Books for Holocaust Remembrance Day- Yom Hashoah

Books for Holocaust Remembrance Day.


While I firmly believe that every day should begin with a prayer of thanks and gratitude for the blessings we enjoy, and a moment of contemplation for those in the world still suffering, I recognize that not everyone welcomes such thoughts. Therefore, we embrace holidays and earmark specific anniversary’s to jolt our collective conscience; such is the case of the May 2nd, Holocaust Remembrance Day.


To note the significance of Holocaust remebrance Day-Yom Hashoah, the Sunday edition of the WALL STREET JOURNAL Leisure and Arts section– Books, listed five books that reviewer Robert Rozett, Director of the Yad Vashem Library in Jerusalem, considered the “Five Best” tomes to keep the Holocaust ion our mind during this weekend.  His selections were: “Nazi Germany and the Jews” by Saul Friedlander, “Ordinary Men” by Christopher R. Browning, “The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-1943” by Yisrael Gutman, “If This Is Man” by Primo Levi and “The Lost” by Daniel Mendelsohn. All great books.


However, I would like to offer my selections for books that keep the Holocaust in mind and perhaps jot the reaader with new information or a different perspective on the Holocaust.


a special missionDan Zurzman’s “The Special Mission, Hitler’s Secret Plot to Sieze the Vatican and Kidnap Pope Pius XII” is a little known story, which provides the interesting background behind the questions of the relationship between Vatican City, the Jews of Rome and Hitler’s compulsion to control both. Many people have questioned Pope Pius XII’s actions during the war, this book explains without excusing the church. The stroy reads like a mystery at times but delivers a well researched and thoughtfully executed tale of one element of the Holocaust not many know much about. However, we still don’t know what’s in ‘The Archives”.

Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art - America and Her Allies Recovered It “Rescuing DaVinci” by Robert M. Edsel is a gorgeous historical reference guide that looks like it belongs on the coffee table. The images tell the tale of Hitler, Himmler and Goring’s systematic plan for stealing all of Europe’s most famous masterpieces to create the ultimate art museum.  The story highlights the cat and mouse game between the curators and collectors trying to protect their art and the job of the U.S. soldiers, known as the Monuments Men dedicated to finding, restoring and restituting the looted art back to it’s owners.  Edsel was also a co-producer in the film The Rape of Europa based on the book by Lynn Nichols. Edsel created the Monuments Men Foundation and was recently recognized by the National Humanities Medal.


From Darkness Into LightThe Holocaust Project, From Darkness into Light by Artist Judy Chicago and Photographer Donald Woodman.  This book is the story of Judy and Donald’s mission to understand and interpret the Holocaust while in the process of making art that documents, memorializes and defines the history of this horrific act. Along the way Chicago and Woodman find their own Jewish identity and a desire to create an ongoing educational legacy.  While the actual artwork of the Holocaust Project has traveled around the world over the past fifteen years, and rests in storage waiting for it’s next venue, readers will find the book (with available teaching guide) a true life account as riveting as a survivor’s story.

Hear a short outtake from my interview with Judy about the making of the Holocaust Project:

Holocaust Remembrancel Day is not only about a moment of silence for the six million who perished, but to allow us all an opportunity to rethink our lives and open our minds to learning more about the history, and appreciating the need to continue to revisit the messages with our young people in as many ways as possible. The more story tellers, the better chance we all have of avoiding another HOLOCAUST.




~ by Lander Marks on April 30, 2008.

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