Saturday, March 9, 2013

Recommended books about Shoah

The first is my favourite book, the first book I would grab if I was to be sent to exile in a desert island. It's more a meditation over human nature than a detailed account of the Buna-Monowitz work camp: (Ist das ein Mensch, Se questo รจ un uomo) by Primo Levi,


probably one of the most intelligent men of his generation, a Chemist and a literate. They say he committed suicide in 1987 but it's bullshit, he was under medication and he lost balance and fell. The companion book "The Truce" is also very worth a reading, telling how after the liberation from the Red Army he came back from Russia to Italy basically by foot.

Another book I am reading is From the Ashes of Sobibor, by Thomas Blatt; the literaly style is very simple by it really captures you. From which you learn that most Ukrainian and Polish people - mostly Catholic - were very happy to denounce and rob Jews - the exceptions were very rare.

Then there is Five Chimneys, a sober and detailed account of a woman's struggle for survival in Birkenau. Maybe not as good as the previous book, because it focuses exclusively on the details of the concentration camp, leaving apart any political analysis, but still a very valuable and sobering source of information.

Excellent is also Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz, by Shlomo Venezia, a dry and concise account of the struggle to stay human in the camp.

Worth reading is Adam Czerniakowsky Diary from the Warsaw Getto, a stern day to day account of the German occupation of Warsaw and segregation of the Jews in the Getto.

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