel
Lengyel was a surgical assistant in Transylvania when she had been deported to Auschwitz; she managed to procure work within an infirmary, a project that saved her life. This 1946 memoir is an unflinching account of her time in that region, her interactions with Dr. Josef Mengele, and her observations of the medical experiments conducted on offenders. A profoundly embarrassing read, Lengyel’s memoir is an essential living, breathing record.
King of the Jews by Leslie Epstein
Leslie Epstein’s most excellent book, this 1979 publication, gives a fictional account of Chaim Rumkowski, the Polish Jew made by the Nazis as the mind of the Council of Elders (called the Judenrat) from the Łódź Ghetto through the occupation of Poland. Rumkowski was viewed as a villain, famous for bringing kids to the Nazis for extermination.
Ponary Diary, 1941-1943 by Kazimierz Sakowicz
In 1939, Sakowicz, a non-Jewish Polish newspaperman moved into a cabin in the Lithuanian suburb of Ponary. From his yard, through the trees, he can see a clearing. In that clearing, from 1941 to 1943, between 50,000 and 60,000 Jews were killed by Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators. Released in English in 2005, Sakowicz’s journal is the most courageous list of passages you could ever read-and also the fact he is not entirely sympathetic makes it even harder.
Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo
We adore this optimistic and gorgeous narrative of social employee Irena Sendler, whom many have called “the feminine Oskar Schindler.” Entering a Warsaw camp as a public health employee, Sendler managed to smuggle an incredible 2,500 kids, using covert passages and even coffins to keep the kids safe. Though lots of the children’s families died in the camp, her bravery and compassion will lead you to tears.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Anne Frank’s diary is required reading in many universities across the world. While her family hid from Nazis, the 13-year-old composed her encounter with her anxieties about the plight and the tender workings of her teenaged mind. Although her family was captured, Anne’s words live on as a nod to the victims’ humanity.
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
We cherish these tales of those brave men and women who risked all to save others during the Holocaust, and also, this Diane Ackerman book is proof of their creation of all the rescues. Polish zookeepers, Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to rescue countless people by concealing them in their zoo after the bombing. Following their book was printed, their story was adapted to some 2017 movies.
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, Elizabeth Sherrill, and John Sherrill
Clients of religious books will discover much to enjoy in Corrie ten Boom’s recollections of her job from the Nazi Opposition and unshakeable faith in God. Boom and her family helped several escape the Nazis, which resulted in her being sent to a concentration camp. Not only did she live, but she lived to discuss her faith and story on the planet.
The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson
If you were transferred by the movie Schindler’s List or the publication it was based on, you would want to read this memoir. Leon Leyson was just 10 when his family had to flee into some Krakow ghetto, fearful for their own lives under Nazi Germany. Due to Oskar Schindler, he and other relatives have been spared after being recorded as mill workers.
The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
If you like stories that showcase the power of songs just as far as we can, this narrative by artist Wladyslaw Szpilman is a must-read. Szpilman was playing Chopin’s Nocturne on the atmosphere as the bombing began in Warsaw. Later, he fought to live in hiding and endured an enormous loss. Afterward, when playing Chopin again on a piano beneath the war-torn roads, he had been rescued by a German officer.
Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
Written in 1947, Survival at Auschwitz is a plain insider’s look at one person’s experience in a concentration camp. Primo Levi was a part of the Italian opposition when he had been seized and sent to Auschwitz before its liberation only short of a year afterward. His narrative of this camp’s realities forms what the Times Literary Supplement requires a “real work of art.”
Read also: Top Best World War II Books 2020
Video: Holocaust Survivor Reveals Horror of Concentration Camps
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