Recent Books Related to Shoah/Holocaust

Even in Darkness by Barbara Stark-Nemon

Even in Darkness by Barbara Stark-Nemon
Bibliography compiled by Gabor Por for the Contemporary Jewish Writing Class at Congregation Beth Ami in April-May 2015

Downloadable/Printable PDF version of this page

2013 and 2014 National Jewish Book Award Winners and Finalists:

  • Conscripted Slaves: Hungarian Jewish Forced Laborers on the Eastern Front During the Second World War by Robert Rozett (Yad Vashem, 2014) 288 pages
    From the spring of 1942 until the summer of 1944, some 45,000 Jewish men were forced to accompany Hungarian troops to the battle zone of the Soviet Union. Some 80% of the Jewish forced laborers never returned home. –
  • Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer by Bettina Stangneth (Knopf, 2014) 608 pages, SCL*
    A reassessment of the life of Adolf Eichmann, that reveals his activities among a global network of National Socialists following the collapse of the Third Reich and that permanently challenges Hannah Arendt’s notion of the “banality of evil.” –
  • Gates of Tears: The Holocaust in the Lublin District by David Silberklangr (Yad Vashem,  2014)
    Its analysis traces forced population movements and forced labor, constants in German policy, the bitter early memory of which influenced Jews’ later actions.  –
  • The Geographical Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in Hungary by Randolph L. Braham, ed. (Northwestern UP/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,  2013) 1640 pages
    Illustrated, thorough and exhaustive; chronicling the wartime fate of the Jewish communities in the country where antisemitism is not dead, even today. –
  • Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,  2013) 288 pages, SCL*
    Stunning account of the role of German women on the World War II Nazi eastern front powerfully revises history, proving that we have ignored the reality of women’s participation in the Holocaust, including as brutal killers. –
  • Looking for Strangers: The True Story of My Hidden Wartime Childhood by Dori Katz (University of Chicago Press, 2013) 184 pages, SCL*
    Deeply honest record of attempt to unearth lost memories of childhood, a detective story that unfolds through one of the most horrifying periods in history in an attempt to understand one’s place within it. –
  • Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust—Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour  by James A. Grymes (Harper Perennial, 2014) 336 pages
    Tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and the Israeli violin maker dedicated to bringing these inspirational instruments back to life. –

Written by the children and grandchildren

  • A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France by Miranda Richmond Mouillot (Crown, 2015) 288 pages – A young woman moves across an ocean to uncover the truth about her grandparents’ mysterious estrangement and pieces together the extraordinary story of their wartime experiences. – , SCL*
  • God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors by Menachem Z. Rosensaft (Jewish Lights, 2014) 352 pages – Almost ninety children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors reflect on how the memories transmitted to them have affected their lives. –  , SCL*
  • My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair (The Experiment, 2015) 240 pages – The more Teege reads about Amon Goeth, the more certain she becomes: If her grandfather had met her—a black woman—he would have killed her. – , SCL*
  • Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind by Sarah Wildman (Riverhead Books, 2014) 400 pages – One woman’s journey to find the lost love her grandfather. Exploration into family identity, myth, and memory. , SCL*

Written for teens and/or children

  • Ever growing list of books (61 as of 5/14/2015):
  • Gifts From The Enemy by Trudy Ludwig (White Cloud, 2014) 32 pages – Picture book. An unexpected person demonstrates moral courage in repeated acts of kindness to young Alter during his imprisonment.
  • Grandpa’s Third Drawer: Unlocking Holocaust Memories by Judy Tal Kopelman (JPS, 2014) 32 pages – Takes up the difficult challenge of discussing the Holocaust with young children, of teaching its heritage and memory. –
  • Two Prayers Before Bedtime by Nadine Wojakovski (Fabular, 2014) 182 pages – With the help of the Dutch Resistance, desperate mother Cilla is forced to send her young son and nineteen month old baby daughter into separate hiding places. –
  • The Wren and the Sparrow by J. Patrick Lewis (Karben 2015) 32 pages – An Old Man, known as the Wren, plays his hurdy-gurdy, and with the help of his student, the Sparrow, brings hope and inspiration to the people of a small Polish town. –


  • After the Fact: The Holocaust in Twenty-First Century Documentary Film by Brad Prager (Bloomsbury, 2015) 304 pages – Analysis of representations of the Holocaust in 21st century documentary film. Traces the history of Holocaust documentaries. –
  • Exit Berlin: How One Woman Saved Her Family from Nazi Germany by Charlotte R. Bonelli (Yale UP, 2014) 320 pages – Faithfully preserved letters both to and from far-flung relatives as well as copies of letters written on their behalf. –
  • Holocaust versus Wehrmacht: How Hitler’s “Final Solution” Undermined the German War Effort by Yaron Pasher (UP of Kansas, 2014) 380 pages – Argues that the major share of the logistical problems faced by the Wehrmacht stemmed from Hitler’s obsession with securing the resources needed to implement the “Final Solution.” –


  • Even in Darkness by Barbara Stark-Nemon (She Writes, 2015) 317 pages – Story of four generations of the Kohler family, follow­ing their lives in Germany, England, Israel, and the U.S.—before, during, after the Nazi destruction. –
  • Fugitive Colors by Lisa Barr (Arcade, 2015) 400 pages – Novel. Inspired by what the Nazis called degenerate art, the term they used to describe art they had deemed to be not a true reflection of Germany.


  • Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance, and Hope by Wendy Holden (Harper, 2015) 400 pages  – Celebrates three mothers who defied death to give their children life. –
  • Countrymen: The Untold Story of How Denmark’s Jews Escaped the Nazis, of the Courage of Their Fellow Danes—and of the Extraordinary Role of the SS by Bo Lidegaard (Knopf, 2013) 426 pages – Diaries, letters, and memoirs of the participants to provide a day-to-day narrative that proceeds on two tracks: the Nazi plans for roundup and the Danish plans to defeat it. –  , SCL*
  • Explaining the Holocaust: How and Why It Happened by Mordecai Schreiber (Cascade, 2015) 220 pages – Genocidal action is still commonplace around the globe. Has humankind learned the lessons of the past? –
  • A Good Place to Hide: How One French Community Saved Thousands of Lives in World War II by Peter Grose (Pegasus, 2015) 352 pages – The story of a French community that banded together to offer sanctuary to over 3,500 Jews. – , SCL*
  • Our Crime Was Being Jewish: Hundreds of Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Stories by Anthony S. Pitch (Skyhorse, 2015) 360 pages – 576 vivid memories of 358 Holocaust survivors –
  • Searching for Wallenberg by Alan Lelchuk (Mandel Vilar, 2015) 288 pages – A detective story and an unusual love story, this novel within a novel is filled with multiple layers.
  • Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Holocaust’s Hidden Child Survivors by R. D. Rosen (Harper, 2014) 288 pages – The story of the generation of hidden child survivors told through the true experiences of three Jewish girls. –
  • Women of Valor: Polish Resisters to the Third Reich by Joanne D. Gilbert (Gihon River, 2014) 204 pages – True stories celebrating the heroines of World War II who not only fought the horrors of the Holocaust, but survived well into their 80s and 90s. –

* Books marked with SCL are available at the Sonoma County Library

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *