The Holocaust was the systematic, state sponsored murder of Jews and others considered racially inferior or politically dangerous by the Nazis during World War II. An official Nazi plan called the "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem" called for the extermination of all European Jews. Others persecuted and killed by the Nazis include: Gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, homosexuals, and Jehovah's Witnesses. During the period between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 11 million people were murdered by the Nazis, 6 million of whom were Jews. More than two thirds of the Jews in Europe were killed.
The term Holocaust comes from a Greek word meaning "burnt whole". One of the meanings of the word Holocaust is "a sacrifice consumed by fire".
This pathfinder is designed for a young adult audience to provide an introduction to the subject and its many aspects. This is a complex subject for which there are many good in-depth resources available. To find resources in the library's catalog and on the Internet other than those listed below, try using the following search terms:
Anti-Semitism      Concentration Camps
Nazism                 Nuremberg Trials
War Crimes (World War II)
Many of the materials listed below contain disturbing images and graphic descriptions of this terrible episode. Estimates of age appropriateness are listed for most of the resources. However, we encourage parents of younger children to preview these resources and to discuss these events with their children.
General Resources.These materials either provide an overview of the Holocaust, or introduce one aspects of the subject.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Ages 12 Up)
The site offers a good summary of the Holocaust and is an excellent introductory resource. The subject is discussed as a series of topics, and many of the discussions include pictures, maps, sound clips, interviews, and film footage. Be sure to visit the Online Exhibitions, the Holocaust Learning Center, and the Learning Site for Students
Holocaust Memorial Center (Ages 12 Up)
The Holocaust Memorial Center was the first Holocaust museum in the United States and is located in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Sections of interest on the site are "About the Holocaust" which has a good basic discussion of the history of the Holocaust and includes a year-by-year timeline of Jewish persecution by the Nazis. The virtual tour of Dachau concentration camp is also very interesting. The "Oral Histoy Department" page has a link to the "Oral History Index", which includes summaries of interviews of Holocaust survivors. There is an interesting interactive exhibit designed to show the hopeless situation of German Jews called Life Chance.
The Holocaust (Ages 14 Up)
Produced by The Jewish Virtual Library. The material is organized by narrow topics, which are listed alphabetically. The articles are short and easy to read. Many articles include maps, witness testimonies, official German documents, photos, and links to other articles. The section entitled "History of the Holocaust - An Introduction" is a good place to begin using this resource. The site has a comprehensive coverage of the Holocaust and is an excellent resource. Disturbing descriptions and photos of terrible events are included.
Holocaust Timeline (Ages 12 Up)
Produced by The History Place. The timeline begins on January 30, 1937 when Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany and ends on August 14, 1961 when Adolf Eichmann is found guilty of crimes against the Jewish People in a Jerusalem court. Every major event of the Holocaust is listed. Links to other History Place Web sites concerning World War II are listed at the bottom of the main page and include; "The Rise of Adolf Hitler", "The Triumph of Hitler", "Hitler Youth" and "Timeline of World War II in Europe".
Holocaust Resource Center (Ages 14 Up)
Created by the International School for Holocaust Studies. The site is organized by topic and by format (photographs, diaries, letters, etc), and covers all aspects of the Holocaust. A general discussion is provided with each topic with more in-depth discussions provided as "Lexicon Entries" links. The site is a little difficult to navigate, but the photos, maps and charts, testimonies, and the comprehensiveness of the site make it worth the effort. Please note that the scroll bar for the site is on the left site of the page. This site contains disturbing images and frank discussions that may be unsettling.
Cybrary of the Holocaust (Ages 15 Up)
The Web site offers a wide range of materials and resources including photographs, poems and essays, oral histories, and discussion boards. Of particular interest are the photos and interactive maps of the concentration camps. The "Witnesses" section includes transcripts of letters and testimones from Germans involved in carrying out the Holocaust. This is a good site for those looking for more extensite information about the subject.
The Holocaust History Project (Ages 15 Up)
This is an archive of documents, photographs, recordings, and essays about the Holocaust. Of particular interest is the discussion of the Nazi propaganda film "The Eternal Jew" which includes still images from the film, and discussions of Holocaust-denial. There is little organization to the site, just a list of documents, however, the quality of information provided makes the site worth the effort. Disturbing images and graphic descriptions are present.
An End to Intolerance. (Ages 12 Up)
An international student-produced magazine which is part of the Holocaust/Genocide Project. Ten issues of the magazine are available, 1993 to 2002. Each issue focuses on a particular topic. The magazines include articles, survivor interviews, book reviews, poems, and essays. Some of the files are stored in PDF format and are slow to load.
Online Reference Materials
The Holocaust Chronicle Publications International, LTD. (Ages 14 Up)
The site is an online version of the book "The Holocaust Chronicle" by John Roth Ph.D. It offers a comprehensive discussion of the Holocaust, organized year-by-year in 16 chapters, however, the site can be keyword searched. Appendices offer statistical information such as concentration camp deaths and ghetto populations. A good reference resource for research on this subject. The print addition of this resource can be found at R 940.5318.
World Book Encyclopedia Online. (Ages 12 Up).
Has a basic, easy to read, and well organized discussion of the Holocaust starting with the persecution of the Jews before the Nazis came to power and ending with a discussion of the establishment of the Jewish Homeland and the Nuremberg Trials. World Book Online is available through the library's Web site under the main page link "databases". Search terms to consider are; Holocaust, Anti-Semitism, Concentration Camps, Genocide, Nazism, Nuremberg Trials and War Crimes (World War II). There are also brief biographies for people involved in these events including; Adolf Eichmann, Anne Frank, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler, Josef Mengels, and Oscar Schindler.
Smoke and Ashes: The story of the Holocaust. Barbara Rogasky. 2002. Holiday House. (YA 940.5318 R63S) Ages 12 Up.
The book starts with a discussion of anti-semitism and how Hitler came to power, then describes the events of the Holocaust, and ends with an account of the Nuremburg Trials. Personal accounts of victims and survivors are scattered through the book. A well organized and compelling book.
The Holocaust Overview. Ann Byers. 1998. Enslow Publishers. (YA 940.5318 B99HO) Ages 12 to 14.
A comprehensive and dramatic overview of the Holocaust. The book starts by discussing the history of anti-semitism in Europe, describes the Holocaust, then ends with a discussion of the Nuremberg war crimes trials. This is a solid introduction to the subject.
Tell Them We Remember: The Story of the Holocaust. Susan D. Bachrach. 1994. Little Brown & Co. (YA 940.5318 B12T) Ages 11 Up.
Produced in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The book provides a comprehenisve summary of the Holocaust, and contains ab abundance of photographs that are poignant and compelling. The experiences of 20 young people caught up in the Holocaust are scattered throughout the book. One of the best books available for an introduction to the subject.
The Righteous Gentiles. Victoria Sherrow. 1998. Lucent Books. (YA 940.5318 SH5R) Ages 12 Up.
An overview of individuals who risked their lives and those of their families to rescue Jews, as well as churches and governments who defied Hitler's orders to deport the Jews to camps. An poignant and compelling book.
The Final Solution. Earle Rice. 1998. Lucent Books.(YA 940.5318 R36F) Ages 14 Up.
An in-depth discussion of the development and implementation of the "Final Solution", the Nazi term for the extermination of the Jews. Anti-semitism by the Nazis is divided into 4 stages: exclusion (1933-1934); persecution (1935-1939); explusion (1939-1941); and annihilation (1941-1945). An outstanding book that discusses many viewpoints of these events.
The Death Camps. William W. Lace. 1998. Lucent Books. (YA 940.5318 L11D) Ages 14 Up.
Discusses the establishment of concentration camps throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, and focuses on the six camps that were used as extermination facilities. The book details the killing and suffering of victims as well as stories of escape, rebellion, and liberation. A graphic and disturbing book, but also an important and well-documented one.
The Holocaust Survivors. Tabatha Yeatts. 1998. Enslow Publishing. (YA 940.5318 Y34H) Ages 12 to 16.
In addition to relating the experiences of Holocaust survivors, the book discusses the Nuremberg Trials, the establishment of Israel, and the continued effort to seek justice for wrongs committed by Nazi war criminals. A good resource for understanding the continuing impact of the Holocaust.
Print Reference Materials
The Holocaust Encyclopedia. Walter Laqueur, editor. 2001. Yale University Press. (940.531803 H74). Ages 14 Up.
A comprehensive single volume overview of the Holocaust. Contains articles by the world's leading Holocaust researchers covering a wide range of people, places, and events. The book is easy to use and has 300 maps and photos which make it an excellent and interesting resource.
The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. Donald L. Niewyk and Francis R. Nicosia. 2000. Columbia University Press. (940.5318 N55C) Ages 16 Up.
The book is divided into 5 parts; Historical Overview, Problems and Interpretations, Roots of the Holocaust, The Question of Rescue, Chronology, Encyclopedia, and Resources. The Historical Overview and Encyclopedia sections are the most basic and the most useful to students needing beginning material. The Problems and Interpretations and Roots of the Holocaust sections examine issues and current debates in the study of the Holocaust and are of more interest to those needing in-depth information about this subject.
Historical Atlas of the Holocaust: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 1996. MacMillan. (CD 911.4 H625). Ages 14 Up.
Contains 275 full-color maps and 500 photos which, with accompanying text, describes the history of the Holocaust and World War II. The maps are organized by subject, such as the rail system used for deportations and concentration camps, and by geographic area. General maps lead to more specific maps and are cross referenced to other maps. The photos are chilling, but not graphic. This CD-ROM is an excellent way to geographically visualize the events of the Holocaust. Unfortunately, the maps cannot be printed.
Lest We Forget - A History of the Holocaust. 1996. Endless Interactive, Logos Research Systems. (CD 940.5318 LES) Ages 14 Up.
Offers 250 pages of text, historical interactive maps, charts, a timeline, biographies, subtitled German audio documents, film footage, original music and a gallery of 500 photos. The material is organized by broad subject areas. The CD-ROM is interactive and sound is required to fully understand the material. The material is not meant to be printed, but the CD-ROM is extremely useful as a study aid. A companion web site, Lest We Forget, is available on the Cybrary of the Holocaust Web site.
America and the Holocaust. 1994. PBS Video. (940.5318 AM36). Ages 12 Up.
Created as part of the PBS "The American Experience" series, the video documents anit-semitism in the U.S. and the effect that had on America's public and political reaction to Germany's persecution of European Jews. The story is told in part from the perspective of one of the children of a German Jewish family who struggled to emigrate to the U.S. once the persecution began. PBS has a companion website to the video, America and the Holocaust, which offers a timeline of events, maps, interviews with participants, and a teacher's guide.
Memory of the Camps. 1995. PBS Video. (940.5317 M51). Ages 14 Up.
A documentray on the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, the film was first assembled by British and American film crews in 1945, but never shown until the PBS show Frontline broadcast it 40 years later in May of 1985. The video records scenes of the gas chambers, medical experimentation labs, crematoria, and the haunted, starving survivors of the camps. The film is graphic and disturbing. PBS has a companion website, Memory of the Camps, which discusses the history and objectives of the film.
Personal Accounts. These materials contain the stories of those who were caught up in the Holocaust. Some are accounts from those who survived, some are told through journal entries, others have been pieced together through a variety of sources.
Holocaust Survivors (Ages 12 Up)
Read about six Holocaust survivors including a death train escapee, prisoners of war, labor camp prisoner, and a hidden child. You can both read their stories and listen to their oral interviews. Photos of the survivors and their family are included with the text. The stories and the photos are gripping.
Voices of the Holocaust (Ages 13 Up)
Produced by the Illinois Institute of Technology. The site consists of interviews with Holocaust survivors that were conducted in 1946. Transcriptions of the interviews, summaries, and in some cases audio files are available. There is not a lot of organization to the site, but reading and listening to the interviews is moving.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank. 1995. Doubleday. (YA 940.53492 F85DFR). Ages 12 Up.
Anne Frank died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp just three months before her 16th birthday. Her diary describes the 25 months she and her family spent hiding in an attic before being discovered by the Germans. Her diary entries are candid, insightful, and detailed. This is a remarkable book. The Web site Anne Frank Online has biographies of those who lived with and helped the Frank family, information about Anne's diary, and descriptions of fleeing the Nazis, life in hiding, and in the concentration camp.
The Boys: The Untold Story of 732 Young Concentration Camp Survivors. Martin Gilbert. 1998. Owl Books. (YA 940.5318 G37B). Ages 16 Up.
The book describes the experiences of 730 children, mostly boys, who survived the war and were rehabilitated in Britain, providing a good summary of the Holocaust. The descriptions of the slow recovery of the children, and their struggle to regain self-confidence and hope make this a special Holocaust book.
Escape: Teens Who Escaped the Holocaust to Freedom. Sandra Giddens. 1999. Rosen Publishing Group. (YA 940.5318 G36E). Ages 12 to 14.
Contains the stories of four teens who survived the Holocaust. Includes a good discussion of the continued impact the Holocaust has had on their lives. A well written and insightful book.
I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust. Livia Bitton-Jackson. 1999. Simon Pulse. (YA 940.5318 B54I). Ages 13 Up.
Elli Friedman is 13 years old when Germany invades Hungary in 1944. In graphic detail she describes being deported with her family to Auschwitz concentration camp. The horrors of deportation, life in the camp, and her struggle after liberation to be a normal girl again are told in stark detail. A chilling story of survival.
In the Ghettos: Teens Who Survived the Ghettos of the Holocaust. Eleanor H. Ayer. 1999. Rosen Publishing Group. (YA 940.5318 AY2I). Ages 11 to 14.
Harrowing accounts of teen survivors of the Lodz, Theresienstadt, and Warsaw ghettos. Includes remarkable photos as well as maps of the ghettos.
The Seamstress: a Memoir of Survival. Sara Tuvel Bernstein. 1997. Berkley Publishing Group. (YA 940.5131 B458B). Ages 16 Up.
The book recounts not only Sara's experiences during the Holocaust, but also the anti-semitism she encountered while growing up in rural Romania and as an adult in Bucharest. During the Holocaust, Sara is deported to Ravensbuck, a women's concentration camp where nineteen out of every twenty women died. At the camp Sara bands together with her sister and two friends to fight for survival. A remarkable book about a remarkable woman.
We are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust. Jacob Boas. 1995. Henry Hold & Company. (YA 940.5138 BOA) Ages 12 Up.
The history of the Holocaust is told through the war time diaries of five teenagers, including Anne Frank. Trapped in tragic and violent circumstances, they write of their hopes and fears as they witness the disintegration of their lives.
The Beautiful Days of My Youth: My Six Months in Auschwitz and Plaszow. Ana Novaz. 1997. Henry Holt & Company. (YA 940.5318 NOV) Ages 13 Up.
During her time in Auschwitz and Plaszow concentration camps, 15 year old Ana Novaz wrote down her experiences on strips of German propagand posters and on sheets of toilet paper. Ana survived the camps and now shares her impressions of those harrowing months.
Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust. 1999, Survivors of the Shoal Visual History Foundation. (CD 940.5318 SU7). Ages 15 Up.
Narrated by Winona Rider and Leonardo Dicaprio, the CD-ROM features the stories of 4 Holocaust survivors. Includes maps, photos, and video clips of the survivors talking about their memories. The stories can be followed on a map, and a timeline shows a month-by-month breakdown of events for both the survivors and the war. The CD-ROM received a rating of 8 on a "Way Cool" scale of 1-10 from CommonSense Reviews. A teachers guide for the CD-ROM is available for download.
Stories from the Warsaw Ghetto: Voices from the Past. 1998. Pierre Raiman and The Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center. Montparnasse Multimedia. (CD 940.5318 ST7). Ages 13 Up.
Video and photo narrations are used to tell the stories of nine members of the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto starting with the invasion of Poland and ending with the defeat of Germany. Includes first person narration in the speaker's language with English subtitles. The day to day decisions and struggles faced by the ghetto inhabitants is discussed in moving detail. The CD-ROM also includes maps of the ghetto during each year of the war, a timeline of war and ghetto events, and photos. The software is easy to use and a good choice for those wishing to explore and understand the lives of those who chose to resist in the face of certain death.
The Complete Maus. 1994. Voyager Co. (CD 940.5318 SP4M). Ages 14 Up.
This CD version of the Pulter Prize winning graphic novel tells the story of author Art Spiegelman's parents' experiences during the holocaust. The CD-ROM includes the entire graphic novel, as well as text from Art Spiegelman's interviews with his father, commentary by Art Spiegelman, and other materials. Articles about the both the CD-ROM and the graphic novel, and interviews with the author can be found at MAUS Resources on the Web. A print version of the graphic novel can be found at YA 940.5318 SP4M.
Daring to Resist: 3 Women Face the Holocaust. 1996. PBS Video. (940.5318 DM) Ages 15 Up.
The film tells the story of three teenage girls who risked their lives to resist the Nazis. One was a photographer who fought the Nazis in the forests of Poland, another a ballerina in Amsterdam who delivered underground newspapers and who took food to Jews in hiding, and the third acquired false papers and a safe house for Jews attempting to escape from Hungary. PBS has a companion website Daring to Resist which offers a discussin of the three women, a timeline of events from the video, and a summary of the video.
Schindler's List. 1993. Universal City Studios. Rated R. (V SCH). Ages 16 Up.
Winner of 7 academy awards. The true story of Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party and a war profiteer who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. The Book of the same title can be found at AF SCH. PBS has a web site that discusses Oskar Schindler and the list, as well as a description of the making of the movie Schindler's List.
(Last Revised June 4, 2003)
Noble County Public Library