The Sweetness by Sande Boritz Berger

The Sweetness by Sande Boritz Berger

Early in The Sweetness, an inquisitive young girl asks her grandmother why she is carrying nothing but a jug of sliced lemons and water when they are forced by the Germans to evacuate their ghetto. “Something sour to remind me of the sweetness,” she tells her, setting the theme for what they must remember to survive. Set during World War II, the novel is the parallel tale of two Jewish…

Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War by Ian Buruma

Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War by Ian Buruma

During the almost six years England was at war with Nazi Germany, Winifred and Bernard Schlesinger, Ian Buruma’s grandparents, and the film director John Schlesinger’s parents, were, like so many others, thoroughly sundered from each other. Their only recourse was to write letters back and forth. And write they did, often every day. In a way they were just picking up where they left off in 1918, at the end…

Why is Great Grandma So Sad? Discovering the Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child by Susan Heagy

Why is Great Grandma So Sad? Discovering the Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child Perfect by Susan Heagy

Though this book is written for children ages 7 to 14, it is also intended for any age of people who have difficulty reading anything having to do with the Holocaust of WWII. This story is presented from the personal perspective of a family in the midst of the Holocaust, without trauma but historically correct. Sarah, at the age of seven, does not understand the extreme sadness her great grandmother…

Fever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos

Fever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos

Translator: Liz Szász In this improbably joyous novel about two recovering concentration camp survivors, love is the best medicine. July 1945. Miklos is a twenty-five-year-old Hungarian who has survived the camps and has been brought to Sweden to convalesce. His doctor has just given him a death sentence — his lungs are filled with fluid and in six months he will be gone. But Miklos has other plans. He didn’t…

Shoa and Experience: A Journey in Time by Dan Soen & Nitza Davidovitch

Shoa and Experience: A Journey in Time by Dan Soen & Nitza Davidovitch

Shoa and Experience is a collection of essays offering important insights on the nature of Holocaust education with implications for Holocaust education development for future generations, in Israel and worldwide. Special attention is given to the evolving nature of contemporary multimedia society in which youth are inundated with stimuli of all kinds. Hence, consideration is given to the incorporation of multidimensional aspects of learning and experience in Holocaust education in…

Anne Frank and the Remembering Tree by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and Erika Steiskal

Anne Frank and the Remembering Tree

In most windows I saw people working and children playing. When the soldiers came, people began covering their windows, so I couldn’t see inside anymore. But the tiny attic window of the narrow brick house behind Otto Frank’s business offices had no shade. For a long time the rooms were empty. Then one day, Otto’s whole family came to live there. They called their new home the Secret Annex… A…

Podcast: Enough with the Holocaust Books for Children!

The newest episode of The Book of Life podcast, hosted by librarian Heidi Estrin, features a long and juicy virtual panel discussion about the Holocaust’s place in Jewish children’s literature. It’s called “Enough with the Holocaust Books for Children!” Listen and see if you agree!  Then check out The Book of Life’s site for a long list of suggested titles for kids and teens. You can hear the podcast online…

Our Holocaust by Amir Gutfreund

Our Holocaust by Amir Gutfreund

Jessica Cohen, translator Beautifully translated from Hebrew, Our Holocaust is a novel narrated by a nameless child of Holocaust survivors. A prizewinner in Israel, it tells the story of relatives who are “collected” by virtue of the fact that they themselves have no one to call their own family since many of their parents, children, brothers and siblings were murdered during the Holocaust. The relatives operated under the “Law of…

Summer Haven: The Catskills, the Holocaust, and the Literary Imagination by Holli Levitsky & Phil Brown

Summer Haven: The Catskills, the Holocaust, and the Literary Imagination by Holli Levitsky & Phil Brown

This volume provides for the first time a collection of writing that investigates the stories and struggles of survivors in the context of the Jewish resort culture of the Catskills, through new and existing works of fiction and memoir by writers who spent their youths there. It explores how vacationers, resort owners, and workers dealt with a horrific contradiction—the pleasure of their summer haven against the mass extermination of Jews…

The First to be Destroyed: The Jewish Community of Kleczew and the Beginning of the Final Solution

The First to be Destroyed: The Jewish Community of Kleczew and the Beginning of the Final Solution

By Anetta Glowacka-Penczynska, Tomasz Kawski, Witold Medykowski Edited by Tuvia Horev The Jewish community of the city of Kleczew came into existence in the sixteenth century. It remained large and strong throughout the next four hundred years, and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it constituted 40-60% of the total population. The German army entered Kleczew on September 15, 1939, shortly after the outbreak of World War II. The communities…