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Holocaust was one of the devastating events in human history happens in 1941-1945, millions of people suffered and perish during this genocide. The German Nazi has claimed six million of Jewish people life across Europe, estimated about 2/3 of nine million Jews who had resided in Europe with 1.5 million of it are children. Also included are non Jewish victims based on their biological factors such as Romani and the disabled Aktion T4 patients. These twelve books are the explicit tales of survivors, immediate relatives of the survivors, and other witnesses. A real life story of such dark times in our world that will open your eyes to such despicable act lead by a single person, Adolf Hitler.

First Published: 1946

Plot Summary:
This is a true story based on Wladyslaw Szpilman own experience and witness the cruelty and death upon Jewish on Warsaw, he is a Jewish pianist residing in Warsaw, Poland. He was playing a live broadcast of Chopin’s Nocturne in C# Minor on September 23, 1939 on Polish Radio when he was interupted by the German thment. He and his family were forced to live in Warsaw Ghetto the “Jewish Quarter”, then his family deported to Treblinka and exterminated. He survived as a music loving policeman recognised him and he had to live as labourer until the ghetto was abolished in 1943 and he find places to hide in Warsaw with help of his fellow musician friend to survive. Starting from August 1944 he hides in the rubble, pretended to be corpses, and scrapping food in the ruin to survive although he is very lucky to be able to avoid capture. In November he was discovered by a German officer Wilm Hosenfeld who didn’t capture him after found out he is a pianist, even find him a better place to hide and bring him food in daily basis until the German unit leave the area on mid December 1944. Finally on 15 January 1945 the Soviet troops and civilians arrive in the liberated city and he was saved.

Reason for You to Read This:
The author’s account of survival is considered a very lucky and extraordinary during the horror of death and suffering around him. How he must be forced to separate with the rest of his family, and survive alone to the point of death and thoughts of ending his own life. Nevertheless this book is a must read to really know the genocide in Warsaw and the effect to the Jewish who are innocent but their own birth ethnicity.

Best Quote:
“Humanity seems doomed to do more evil than good. The greatest ideal on earth is human love.”

First Published: 1997

Plot Summary:
Elli Friedmann on of the innocent victims of Holocaust genocide, used to live a normal life with his family, go to school, have friends, and admire boys. But in march 1944 Nazis invade Hungary and her ordinary life are stripped away from her, lived in the packed ghetto, transported to the extermination camp Auschwitz, lost her father and aunt, moved and forced work in Augsburg German, smuggled away in a train by Germans and left there to dead until discovered and saved by the Americans.

Reason for You to Read This:
This memoir of Elli is a must read, as she must goes through several movements but all the same have to go through sufferings at such young age of thirteen. Her luck of being able to reunited with her brother and her notable work after the Holocaust after she obtain Ph.D in Hebrew Culture and Jewish History at New York University speaking for the Holocaust cause and publishing her book to spread the awareness.

Best Quote:
“Reading my personal account, I believe you feel you will know that the Holocaust was neither a legend nor Hollywood fiction but a lesson for the future!

10Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy

First Published: 2006

Plot Summary:
The author of this book is the descendant of twelve child surviviros of the Lodz ghetto in Poland. The description of the war’s end during 1945, where only 12 children of 800 survivors from 250.000 people. The tale of survivor, sorrow, and trauma of a child at young age of four and a half year old as she grew older until her freedom when she is ten years old.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book will give you the perspective of Holocaust horror from a young child as she start to mature and her view of her surrounding, ordeal and understanding changes and getting better. A real and unprecedented experience, as children at such age should be able to live happily and innocently, building imagination and creation.

Best Quote:
“Because yellow is meant to be a happy color, not the color of hate.”

First Published: 1947

Plot Summary:
Anne Frank is a Jewish Dutch girl who received her blank diary as 13th birthday present on 12 June 1942 which is during Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and she begin to write in it 2 days later and all the time during her hiding experience until her capture in 1 August 1944. 5 July 1942 her sister Margot was summoned to the Nazi work camp, the next day Anne, her sister, their parents Otto and Edith went into hiding together with Hermann van Pels and his family in the sealed off upper rooms at the back of Otto’s company building in Amsterdam. There they were hidden for two years and one month with the help of Otto trusted colleagues. They were discovered in August 1944 and all sent to Nazi concentration camps, and Anne was died when she was 15 years old in Bergen-Belsen only a few weeks before the prisoners liberated by British troops in April 1945. Otto is the only one who survived until the war finished. The original manuscript was found strewn on the floor of their hiding place after their arrest and kept safe by Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl before returned to Otto after the war.

Reason you should read:
Anne Frank’s diary is a very important artifact of history, until now still become a staple text in primary and secondary school in UK and worldwide. A reminder to young girls that their voice can be heard, she showed strength and had goals, she appreciate the moments and believes in positivity, and teaches us of how the life of Jewish populations have to endure during WWII.

Best Quote:
“I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom in yourself; these can help you.”

8Letters to Freya: 1939-1945 by Helmuth James von Moltke

First Published: 1990

Plot Summary:
This a true story of a German intelligence officer from the aristocrat descent of devout Christian, his struggle of opposition against Third Reich believe and regime. Consists of letters he wrote for his wife, the integration of his love, fear, anger and despair. He start his opposition by using legal actions to Nazi through valid protest, and as the situation gets worse and Holocaust happens in 1941 he even plots to depose Nazi. He do everything in his power to reduce the cruelty and stop execution happens little by little.

Reason for You to Read This:
This is the rare account of a man inside the Nazi yet doesn’t agree with their ways, he even goes as really putting effort and do everything he can think of to stop their regime. A proof that through all of the cruelty and easy ways of following the majority to support the Holocaust, there are still some people who believes in the good of humanity, without fear reject and fight the monstrosity cause.

Best Quote:
“In order to endure death and horror one tends to kill one’s own humanity, which is a much greater danger than not being able to bear it.”

7The Third Reich in Power by Richard J. Evans

First Published: 2005

Plot Summary:
The author speculates around the rise of Nazi in German and the effects on all factor of the country such as, religion, culture, literature, science, and art. The process of German preparing for war but reasoned to public that Nazi attempt was only to reorder German society yet despite resistance you the country then are terminated. The start of millions of Jews genocide throughout Europe.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book show the depths within the start of Holocaust, a look back from the rise of Nazi regime starting from German and the the genocide throughout Europe. Claimed as the most detailed regarding Holocaust ever written, a book you must get if you want to get the detail and better understanding of the tragedy.

Best Quote:
“Of all the things that made the Third Reich a modern dictatorship, its incessant demand for popular legitimation was one of the most striking.”

First Published: 1978

Plot Summary:
This is an exceedingly thorough book of the Holocaust, a collection of documents written by Jews both men and women who suffer the Nazi regime, included the testimonies of eye witnesses of the event. A horrific and details of the tragedy from the memories of direct people who sees and experience the ordeal and effect first hand.

Reason for You to Read This:
The author is a celebrated historian as he thoroughly assembled the information from Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 until their defeat in 1945. He managed to collect the documents used in Nuremberg trials and even personally interviews the testimony of survivors and eye witnesses. If you want to know the Holocaust effect to all the victims and witnesses first hand, this is the book you need but be prepared as the book is written very thoroughly and detailed might shook you to the core.

Best Quote:
“Neville Chamberlain, commented in a private letter on the persecution of German Jews: ‘I believe the persecution arose out of two motives: a desire to rob the Jews of their money and a jealousy of their superior cleverness.’ Chamberlain continued: ‘No doubt Jews aren’t a lovable people; I don’t care about them myself, but that is not sufficient to explain the Program.”

5Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer

First Published: 1970

Plot Summary:
This is a memoir of Albert Speer, the Nazi regime Minister of Armaments from 1042-1945, but before the regime he already serves as Adolf Hitler’s main architect. This book is deemed as the most elaborated of Nazi internal mechanism, system, and leadership. Although also deemed as a controversy for it’s lack of discourse to Nazi cruelty and his awareness of his involvement.

Reason for You to Read This:
This is book you have to read if you’re looking for the insight of the Nazi regime from the Minister of Armaments and War Production himself, which will give you the best details regarding their inside works.

Best Quote:
“Though it seems obscene to pity one individual human being with so many millions dead, I do believe that Eva Braun was the loneliest woman I ever knew.”

First Published: 2006

Plot Summary:
This is a fiction novel of Bruno the son of german officials during Nazi regime, one day after school found out that their family to move far away as his father is promoted. At their new home there are no other kids and behind the house a tall fence separates him from many strange people behind it, unknow to him it was the Auschwitz extermination camp. Until one day he met a boy with the striped pajamas behind the fence and develops friendship that will bring tragedy to both of them.

Reason for You to Read This:
This fiction novel of the little boy perspection, his innocence and kind heart which ends up of his tragic death is a timeless tale of the dark event yet shows that to children there are no difference in ethnicity, social class, or appearance. All they know everybody are the same and their compassion to others they deemed their friends.

Best Quote:
“…Despite the mayhem that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel’s hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go.”

3Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

First Published: 1979

Plot Summary:
This novel follows Stingo, a young writer from South America to a boarding house in Brooklyn. Where he meets and befriends Sophie a beautiful Polish immigrant with his lover Nathan a young, passionate, and unstable Jewish. The novel breaks down Sophie’s experience as Holocaust survivor and centers on her horrible decision when she entered into Auschwitz which will haunt her to the rest of her life.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book is not for the faint hearted, a fiction yet explicit description of holocaust victim life’s in concentration camp from Sophie’s eyes. Her stuggle to survive, her decision which haunt her life, and her attempt and failure to save her son. A look of during and aftermath Nazi Holocaust effect to an individual, though after her survival still unable to get rid of the trauma and guilt.

Best Quote:
“Then I resolved that I would go back out there and somehow cope with the situation, despite the fact that I lacked a strategy and was frightened to the pit of my being.”

2Night by Elie Wiesel

First Published: 1958

Plot Summary:
Regarded as the author best writing, in this book he recall his horrible experience to survive in Nazi extermination camp during his teenager with his father. As his father declines to helpless states and Elie’s resentment to be his caregiver, until he have to bear the guilt after his father is beaten to death and he safe himself by laying silently. This book is the embodiment of his passion and dedication to make sure the world remembers human cruelty to another when darkness arise and their life’s threaten.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book does not only show the horror of Holocaust and cruelty of Jewish genocide in the extermination camps, it also focus and questions personal philosophy and moral the event causes. Of what it trully is, it’s motives and the legacy it brings.

Best Quote:
“Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.”

1Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

First Published: 1946

Plot Summary:
This book tells about Frankl experiences during 1942-1945 labour in four different concentration camps of Nazi, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife died, he endured and share his lessons for spiritual survival. He also shares in this book the experiences of his patient, his point of how to cope with suffering find the lessons after it and move forward with revived purposes rather than just avoid it. His basic theory of logotherapy where in life what’s more important is not pleasure but what we found personally meaningful.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book has sold over 10 million copies in twenty four languages and gained position among ten most influential books in America, also used as many as a self help book. It is a book you must read as the author managed to not only physically survive the Holocaust but also find lessons and share it to the world to inspire others.

Best Quote:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

CONCLUSION
These twelve books are the memories of those dark times of Holocaust, and by reading it we will achieve more understanding and better ouselves to not fall to such cirumstances and value our lives more no matter how simple or small. This book will also be able to help some people to be the believer of humanity, and might help some to overcome their difficutly. A truly eye opening experience and homage of those who died in vain.

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