Books:


Dry Tears: The Story of a Lost Childhood by Nechama Tec: This autobiography tells the story of Nechama Tec, whose family was able to find refuge with Polish Christians during the war. He and his family had to conceal their identities as Jews in order to survive, leaving the reader with an accurate and moving narrative about a young boy who must grow up in the face of unprecedented horrors.

Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning: This novel details the atrocities committed by an average Nazi unit during the Holocaust. Browning expertly shows how simple and everyday Germans became a part of the Nazi killing machine in the military through a variety of societal and individual factors.

The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak:Five Notebooks from the Lodz Ghetto by Dawid Sierakowiak:  This diary describes the harsh conditions of life within the Lodz Ghetto through the eyes of a young man. Dawid experiences starvation, loss, and a variety of other horrors meant to break his spirit, yet he is still able to write about his love of literature and his fight to stay alive with great brilliance and detail.

The Journal of Helene Berr by Helene Berr: Helene Berr was a Jewish woman in occupied Paris who was able to keep a journal detailing her experiences not only as a coming of age woman but also as a victim of Nazi prejudice. Her journal shows life within an occupied country as well as her inner thoughts about the horrors she witnessed.

 

Films:

 

Conspiracy (Film): Directed by Frank Pierson in 2001, this film covers the Wannsee Conference which was held in order to determine the best execution of Hitler’s Final Solution. This film details the procedures and laws that the Nazis and conspirators agreed upon in order to kill the Jews of Europe in a systematic and lawful way.

Night and Fog (Documentary): This short French documentary by Alain Resnais, which debuted in 1956, mere years after the Holocaust features both historical footage of Auschwitz and post-Holocaust footage of the same camp in the 1950s. The juxtaposition of past and present footage, both color and black-and-white, allows for the comparison of the horrors of the Holocaust with the now empty and seemingly serene camp. The narration of the documentary focuses on the functions of the camp’s buildings and processing methods, and also relies heavily on first hand footage of the horrors victims endured on a daily basis. The documentary also begs the question of who is responsible for the Holocaust, and the likelihood that humanity will not learn from the mass genocide of the Jews.