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Older Kids / Young Adult:
Holocaust History


Most books have been linked to Amazon.com, but in situations when Amazon didn't carry them, certain items were linked to other booksellers instead.

As a warning, I have put up pictures of the book covers to give you somewhat an idea of the style of each book (I know, I know. "Don't judge a book by its cover") so the pages may load slowly.



The Diary of a Young Girl : The Definitive Edition



Also Available:
Paperback

Audio Cassette (Narration by Winona Ryder)
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Description from Publisher

Anne Frank's diaries have always been among the most moving and eloquent documents of the Holocaust. This new edition restores diary entries omitted from the original edition, revealing a new depth to Anne's dreams, irritations, hardships, and passions. Anne emerges as more real, more human, and more vital than ever. If you've never read this remarkable autobiography, do so. If you have read it, you owe it to yourself to read it again.

Tell Them We Remember :
The Story of the Holocaust
One and a half million children and teenagers were murdered by the Nazis. This photo-history, produced in association with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, focuses on what happened to young people whose world of family and friends, school and play, was destroyed. More than 30 short, accessible chapters cover the general history, including the rise of Hitler, the ghettos, the transports, the camps, the gas chambers, and the movements of resistance and rescue. Sidebars tell the ongoing stories of individual young people and show their ID photos; some of the individuals are pictured several times during the period 1933-45, but many don't survive. The writing is direct, with no histrionics or gimmicks. A wealth of material drawn from the museum's large collection of photographs and taped oral and video histories supports the facts. The systematic murder is confronted here. We're told of the brutality, the medical experiments, and the corpses stacked up like cordwood, and there are pictures of the death marches and the gas chambers. The Jews were the main target of Nazi hatred, but throughout the book, Bachrach also talks about other groups and individualsincluding Gypsies, homosexuals, and the disabledwho were marked as enemies of the state. The book's design is clear, with a spacious chronology at the back, a long bibliography, subdivided by genre and reading level, and an appendix of population figures by country.

This is one of the best books available for introducing the subject to young people and an excellent text for the Holocaust curriculum now required in many states.

Description from Booklist
Maus: Volume 1
Maus: A Survivor's Tale
Volume 1: My Father Bleeds History


Maus: Volume 2
Maus: A Survivor's Tale
Volume 2: And Here My Troubles Began
Awards:
1992 Pulitzer Prize Told with chilling realism in an unusual comic-book format, this is more than a tale of surviving the Holocaust. Spiegelman relates the effect of those events on the survivors' later years and upon the lives of the following generation. Each scene opens at the elder Spiegelman's home in Rego Park, N.Y. Art, who was born after the war, is visiting his father, Vladek, to record his experiences in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Nazis, portrayed as cats, gradually introduce increasingly repressive measures, until the Jews, drawn as mice, are systematically hunted and herded toward the Final Solution. Vladek saves himself and his wife by a combination of luck and wits, all the time enduring the torment of hunted outcast. The other theme of this book is Art's troubled adjustment to life as he, too, bears the burden of his parents' experiences. This is a complex book. It relates events which young adults, as the future architects of society, must confront, and their interest is sure to be caught by the skillful graphics and suspenseful unfolding of the story.
From School Library Journal

Hitler's War Against the Jews :
A Young Reader's Version of Lucy S. Dawidowicz's The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945

By David A. Altshuler and Lucy S. Dawidowicz
A young reader's version of The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945, Lucy S. Davidowicz's monumental bestseller. Discusses the growth of anti-Semitism in Germany from the sixteenth century until the Holocaust during the twentieth century. When the realities of the Holocaust begin to take shape in their minds, young people confront troubling questions. Here are the most definitive answers that can be found in print. Illustrated with historical photographs. Includes topics for discussion.

Description from Publisher

This books is a good historical treatment for middle school students. The first half of the book tells about Hitler and the German extermination of the Jews and the second half tell the Jews' side of the story. Black and white pictures are plentiful with one every few pages. Kids will understand how prevalent anti-Semitism was when they see the picture of a game board for "Jews Get Out," a board game sold in Germany in 1939 and 1940.

Description from Amazon.com Customer Review

Darkness over Denmark :
The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews
History comes alive in this moving story of the heroic Danes who defied the Nazis during the occupation of Denmark. Levine (A Fence Away From Freedom) weaves a historical narrative into the real-life experiences of 21 Danes who were young in 1940. She puts the account of a very small country that managed to save nearly all of its Jewish citizens from German concentration camps in context by asking how this could have happened. Citing Edmund Burke -- The one condition necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing -- Levine makes her point that the Danish people refused to do exactly that. Beginning with the Nazi invasion of Denmark on April 9, 1940, Levine depicts the Nazi occupation from 1940-43. Then she takes the reader back in time to understand the migration of the Jewish people to Denmark; the freedom of religion they enjoyed there; and the history of ghettoization and anti-Semitism in other countries. She picks up the story again to describe the resistance movement and the events leading up to the hiding and ferrying of Jews out of the country to Sweden. The photographs, from the dramatic cover to the portraits of the interviewees, are dramatic and effective. Source notes, biographical sketches of the people interviewed, a chronology, and an author's explanation of her research technique are both interesting and useful as research tools. A fascinating blend of historical background and the impact of events on real people.

Description from Kirkus Reviews

Children in the Holocaust and World War II : Their Secret Diaries

By Laurel Holliday
Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II, this is an extraordinary, unprecedented anthology of diaries written by children all across Nazi-occupied Europe and in England. Twenty-three young people, ages ten through eighteen, recount in vivid detail the horrors they lived through, day after day. As powerful as The Diary of Anne Frank and Zlata's Diary, here are children's experiences - all written with an unguarded eloquence that belies their years. The diarists include a Hungarian girl, selected by Mengele to be put in a line of prisoners who were tortured and murdered; a Danish Christian boy executed by the Nazis for his partisan work; and a twelve-year-old Dutch boy who lived through the Blitzkrieg in Rotterdam. In the Janowska death camp, eleven-year-old Pole Janina Heshele so inspired her fellow prisoners with the power of her poetry that they found a way to save her from the Nazi ovens. Mary Berg was imprisoned at sixteen in the Warsaw ghetto even though her mother was American and Christian. She left an eyewitness record of ghetto atrocities, a diary she was able to smuggle out of captivity. Moshe Flinker, a sixteen-year-old Netherlander, was betrayed by an informer who led the Gestapo to his family's door; Moshe and his parents died in Auschwitz in 1944. They come from Czechoslovakia, Austria, Israel, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Hungary, Lithuania, Russia, England, and Denmark. They write in spare, searing prose of life in ghettos and concentration camps, of bombings and Blitzkriegs, of fear and courage, tragedy and transcendence. Their voices and their vision ennoble us all.

Description from Publisher

Diary entries written by young people in ghettos, concentration camps, cities, and a Copenhagen prison camp offer insightful comments and glimpses of life during World War II. Each selection is introduced by a brief biography that includes the author's name, country, age, family circumstances before and during the war, and concludes with circumstances of death or postwar life. Nine girls and 14 boys, Jews and gentiles, aged 10 to 18, are featured. Teens should be interested in reading about the sexploits of Joan Wyndham, a 16-year-old London resident; her suburban neighbor, Colin Perry, 18, and his detailed recording of air raids; resistance fighter Hannah Senesh, 17; and Danish spy Kim Malthe-Brun, 18. A good selection for YAs interested in the experiences of their agemates from other times, the Holocaust, life during war, or those in need of a collective biography

Description from School Library Journal

Upon the Head of the Goat :
A Childhood in Hungary, 1939-1944
Nine-year-old Piri describes the bewilderment of being a Jewish child during the 1939-1944 German occupation of her hometown (then in Hungary and now in the Ukraine) and relates the ordeal of trying to survive in the ghetto.

Description from Publisher

Newbery Honor Book

Child of the Warsaw Ghetto

by David A. Adler
As in Hilde and Eli: Children of the Holocaust, Adler and Ritz use a picture-book biography to personalize what happened to millions of Jews under the Nazis. This is the story of Froim Baum, a Holocaust survivor now living in the U.S., who was born to a poor Jewish family in Warsaw in 1926. With the boy's personal biography, Adler weaves together the history of Hitler's rise to power, the Nazi invasion of Poland, the raging anti-Semitism, the herding of more than 400,000 Jews into the walled Warsaw ghetto, and, finally, the death camps. Froim found shelter in the orphanage of the beloved Janusz Korczak and moved between there and home. The story is told with restraint, never exploitative, never sweet. Overwhelmingly, what we see is that this child survived by a mixture of cunning, courage, and sheer accident. The realistic pictures are grim, increasingly brown and gray as the genocide crowds out the light. Several illustrations evoke the photos of the time: the beggars in the street; the skeletal people piled on bunks. There's a lot of history compressed here--some of it may be too much for kids to understand on their own--but this one child's story is a compelling way to focus group discussion on how the unimaginable happened and why.

Description from Booklist

Grace in the Wilderness:
After the Liberation, 1945-1948
Siegal takes up where she left off in Upon the Head of the Goat, the Newbery Honor book that etched on readers' minds the fate of Hungarian Jews under the Nazis. Now Hitler's thugs have fled Bergen-Belsen in 1945, leaving Piri Davidowitz, her sister Iboya and the other prisoners to be freed by the British army. Piri is starving and critically ill, sent to a hospital to recover and, after a long time, released to go with Iboya to Sweden. The girls find work and Piri believes she has found a home with gentle people she calls Mamma and Papa. She falls in love, too, and it's hard for her to decide, finally, to sail with Iboya to a new life in the U.S. The book ends aboard ship where Piri and a young man, Fritz, are conversing. He exonerates all the Germans, blaming only Hitler (``with his sick brain'') of complicity in the murders of 11 million people. It's stunning to compare Fritz's posture to the British liberators' outrage and grief at witnessing the conditions in the camp, the dead and dying victims of the glorious Third Reich.

Description from Publishers Weekly

Neither the writing nor the subject make this easy reading for young adults, but the impact is undeniable. Children's literature includes some moving accounts of the Holocaust, but few are specific to the teen-age years. What Aranka Siegal describes . . . are, in effect, the feelings Anne Frank never lived to enter in her diary.

Description from New York Times Book Review

I Am a Holocaust Torah :
The Story of the Saving of 1,564 Torahs Stolen by the Nazis

By Alex J. Goldman
I Am a Holocaust Torah is the historic and dramatic story of the 1,564 Torahs through the mind, heart, and words of the Torah.

The story of I Am a Holocaust Torah began in Czechoslovakia during WWII. The Nazis stormed into the country destroying lives, property, and Synagogues. The Nazis stole Torah scrolls and Torah adornments such as crowns, breastplates, and mantles and stored them in Prague.

By 1944, 1,564 Torahs and many adornments had beed gathered, and by the end of the War the Torahs were nearly forgotten. Twenty years later, in 1964, an English art dealer negotiated with the Czech authorities to transfer the Torahs to London. The Torahs were all brought to Westminster Synagogue where they were inspected, distributed, or housed. More than one thousand Torahs have found homes throughout the world. Those that remain are part of a permanent exhibit at the Czech Memorial Scrolls Center in Kent House of Westminster Synagogue, London.

Description from Publisher

Forging Freedom :
A True Story of Heroism During the Holocaust
Talbott tells the story of his friend Jaap Penraat, who, as a young architectural student in Amsterdam under the Nazi occupation, saved hundreds of Jews from arrest, first by forging their ID cards, and then by devising an elaborate escape plan to smuggle them over the border to freedom. Some of the telling is awkward, with fictionalized dialogue in a contemporary idiom ("I just don't get it"), and an overt heavy message connecting the schoolyard bully with Nazi brutality ("Bullies--I guess you never get away from them, not even as a grown-up"). But the details of the dangerous rescue mission are clearly authentic, and the reproductions of the forged documents show the trickery. The long text and narrative pictures give a strong sense of the history of the Nazis' rise to power and invasion of Amsterdam: one graphic picture shows barbed wire spreading from Hitler all over the map of Europe. Always present is the horror of what the refugees are escaping, as well as the exciting action and the heroism of the young man who led them to safety. Connect this with the Danish rescue books by Deedy and Levine, reviewed in this section, and also with Ken Mochizuki's Passage to Freedom, about Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul in Lithuania, who helped hundreds of Jews to escape by issuing them visas.

Description from Booklist

Never to Forget :
The Jews of the Holocaust
By the time World War II was over, the dead included six million Jews--killed specifically because they were Jewish. This collection of first-person accounts of the Holocaust serves as a timeless reminder of how Europe's Jews reacted to the threat of extermination, exphasizing the wide variety of resistance efforts. Illustrated with photographs.

Description from Publisher

Winner of Sydney Taylor Award (Association of Jewish Libraries)

Ten Thousand Children : True Stories Told by Children Who Escaped the Holocaust on the Kindertransport

by Anne L. Fox and Eva Abraham-Podietz
The Kindertransport was a rescue operation that saved 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Europe between December 1938 and September 1939 and found homes for them in England. Only 1,000 of them ever saw their families again. Olga Levy Drucker's Kindertransport is one survivor's detailed story. The authors of this book were also Kinder who got away to England, and they have written a profoundly moving, accessible account that combines the history of the time with the first-person testimonies of 21 survivors. Each chapter begins with the big picture--life under Hitler, Kristallnacht, preparing to leave, the journey, life in England through the war years and afterward--and then includes brief vignettes by Kinder who remember how it was for them; finally, a brief note summarizes what happened to each child afterward. The design is like an open scrapbook, with different size typefaces, snapshots, news photos, and marginal notes; and the combination of the general overview with personal memories will bring readers, from middle grades through adult, close to the experience. These people escaped; the brutality is offstage, but the anguish is in the childhood details. What was it like to say good-bye to your parents, knowing you might never see them again? To arrive in a new country, learn a new language, and live with strangers? To discover after the war that your family was gone? Or to find your parents, leave your foster home, and try to be a family again? The authors' quiet final note is rooted in the survivors' stories: the Kinder have learned, among other things, to appreciate people's differences and to remember the kindness of strangers.

Description from Booklist

Kindertransport

by Olga Levy Drucker
The author of this personal narrative was born in Germany in 1927 and soon found her life disrupted by the events in Europe in the 1930s. Her mother arranged for her to be part of the Kindertransport , through which 10,000 Jewish children were sent to live with English families. Ollie, 11 when she leaves, speaks virtually no English and finds herself in a series of undesirable living situations: a dingy, louse-infested flat; a luxurious home in which she is virtually ignored; a boarding school that closes when the war begins; a Baptist family intent on avoiding sin; and a home with a sickly woman whose illnesses cause Ollie to miss school. At the age of 16 she leaves her studies to help take care of a family with five children. During this time Ollie worries about her parents' safety in Germany as the war rages, and keeps herself going with thoughts of a reunion with them. Eventually, they make their way to New York, and in 1945, she is able to join them. Her afterword reflects on her experiences as a refugee. The book is touching as well as exciting, and is one of the World War II reminiscences that middle school readers will devour.

Description from School Library Journal

The Nazi Olympics : Berlin 1936

by Susan D. Bachrach
This book is based on a special exhibition developed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that is currently touring the country. It offers not only a history of the notorious Berlin games of 1936, but it also includes the stories of many of the athletes who took part and those who did not for political reasons. Bachrach delves into the workings of the Nazi propaganda machine, the controversy inside the U.S. Olympic Committee as to whether our nation should participate in the games, and the fate of the Jewish athletes who competed. The athletic feats of Jesse Owens and other African Americans are well covered. Illustrations include period black-and-white photographs, cartoons, and posters. The full-color posters at the end of the book do an especially good job of conveying the Nazis' attitudes toward race and their beliefs in the superiority of "Aryan Blood," as well as the techniques of propaganda. An annotated time line of the history of Nazi Germany, suggestions for further reading (mostly adult titles), and a detailed index are appended. A deeper look at the history and the complexities surrounding this notorious Olympics than is found in other books.

Description from School Library Journal

...should be in every school library...What makes this book a very useful teaching tool for social studies and history classes is its keen account of the complex politics that infused the Olympics...''The Nazi Olympics'' is illustrated with a rich collection of rare visual material, including a selection of full-color Nazi posters promoting the Games, and a few foreign ones protesting them... As children enjoy the 2000 Olympics, and perhaps learn from the team and individual accomplishments, ''The Nazi Olympics'' offers a chance to address the power of sports as a means to capture the public's hearts and minds.

Description from New York Times Book Review

The story most often told about the 1936 Olympics is that of Jesse Owens' triumphant performance, which served as a slap in the face to Hitler and his theory of Aryan supremacy. Bachrach looks deeper than this feel-good interpretation to trace the troubled path of the games both in the U.S. and Germany, examining the escalating oppression of Jews, the building of the concentration camps, and U.S. efforts to start a boycott. Bachrach ties those threads together into a comprehensive narrative that provides the right amount of political background to tell the complete story of the games and their athletes--those who competed, those banned from competition, those later murdered in concentration camps, and those who took part in the boycott. Enriched with biographical sidebars and illustrated with photographs from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, this is a welcome addition to any sports or World War II collection. Chronology; further readings.

Description from Booklist

A Special Fate :
Chiuneory Sugihara : Hero of the Holocaust

by Alison Leslie Gold
A moving account of an unlikely hero. Sugihara single-handedly saved thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust. With the support of his wife, he issued exit visas while stationed as a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. Risking his own life and those of his family members, he responded to the call to help fellow human beings. Ignoring the orders of the Japanese foreign ministry, he handwrote thousands of documents so that Jews could flee Lithuania to travel through Russia to get to Japan and freedom. Sugihara was eventually transferred out of Eastern Europe but not before he and his own family experienced the internment camps of Russia. Eventually, he was fired from the foreign service for his bravery and had to find work elsewhere. At the end of his life, he wondered if his act of compassion had any impact. He was rewarded by learning that many of the survivors had been searching for him to thank him for his gift of freedom. Although Sugihara passed away in 1986, Gold was able to interview his widow as well as two people who were saved by his act. Thus, the many details of the book are authentic. The narrative alternates between Sugihara's story and those of the two survivors, rendering the sacrifices and suffering of each person all the more poignant. This thought-provoking title joins the growing number of fine Holocaust titles for young people.

Description from School Library Journal

The Hidden Children
"I remember all the time being told to be quiet, the Germans will get you." In order to live, Jewish children had to go into hiding from the Nazis during the Second World War. Greenfeld has spoken to survivors now living in the U.S., and he weaves pieces of their painful personal narratives with a general account of what it was like to be a Jewish child at that time. Like Anne Frank, many were hidden by Righteous Gentiles, who often risked their own lives. Like the children in Vos' Hide and Seek (1991) and Anna Is Still Here (1993), they had to lie, to be always on guard. The individual voices are intense and quiet. They speak of hunger, cold, terror, and loneliness. They remember suddenly being ashamed of themselves. Boys had to hide that they were circumcised. These children witnessed courage and also horror, such as the father who had to strangle his screaming baby to save the others in hiding. They're honest about their difficult readjustment after the war ("My mother was in such bad shape . . . she had no teeth -- I couldn't stand being near her"). They will always feel guilty for having survived while others died. The slightly oversize book, printed on a fine vellum stock, is artistically designed, with clear type and wide margins, and the personal narratives are set off in italics, with occasional small black-and-white family snapshots that frame moments of ordinary life. As always, what moves you is the terror in the mundane, the thought that it could be you.

Description from Booklist

{This is a} moving narrative. . . . The most striking aspect of the book is the sharp survival instincts of many of the children. . . . One woman who was hidden in a Belgian convent recalls being dropped along with two other Jewish children down a chute into the coal cellar whenever the nuns feared a Nazi search. 'We were told not to cry, not to breathe and not to move, because we would die if we did,' she says. She was then 3 1/2 years old. . . . Even adults who have read widely about the Holocaust will find unforgettable images here. . . . In hiding, these children avoided the horrors of concentration camps,but they lost their childhood.

Description from The New York Times Book Review

We Are Witnesses :
Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust
Foreword by Patricia C. McKissack. Narrative accounts of five young Jews, including Anne Frank, whose diaries hold their observations and emotions, give immediacy to the horrors of the Holocaust. The text provides historical information and compares the experiences of the diarists, quoting liberally from the teenagers' writings. Although these condensed versions lack the impact of a complete diary, the cumulative effect of the five journals is overwhelming.

Description from Horn Book

No Pretty Pictures :
A Child of War

By Anita Lobel
Awards:
National Book Award for Young People's Literature Nominee

Lobel has written a haunting, honest, and ultimately life-affirming account of her childhood years in Nazi-occupied Poland. Born in Krakow to an affluent Jewish family, she and her younger brother were cared for by their nanny ("Niania"), a devout Catholic. Lobel was five when the Nazis arrived in Poland and her father left in the middle of the night. As the situation worsened, Niania took the children into hiding in the countryside while their mother remained in the city with fake identification papers. As the war continued, the siblings were hidden in various places, relying mostly on Niania to care for them, at great risk to herself. When Lobel and her brother were captured, Niania arranged to have the children delivered into the care of relatives inside the concentration camp at Plaszow. At the end of the war, Lobel, then 11, and her brother were sent to Sweden as refugees, where she thrived at a convalescent home while recovering from tuberculosis and was reunited with her parents. She ends the story with her family's emigration to the United States. The author's words are simple and straightforward, even when she describes the horror of life in the camp or the fear and loneliness of being separated from her family and nanny. This is a worthy addition to memoirs of war.

Description from School Library Journal

Nominated for a 1998 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War is Anita Lobel's gripping memoir of surviving the Holocaust. A Caldecott-winning illustrator of such delightful picture books as On Market Street, it is difficult to believe Lobel endured the horrific childhood she did. From age 5 to age 10, Lobel spent what are supposed to be carefree years hiding from the Nazis, protecting her younger brother, being captured and marched from camp to camp, and surviving completely dehumanizing conditions. A terrifying story by any measure, Lobel's memoir is all the more haunting as told from the first-person, child's-eye view. Her girlhood voice tells it like it is, without irony or even complete understanding, but with matter-of-fact honesty and astonishing attention to detail. She carves vivid, enduring images into readers' minds. On hiding in the attic of the ghetto: "We were always told to be very quiet. The whispers of the trapped grown-ups sounded like the noise of insects rubbing their legs together." On being discovered while hiding in a convent: "They lined us up facing the wall. I looked at the dark red bricks in front of me and waited for the shots. When the shouting continued and the shots didn't come, I noticed my breath hanging in thin puffs in the air." On trying not to draw the attention of the Nazis: "I wanted to shrink away. To fold into a small invisible thing that had no detectable smell. No breath. No flesh. No sound."

It is a miracle that Lobel and her brother survived on their own in this world that any adult would find unbearable. Indeed, and appropriately, there are no pretty pictures here, and adults choosing to share this story with younger readers should make themselves readily available for explanations and comforting words. (The camps are full of excrement and death, all faithfully recorded in direct, unsparing language.) But this is a story that must be told, from the shocking beginning when a young girl watches the Nazis march into Krakow, to the final words of Lobel's epilogue: "My life has been good. I want more."

Description from Amazon.com

In the Mouth of the Wolf

By Rose Zar
Caught in the Nazi trap in her native Poland, Rose Zar's father urged her to save herself by hiding "in the mouth of the wolf" -- within the enemy itself. She managed to obtain false papers, secretly changing her identity and surviving the Holocaust as a maid and a nanny for an SS colonel.

Description from Publisher

Hiding to Survive:
Stories of Jewish Children Rescued from the Holocaust

By Maxine B. Rosenberg
Imagine being part of a Jewish family in Europe during the Holocaust. Children, of course, wanted to stay with the parents, but parents knew that staying together increased the risk that all would be killed. Many made the gut-wrenching decision to hand their children to Gentiles, hoping these strangers would hide their children from the Nazis. Some of those children, now in their fifties and sixties, met in 1991 at an international conference to tell their stories. Rosenberg has collected fourteen first-person accounts of these survivors. What shines through is the children's will to survive and the courage it took to hide them. The survivor's tales of hiding in hen houses and above ceilings; of trying to keep two-year-old siblings from crying out; and of receiving messages telling them of dead mothers and fathers make the artificial horror in books by Pike and Stine seem tame. Seldom in one book do you find such graphic examples of the horrendous evil human beings are capable of juxtaposed against the incredible acts of goodness some of us can achieve.

Description from The ALAN Review

The telling is restrained; there are no histrionics in these 14 first-person accounts by Jewish Holocaust survivors who were hidden from the Nazis as children. In fact, some of the narratives are almost flat; it's as if the speakers don't want to make a fuss, as if the suffering is too unbearable to talk about. The survivors are Americans now, most of them in their fifties and sixties, remembering. Each oral history includes a heartbreaking photo of the child and family in wartime and then a photo of the survivor today. A brief postscript summarizes what the child didn't know at the time and what has happened since to the survivors and those who hid them. Perhaps because the speakers are adults looking back, their accounts don't have the immediacy of the child's viewpoint that makes Ida Vos' Hide and Seek so compelling. Nor do these stories have the candor and the graphic intensity of Greenfeld's Hidden Children.

The drama here is in the children's relationships with the righteous Gentiles who saved them. It's an inspiring story of ordinary people who risked death to rescue strangers. They hid children for all kinds of reasons, some of which they didn't know themselves. They created secret hideouts in convents, in homes, in chicken coops. These quiet accounts also make you imagine what it must have been like for the child who spent months crouching in a hayloft, who had to hide that he was circumcised, who was suddenly wrenched from his parents. One survivor does remember how he felt as a teenager ("I wanted to be with girls. I was furious that I wasn't able to. I hated being locked up"). Or there's the woman who remembers her reunion with her father in the U.S.: when he finally recognizes her, "he hugged me so tightly, I was nearly black and blue." Remembering is hard.

Description from Booklist

The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank

By Willy Lindwer


(YA Readers)
The "unwritten" final chapter of Anne Frank: Diary Of A Young Girl tells the story of the time between Anne Frank's arrest and her death through the testimony of six Jewish women who survived the hell from which Anne Frank never retumed.

Description from Publisher

Lindwer presents the transcripts of six in-depth interviews conducted in preparation for his film documentary, The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank . Although "Lies Goosens,'' real name Hannah Elisabeth Pick-Goslar, will be the most familiar to readers of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl , each of these women's first-person accounts is compelling. They relate their backgrounds, their capture, details of the concentration camp experience, and descriptions of the time immediately following liberation. Each includes her relationship to Anne Frank and gives impressions of the girl's final days. This collage of intimate recollections paints a clear picture of the human experience known as the Holocaust. Few will be able to digest this book in one sitting; fewer still will be able to turn away from it once they've begun.

Description from School Library Journal

Parallel Journeys
This is a book to make your blood run cold. Through Ayer's narrative and excerpts from Heck's memoirs, A Child of Hitler and The Burden of Hitler's Legacy, readers learn how Alfons changed from a loving, wholesome boy to a "Nazi devil" (even the Germans called the elite Hitler Youth by that name). It is frightening to see how easily young people can be swayed, and readers learn just how it happened. Alternating chapters reveal Helen Waterford's story through excerpts from her book, Commitment to the Dead, and Ayer's background material.

Fleeing with her fiancee to Amsterdam after Kristallnacht, Helen was again caught in the Nazi noose and struggled to survive. As her plight grew more desperate, Alfons rose higher and higher in the Hitler Youth. Eventually, when he and his ragged corps faced annihilation by the Russians, he realized how Hitler had sacrificed his "children." When Alfons and Helen met in the U.S. 40 years after the war, they found that they shared a common purpose: to help young people understand that peace and compassion are possible between individuals, and on a larger scale as well. Their first-person accounts are interwoven with Ayer's words so seamlessly that readers are unaware of the intrusion of a third person. She is an excellent biographer, capturing nuances of her subjects' characters and personality traits. A fascinating work.

Description from School Library Journal

The Holocaust :
A History of Courage and Resistance

By Bea Stadtler
In simple moving words, The Holocaust: A History Of Courage And Resistance tells the story of the destruction of six million Jews during World War II. Beginning in the 1930s, The Holocaust describes the conditions in Germany that led to Hitler's rise to power and the Nazi policy of destruction. But at the heart of The Holocaust are the acts of courage and resistance, the stories of the men and women (young and old, Jewish and Gentile) who fought against Hitler and the Nazis and kept the spirit of heritage of the Jews alive in this devastating period. The Holocaust is an especially ideal introduction for young readers to a difficult subject, a tragic time, and the heroism that emerged from the ashes of despair.

Description from Midwest Book Review

Anne Frank
This picture book opens with the Franks fleeing to the annex. Then the author tells about happier times, the coming of the soldiers, and the beginning of the persecution. Sophisticated language, topic, and the many flashbacks preclude the book's use with young children. The explanation of Hitler's accession to power is simplistic; McDonough attributes it solely to bad economic conditions. Once the author is into Anne's story, however, she tells it in a straightforward manner and relates it well. The book is illustrated with bright, folk-art paintings. At first, the pure colors of yellow, red, orange, green, blue, black, and brown surrounded by alternating borders of the same colors seem inappropriate for such a subject, but the childlike images provide impetus for discussion, and the bright colors of the innocent contrast well with the dark colors of the evildoers. The paintings of happier past times are cozy and cheerful. Mama and baby Anne look like a 1930s version of the Madonna and child. A small painting of barbed wire encircling crossed Nazi flags on the opposite page foreshadows the trouble to come. McDonough tells the story, but there's no doubt that Zeldis provides the emotion. In the final picture, Anne is seen towering over the world and all its people. She has risen phoenixlike from her diary and has become a myth, a myth that symbolizes the yearnings of a people to be brave, to be optimistic, and most of all to survive. Anne did not survive, but her story lives on.

Description from School Library Journal

Anne Frank
(First Books - Biographies)
This accessible biography provides historical background for better understanding of the events surrounding Anne's diary entries. Epstein focuses on Anne but puts her experiences in the context of what was happening in Europe in the 1940s. Archival photos and schematic drawings of the building that housed the secret annex supplement the readable text. The last chapter discusses how Anne's diary was found and published.

Description from Horn Book

The Holocaust Heroes
The Holocaust Heroes recounts the actions some people took to save the lives of thousands of people trying to escape from the Nazis and their deadly persecution. Author David K. Fremon describes the bravery of the many who risked their own lives to save others during the Holocaust. Their heroic activities ranged from forging false identity papers to leaving out food for refugees to hiding Jews in their homes.

Description from Publisher>

Hannah Szenes :
A Song of Light
Hannah Szenes grew up in a loving home filled with books, plays, and music. Unfortunately the rise of the Nazis in her native Hungary forced Hannah to emigrate to Palestine, where she became an ardent Zionist pioneer. Haunted by the murder of the Jews by Hitler, she risked her own life to become a resistance fighter, vowing to save as many Jewish lives as possible. As the war in Europe escalated, Szenes returned to Hungary on a mission to aid the resistance fighters, where she was arrested and executed in 1944 at age 23

Description from Publisher

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
(Cornerstones of Freedom)

By Philip Brooks
This book describes the planning and building of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and examines its exhibits documenting the European Holocaust from 1933 to 1945.

Description from Publisher

To Vanquish the Dragon
In this memoir of her Holocaust experiences, Pearl Benisch writes about the young women who were students and graduates of Bais Yaakov school in Karkow. Inspired by their Jewish faith, and by their spiritual mentor, Sarah Schenirer, who founded the first Bais Yaakov school, they fought the Nazis with acts of kindness to others imprisoned with them in the ghetto, the prisons, and the labor camps.

Description from Publisher

Raoul Wallenberg
Traces the life of the Swedish diplomat who risked his life to save 100,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II and mysteriously disappeared after the Russians occupied Budapest.

Description from Publisher

Raoul Wallenberg :
The Man Who Stopped Death
In the last days of World War II, a young Swedish architect, Raoul Wallengerg, was secretly sent to Budapest by the War Refugee Board of the United States Government. There he did what no other country or individual was able to do: he saved more than 100,000 Jewish men, women, and children from extermination at the hands of the Nazi Colonel Adolph Eichmann. This meticulously researched biography is based upon archival materials and first-person interviews with Wallenberg's family, colleagues, and people he saved. It is illustrated with original photographs. To this day, no one knows the fate of Raoul Wallenberg, but his belief that one person can make a difference endures as a legacy for us all.

Description from Publisher

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