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Topic: Holocaust Fiction or Memoirs?

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Subject: Holocaust Fiction or Memoirs?
Date Posted: 11/19/2007 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
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I like to read about the Holocaust / Hitler era. Loved Schindler's List. I want more. Any recommendations? Anyone have any books on their shelf?

Date Posted: 11/20/2007 6:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 630
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Some different viewpoint books that come to mind ---

The Nazi Officer's Wife (about a Jewish woman married to a high ranking officer)

Holocaust Testimonies (from survivors)

The Lost Museum (Nazi art thefts)

The Hidden Hitler (theory that Hitler was a suppressed homosexual)

Date Posted: 11/20/2007 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Don't miss this one. It's an incredible story!

Anya by Susan Fromberg Schaefer item_rating("9780393325218","0","0","1");

Date Posted: 11/20/2007 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Thank you both.

Date Posted: 11/26/2007 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
Posts: 140
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I loved The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.  This is more about the aftermath of the holocaust, but is a phenomonal book.  Quite a short one, too. 

Date Posted: 11/26/2007 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 15
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How about this one:  The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn. It's a non-fictional account of his search for members of his family who disappeared during the Holocaust. I have not read it yet, but am looking forward to doing so.

Date Posted: 11/26/2007 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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If it helps, I have an interest in this area as well, and have tagged a number of titles with "The Holocaust".  http://www.paperbackswap.com/tags/index.php?type_id=1&tag_id=127



Last Edited on: 10/21/10 1:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/2/2007 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 50
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Night by Elie Wiesel.  I haven't read it but my wife has.  It also one several awards if I recall.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Check out the books by Primo Levi too. He lived through his time in a concentration camp and wrote a couple of haunting books about it. I think the title of  the last one I read is Survival in Auschwitz.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 8,410
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I just finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak that I cannot recommend enough!  Definitely the best book I've read all year.  It's labeled as young adult, but don't let that fool you.  I think it reads more like an adult novel.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 1,039
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"Anton the Dove Fancier" is a book of short stories about the Holocaust.  Very good stories, just added it to my shelf recently.

Last Edited on: 12/4/07 12:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/6/2007 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Although they are both accounts of childhoods spent in Nazi Germany, I  recommend Wolfgang Samuels' memoir German Boy , and Ilse Koehn's little novel, Mischling Second Degree

After he survived W W II and grew up, Samuel became an officer in the U. S. Air Force (his stepfather was an enlisted man in the U. S. A F.)   

Koehn's book title refers to a person who had one Jewish grandparent;  In the book the author tells how her grandmother was seized by the Nazis and taken away.

Date Posted: 12/8/2007 3:07 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I have a book on my shelf "Remember Who You Are".  Its not about the camps or Hitler.  Its more about the memories of Holocaust victims.   It is a very sad book.

Date Posted: 12/8/2007 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 862
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No Pretty Pictures by Children's illustrator Anita Lobel is a moving story of her life as a child first in hiding and later in the camps.  Not a children's book!

Date Posted: 12/9/2007 3:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 1,385
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An excellent one by Jacob Rosenberg called East of Time. I believe that it is first in a series of memoirs.
Date Posted: 12/9/2007 3:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 1,385
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Also, if you have not read Night by Elie Wiesel. Excellent.
Date Posted: 4/19/2008 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Many good ones already listed, The Book Thief and Night, especially. I read Six of Six Million a few months ago and while the story was pretty good, I really struggled to finish it. I did not care for the writing - some sentences were one half to three fourths of a page in length. Also, I felt it some editing would have greatly enhanced the story.

Another holocaust story I really enjoyed was In My Hands, Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke.

I have The Seamstress by Sara Tuvel Bernstein on my TBR Shelf - it looks very good. Here is a review:

A striking Holocaust memoir, posthumously published, by a Romanian Jew with an unusual story to tell. From its opening pages, in which she recounts her own premature birth, triggered by terrifying rumors of an incipient pogrom, Bernstein's tale is clearly not a typical memoir of the Holocaust. She was born into a large family in rural Romania between the wars and grew up feisty and willing to fight back physically against anti-Semitism from other schoolchildren. She defied her father's orders to turn down a scholarship that took her to Bucharest, and got herself expelled from that school when she responded to a priest/teacher's vicious diatribe against the Jews by hurling a bottle of ink at him. Ashamed to return home after her expulsion, she looked for work in Bucharest and discovered a talent for dressmaking. That talent--and her blond hair, blue eyes, and overall Gentile appearance--allowed her entry into the highest reaches of Romanian society, albeit as a dressmaker. Bernstein recounts the growing shadow of the native fascist movement, the Iron Guard, a rising tide of anti-Semitic laws, and finally, the open persecution of Romania's Jews. After a series of incidents that ranged from dramatic escapes to a year in a forced labor detachment, Sara ended up in Ravensbrck, a women's concentration camp deep in Germany. Nineteen out of every twenty women transported there died. The author, her sister Esther, and two other friends banded together and, largely due to Sara's extraordinary street smarts and intuition, managed to survive. Although Bernstein was not a professional writer, she tells this story with style and power. Her daughter Marlene contributes a moving epilogue to close out Sara's life. One of the best of the recent wave of Holocaust memoirs.

Date Posted: 4/20/2008 1:38 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,608
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I don't know if this one was mentioned.  I can't remember the title.  But a holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, wrote her memoirs of her experience.

Date Posted: 4/20/2008 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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I have Cafe Berlin on my shelf    http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780879512842-Cafe+Berlin

Date Posted: 4/20/2008 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2006
Posts: 75
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Melody, that book is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  I would recommend that one as well. 

Date Posted: 4/21/2008 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,900
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Wiesel's Night is actually the first in a trilogy.  The other two are Dawn and Day.  I first read Night in high school and thought it was excellent.

Katy -
Date Posted: 4/23/2008 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 933
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These aren't on my shelf, but books I've read in the past and enjoyed:

In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Opdyke

Bodie and Brock Thoene have a series of historical fiction on the holocaust in Europe--the series is called Zion Covenant. I really enjoyed that series.

Date Posted: 5/17/2008 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 11,065
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My Darling Elia by Eugenie Melnyk. It's a painful, difficult piece of fiction to read but a beautiful book, about a Hungarian Holocaust survivor searching for his wife and child.

I second recommendations for The Book Thief - what an incredible story! And what a unbelievably different, and creative, point of view!

For a similar type of book, Grey Is the Color of Hope by Irina Ratusinskya (sp?) is a memoir of a Russian woman who spent years in the Soviet prison camps. Very well written.

I have on my TBR a book called Where Light and Shadows Meet, a memoir written by Emilie Schindler, the wife of the man in Schindler's List. Also on my TBR is When Time Ran Out: Coming of Age in the Third Reich, by Frederic Zeller. According to the dust jacket blurb, it's the story of a boy whose circumstances were much like Anne Frank's, only he survived.

Date Posted: 5/17/2008 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Wow! I had forgotten about this thread. Since I started this thread, I have read:


The Nazi Officer's Wife

The Reader

and I have Children of the Flames in my tbr pile.

Date Posted: 5/17/2008 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Posts: 456
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Fires  in the Dark -it's the tale of the Roma (Gypsy) in Czechoslovakia prior to and during WWII.  Amazing book.

If you're not put off by Christian fiction, I am enjoying Brock and Bodie Thoene's Zion Covenant series.  First one is Vienna Prelude.