The books contained here are suitable for adult reading groups who wish to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The books here are not exhaustive. For other ideas, take a look at our bibliography.

Questions are provided as an outline for discussions and may act as spoilers for the book.

A Lucky Child is the memoir of Thomas Buergenthal, a survivor of Kielce ghetto and both Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps.  The story tells of a happy childhood and the vibrant parents who had to flee their peaceful life in...
Helen Lewis, a Jewish choreographer, teacher and dancer who lived in Prague under Nazi occupation, was deported in 1942 to the Theresienstadt/Terezin Ghetto, from where she was sent in May 1944 to Auschwitz and later to the labour camp of Stutthof,...
Please note that this review will act as spoilers for the book. About the book Who Betrayed the Jews? directly contrasts with Agnes Grunwald-Spier’s previous book The Other Schindlers. In the earlier publication, Grunwald-Spier details the...
Please note that this review will act as spoilers for the book.Download this book review here.About the bookHailed by critics as a classic, and as poignant today as when it was first published, Address Unknown is a short yet powerful work of fiction...
Please note that this will act as a spoiler for the book.Download this book review here.About the bookClifford’s Blues is a novel about a black, gay jazz musician in Nazi Germany. The book takes the form of a fictional diary kept by American citizen...
Aimee & Jaguar is the true story of Elisabeth (Lilly) Wust - a German housewife, and Felice Schragenheim – a Jewish woman, who fall in love in Berlin during the Second World War and the ongoing Holocaust of Europe’s Jewish population. Told...
Alone in Berlin is based on a true story.  Otto and Anna Quangel’s son has died whilst serving with the German Army.  In a moment of anger, Anna blames Otto and ‘his Fuhrer’.  Otto is offended and decides to resist the Nazi regime in...
Bent was first performed as a staged reading in 1978 and reading groups could set up their own.  The first full production took place in London in 1979.  Ian McKellen played Max and Tom Bell Horst.In 1934, Nazi Germany, Max is living with...
The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a nine-year old girl fostered by a family on Himmel Street, Molching, Germany in the late 1930s.  Liesel’s story includes her obsession with reading, her theft of books and the impact of the...
Bluebird is a memoir by a Bosnian Refugee, Vesna Maric who was 16 at the start of the war.  After convincing her mother to let her leave, Vesna is sent on a coach journey with her sister to Britain.  From this time until she gained asylum...
Black Dog of Fate is the memoir of Armenian-American poet Peter Balakian. Through recollections of the many upheavals of sub-urban America in the 1950s and 60s, Balakian reveals how he came to understand his family’s experiences in the Armenian...
The Cellist of Sarajevo is a novel which follows the lives of three inhabitants of Sarajevo during the Siege of Sarajevo which lasted from April 1992 to February 1996. The story is set during a brief period when a cellist plays in the street in...
Chasing Shadows is the memoir of Holocaust survivor Rabbi Hugo Gryn which follow his life from his happy childhood and prosperous family life in Berehovo in the Carpathian mountains (then in Czechoslovakia, now in Ukraine) to his experiences in...
The Children of Freedom is written from the perspective of 18 year old Jeannot who has, along with his younger brother, found refuge from Nazi persecution in Toulouse in 1942.  The brothers join the 35th Brigade – a group of young foreigners...
Reviewed as a 'book to change readers' eyes and hearts' by Kirkus Reviews, Linda Crew's Children of the River will certainly bring a tear to your eye and pull at your heartstrings.  This book captures the genocide in Cambodia by telling...
Originally published in 1947, Comedy in a Minor Key tells the story of a young Dutch couple who have chosen to hide a Jew in their house during World War Two.  At the start of the book we learn that Nico, the Jewish fugitive has died from an...
Maus: A Survivor's Tale is an autobiography by Art Spiegelman, in the form of a graphic novel. The complete story was published in two volumes: the first in 1986 (My Father Bleeds History) and the second in 1991 (And Here My Troubles Began).  ...
Defiance: The Bielski Partisans documents the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews during World War II.  After Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa and invades the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, multitudes of Jews find themselves facing...
The Diary of Petr Ginz Author: Petr GinzReview: Chris GilbertClick here to download a copy of this book review.About the bookPetr Ginz’s diary covers the period from September 1941 until October 1942, two months before his transportation to the...
Anne began to keep a personal diary on her thirteenth birthday when she received a diary as a birthday present.  She wrote ‘I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will...
A sixteen-year-old girl from Montreal, Anne Greves, falls in love with Serey, a student from Cambodia.  As they listen to jazz and fall in love, Serey reveals he knows nothing of what has happened to his family. At the end of the genocide in...
Disturbance of the Inner Ear is Joyce Hackett’s first novel and tells the story of Isabel Masurovsky, a former child prodigy cellist and daughter of a world-famous musician who survived the Theresiendstadt concentration camp.Discussion...
East West Street Author: Philippe SandsReview: Mark HarrisonClick here to download a copy of this book review.About the Book A 400 page tome examining the origins of the legal concepts of ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ doesn...
Fiercely patriotic secular Jew, Pavel Bauer, is helpless to prevent his world from unravelling when the Nazis invade Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia in 1939.  As the Czech government falls – a system he had great respect for – and then his business...
A testimony from a survivor of the genocide in Cambodia. In From Phnom Penh to Paradise, Var Hong Ashe talks about the atrocities she and her family faced as the Khmer Rouge took power. Starting from the evacuation from the cities to the countryside...
The Girl in the Painted Caravan: Memories of a Romany Childhood is the memoir of Eva Petulengro and her family.  It charts her experience and the traditions of her Romany family in England between 1880 and the 1960s.  She speaks of the...
Hitler’s Canary is based on the experiences of Sandi Toksvig’s father and the stories he used to tell her as she was growing up.  It is the tale of Bamse, a nine year old boy who lives in Copenhagen with his famous actress mother, set designing...
I have lived a thousand years is the testimony of Holocaust survivor Livia Bitton-Jackson.  It tells the story of Livia and her family and their deportation from Budapest to Auschwitz and the events which took place from then until liberation...
I Am Healthy and I Feel Fine is the collected letters of a prisoner in Auschwitz.  Marian Serejski, a university lecturer from Warsaw was imprisoned as a political prisoner in Auschwitz for 15 months in 1941 – 2.  He was one of only 2,000...
I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual is the testimony of a gay survivor of the Nazi regime of hatred.  In his story, Pierre explains what happened to him under the arrest of the Gestapo, his subsequent interrogation and torture and time in the...
If Not Now, When?Author: Primo LeviReview: Chris Gilbert Click here to download a copy of this book review.  About the bookPrimo Levi’s only full length novel follows resistance fighters in the western Soviet Union, travelling into...
If This is a Man is Primo Levi’s memoir of his experiences in the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz III.  Between 1944 and 1945 Levi spent 11 months as a prisoner in the camp where conditions were so brutal that life expectancy was only three...
Inherit the Truth is the testimony of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch.  The story is told partly through recollections of her experiences and partly through family letters.  We follow Anita’s...
This novel is set during the First World War and the outbreak of WW2, in Berlin.  It tells the story of Orphan, Lilly Aphrodite and how she grows up to become a screen icon, although her fame is short-lived. Selling roses or dancing in...
Polish born Cyrla has been sent to live with her Aunt, Uncle and Cousin in Holland by her Jewish father in 1939.  Her family keep the secret of her heritage whilst the German Army occupy Holland and Cyrla lives in hiding, afraid that her...
Sabaheta is a young Bosnian Muslim who changes her name to Bosnia; the novel follows her and her friends as they try to build safe lives and loving relationships both during and after the Bosnian War in the mid 1990s.Discussion QuestionsPlease note...
Night is Elie Wiesel’s memoir of his experience, as a young Orthodox Jew, of being sent with his family to the German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald during the Holocaust.Fifty years after being written, the 109-page volume,...
In The Other Schindlers, Agnes Grunwald-Spier explores the motivation of those who rescued, hid, saved or assisted Jews in the Holocaust.  She explores the moral choices made by rescuers and asks us to consider the moral choices we make today....
Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911 in Sosnowiec in Poland.  He studied the piano and composition as a young man in Warsaw and Berlin.  On 1 April 1935 he joined Polish Radio, where he worked as a pianist performing classical and jazz...
The Reader tells the story of Michael, a 15 year old boy in Germany, and his experience of his love affair with Hanna, an older woman.  After the breakdown of their relationship, and many years later, Michael is studying law and observing a...
When Klara appears in Paris, two months after the end of the war and years after her disappearance into Auschwitz, her best friend and sister-in law, Angelika, is elated and apprehensive.  Initially, her fears seem well founded – Klara won’t...
Please note that this will act as spoilers for the book.Download this book review here.About the bookThe Truce documents Primo Levi’s long and difficult journey back to Italy, through the confusion and destruction in the immediate aftermath of World...
Please note that this will act as spoilers for the book.Download this book review here.About the bookHow can a writer communicate the horror of the Genocide in Rwanda? An even more pertinent question is how can a writer communicate such an atrocity...
Please note that this will act as spoilers for the book.Download this book review here.About the bookJehovah's Witnesses were one of the first groups, alongside political opponents, to be sent to the Nazi concentration camps in the early 1930s, and...
Schindler’s Ark tells the true story of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi Party member and factory owner, who saved over 1000 Jews from certain death. While the story is true the book is written as a novel.The book also charts the story of the creation and...
The Secret Purposes tells the story of Isaac Fabian, the Communist son of a liberal rabbi from Konigsberg in Germany, who flees to Cambridge with his wife and daughter to escape Nazi persecution.  As World War II breaks out Isaac is interred as...
Settela is a book about the discovery of an Untold Story.  Dutch Journalist Aad Wagenaar, intrigued by the image of a young girl in a headscarf being put on to a cattle truck at Camp Westerbork in a Nazi film which details a day in the life of...
The Seventh Gate is the story of teenager Sophie who lives in Berlin with a Communist father, an overbearing mother and a seemingly autistic brother.  The cast of characters is huge, including Isaac Zarco, a Jewish expert on the Kabbalah, and a...
Sofia Z-4515 tells the true life story of Sofia Taikon, a Polish Roma Gypsy who survived Auschwitz, written and illustrated as a comic book.  It was originally published in Swedish in 2005, and translated to English in 2012.The story is told...
In Adek, a tiny village in the sprawling desert of Southern Sudan, a community lives on a knife-edge of starvation and war, at the mercy of the bombs that fall from the sky like rain.  When three western aidworkers, including medical student...
Sophie’s Choice is the story of a young writer who meets and falls in love with Sophie, a Polish woman who has rebuilt her life in Brooklyn in 1947, shortly after her liberation from Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Focussing on the relationship between...
Speak Rwanda is Julian Pierce’s debut novel about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.   Pierce chooses not to see from the largely observational role of international workers, but instead focuses on the genocide from 10 different Rwandan...
Suite Francaise consists of the first two sections an uncompleted five-part novel examining life after the German occupation of France in 1940.  The novel was written as the events portrayed were actually unfolding and reflects the experiences...
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky is the account of three of Sudan’s ‘Lost Boys’.  At the onset of the civil war in Sudan, which has continued to devastate Sudanese communities to the present day, tens of thousands of young boys took flight...
In This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen Tadeuz Borowski recalls his experiences of Auschwitz-Birkenau as a Polish political prisoner.  Through a series of short stories and intimate letters, Borowski’s fictionalised memoirs look at the...
Tears of the Desert is the memoir by Halima Bashir, a survivor of the Genocide in Darfur.  In this book she talks about growing up in a village in Darfur, about the persecution of her tribe – the Zaghawa tribes by the Arab Sudanese government...
The Tiger in the Attic: Memories of the Kindertransport and Growing Up English Author: Edith MiltonReview: Chris GilbertClick here to download a copy of this book review. About the bookEdith Milton left Germany with her sister in 1939 just...
To The End of Hell is the testimony of Denise Affonço who survived the genocide in Cambodia.  In the book, she talks about being forcibly removed from the city to the country, her forced labour and the separation from her son.  She writes...
The Translator is the testimony of Daoud Hari, a Darfuri survivor who now lives in the U.S.  His book tells of the destruction of his village, his subsequent work in helping refugees fleeing the genocide and in helping journalists from across...
We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families is a first person account of the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide.  Based on interviews with survivors and perpetrators, Philip Gourevitch’s book also examines the...
When Broken Glass Floats tells the true story of a 10 year-old girl who has been forcibly removed from her home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia along with her entire family in the wake of the successful coup by the Khmer Rouge.  With an almost...
When Swan Lake Comes to Sarajevo is the compelling account of musician Ruth Waterman who volunteers to work with and conduct the Mostar Sinfonietta in Bosnia following the war and genocide that tore the country apart.  Ruth speaks about the...
Winter Time is a personal account of the experience of German Sinto, Walter Winter.  He survived the Nazi Concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ravensbruck and Sachsenhausen.  He depicts the persecution he and his family faced as the...
The Woman Without a Number is the testimony of Holocaust survivor Iby Knill.  She writes about her life in the former Czechoslovakia and Hungary.  In her book she talks about her capture and imprisonment under the Nazis.  She speaks...
You Alone May Live is the 2010 memoir of Mary K. Blewitt OBE, founder of Survivors Fund SURF, a charity that works to improve the lives of survivors of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.  By recounting her experiences that led her to be at the heart...
Zoli is the story of a Gypsy woman exiled for betraying her people: the novel begins in Czechoslovakia in the early 1930s when Zoli, a young Roma girl, is six years old.  The fascist Hlinka guards had driven most of her people out on the frozen...