Books Roundup

By Jacob Suskewicz

Published April 21, 2006, issue of May 19, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Each season brings a slew of Holocaust-related books, but the spring 2006 line seems to be a particularly rich crop, including tales of personal heroism in the face of extreme danger; historical documents on Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Franklin Roosevelt, and even a book of poems that envisions Franz Kafka had he lived to raise a family.

Another European literary giant figures prominently in Steven F. Sage’s Ibsen and Hitler: The Playwright, the Plagiarist, and the Plot for the Third Reich (Carroll & Graf, 384 pages, $28). Sage argues that Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) was a primary influence on Hitler, and that three of Ibsen’s plays in particular, “An Enemy of the People,” “The Master Builder” and “Emperor and Galilean,” actually presaged or foreshadowed the Third Reich and served as a model for Hitler in implementing key political, diplomatic and even military actions during the war.

On a somewhat more uplifting note, Mark Klempner’s The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers and Their Stories of Courage (Pilgrim Press, 235 pages, $24) tells the stories of Dutch resisters, who placed their own lives in danger and rescued friends and neighbors from the Nazis. Klempner, a folklorist and oral historian, interviews 10 such Holocaust rescuers and uses their personal narratives as a means to find inspiration for his own life, applying the lessons learned from the resistors to find meaning in today’s world.

In children’s books, Rachel Hausfater and Olivier Latyk’s The Little Boy Star: An Allegory of the Holocaust (IBooks/Milk & Cookies Press, 32 pages, $16.95) highlights the darkness of the era in a simple allegory of a child given a Star of David to wear. At first the child is proud to wear the star, but then he begins to disappear. Amy Littlesugar and William Low’s Willy and Max: A Holocaust Story (Philomel, 40 pages, $15.99) uses the account of a stolen painting to show the friendship between two boys in Belgium and the difficulties they face as the Nazi soldiers close in.

* * * * *

Other new and noteworthy books about the Holocaust:

The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust

By Jeffrey Herf

Belknap Press (Harvard University), 432 pages, $29.95.

Hitler’s Shadow War: The Holocaust and World War II

By Donald M. McKale

Taylor Trade Publishing, 588 pages, $18.95.

Roosevelt and the Holocaust

By Robert Beir

Barricade Books, 320 pages, $26.95.

Saving the Jews: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Holocaust

By Robert N. Rosen,

Alan M. Dershowitz (Introduction)

Thunder’s Mouth Press, 324 pages, $32.

June 1941: Hitler and Stalin

By John Lukacs

Yale University Press, 192 pages, $25.

Using and Abusing the Holocaust

By Lawrence L. Langer

Indiana University Press, 216 pages, $29.95.

Holocaust Memoir Digest, Vol. 2: A Digest of Published Survivor

Memoirs With Study Guide and Maps

By Esther Goldberg (Editor), Sir Martin Gilbert (Editor)

Vallentine Mitchell, 140 pages, $16.95.

The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich: A Son’s Memoir

By Howard Riech

Public Affairs Press, 272 pages, $22.95.

A High and Hidden Place

By Michele Claire Lucas

HarperSanFrancisco, 304 pages, $13.95

Franz Kafka’s Daughter Meets the Evil Nazi Empire!!!: The Heroism of Roaches Holocaust-Tainted Poems

By Elliot Richman

Leaping Dog Press, 80 pages, $10.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.