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Holocaust Fiction   Tags: bibliography, fiction, holocaust, literature  

A guide to fiction about the Holocaust.
Last Updated: Apr 8, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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*Non-Jewish author

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Momo - Ajar, Emile (Pseudonym of Romain Gary) (France)
Call Number: PQ 2661 J3 D413
In this novel which takes place in France, the Moslem son of a murdered prostitute is cared for by a retired Jewish prostitute who has survived the Holocaust. The novel is a moving look at the need individuals have for love.

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Gotz and Meyer - Albahari, David (Serbia)
Call Number: PG1419.1.L335 G413
A Serbian college professor, himself the surviving child of Jewish Holocaust victims, attempts to imagine the banality of the men who drove the trucks that gassed 5.000 Serbian Jews

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Blooms of Darkness - Appelfeld, Aharon
Call Number: PJ5054.A755 P5713
In this haunting, heartbreaking story of love and loss, the ghetto in which the Jews have been confined is being liquidated by the Nazis, and Hugo is brought by his mother to the local brothel, where Mariana, one of the prostitutes, has agreed to hide him. As their lives spiral downward, Mariana reaches out for consolation to the boy who is on the cusp of manhood

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Badenheim 1939 - Appelfeld, Aron (Israel)
Call Number: PJ 5054 A755 B3413
A group of wealthy Jews spend one last summer at a German spa in 1939, and refuse to recognize that they have become prisoners soon to be sent to concentration camps in Eastern Europe.

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The Age of Wonders - Appelfeld, Aron (Israel)
Call Number: PJ 5054 A755 T613
A survivor of the Holocaust returns to the Austrian town of his birth and meditates on his intellectual father's total disintegration during the Nazi years.

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Tzili, the story of a life - Appelfeld, Aron (Israel)
Call Number: PJ 5054 A755 K813
A simple Jewish girl somehow survives on her own during the Holocaust, possibly because she is so simple.

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Hedwig and Berti - Arkin, Frieda (USA Jewish)
Call Number: PS3551.R44 H43 2006
This novel follows the fortunes of Hedwig and Berti Kessler; Jewish refugees from Germany, who arrive in London on the eve of World War II. They have a daughter who is a piano prodigy; they are forced to face the loss of their entire family in Germany; and eventually they end up in Kansas City. This is a quirky portrait of people for whom family status at first means more than anything, who must face the reality of people behaving monstrously.

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Tales of Grabowski - Auerbach, John (Poland)
Call Number: PR 6051 U4 T35
A young Jewish intellectual transforms himself into a Polish sailor during World War II in order to survive. The book contains a long novella and some short stories. The author was largely unknown and unpublished in his lifetime.

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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis - Bassani, Giorgio (Italy)
Call Number: PQ4807.A79 G513
As fascism takes over Italy, a family of aristocratic Italian Jews lives inside the walls of villa trying to ignore the inevitable. At the same time the daughter of the family and a young man from the community begin a doomed romance.

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Jacob the Liar - Becker, Jurek (Germany)
Call Number: PT 2662 E294 J313
During the worst days of the Holocaust, Jacob keeps the hopes of his neighbors in the ghetto alive by pretending he has a radio reporting the victories of a mythical approaching Russian army. He hates his lies, but cannot escape his role.

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Too Many Men - Brett, Lily (Australia)
Call Number: PR 9619.3 B693 T6
A successful woman executive travels to Poland with her father where they explore his past as a survivor of the Holocaust.

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Chabon, Michael (USA)
Call Number: PS 3553 H15 A82
The story of the golden age of superhero comics is told through the stories of two young men who drew them. This novel sets the story of the comics against the threat of Hitler and World War II.

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Just Revenge - Dershowitz, Alan (USA)
Call Number: Johnson County Library Fiction
A Holocaust survivor plots a convoluted revenge against the man who massacred his entire family and then goes on trial for his actions.

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Baumgartner's Bombay - Desai, Anita (India)
Call Number: PR 9499.3 D465 B38
A German-Jewish refugee from the Holocaust ends up in India. There he is no more at home as a foreigner in India than he was as a Jew in Germany.

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Day After Night - Diamant, Anita
Call Number: Johnson County Library fiction
Four women from different backgrounds who survived the Holocaust in different manners all part of a group of illegal immigrants to Israel who have been interned by the British. The novel describes their experiences during the war and their attempts to put the past behind and make new lives for themselves.

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Fires in the Dark - Doughty, Louise (Gypsy Czechoslovakia)
Call Number: PR 6054 O795 F57
As the Germans march through Europe, a Gypsy family in Czechoslovakia sees their way of life destroyed as they become part of the Nazis' "Final Solution."

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The Vices - Douglas, Lawrence
ISBN: 1590514157
Publication Date: 2011
After his close friend and colleague's death, a college professor recalls their friendship and tries to assemble the truth of this friend's life. In fact, however, no facts are what they seem to be.

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Ship of the Hunted - Elberg, Yehuda (Poland)
Call Number: PJ 5129 E534 O913
This novel chronicles the travails of a mother and son who separately survive the Holocaust in Poland.

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For the Relief of Unbearable Urges - Englander, Nathan (USA)
Call Number: PS 3555 N424 F67
Short stories about the condition of the Jews in the twentieth century, ranging in topics from the destruction of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union and a community struggling to survive the Holocaust to the sadness of an Orthodox wigmaker in Brooklyn.

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Aunt Rachel's Fur - Federman, Raymond (France)
Call Number: PS 3556 E25 A95
An out-of-work writer carries on an extended monologue with an unnamed listener in a Parisian cafe. The subject is the author's life, his work and his unreliability as a narrator. The story is different in each retelling, but the substance remains the same, that the narrator is a Holocaust survivor who has been unable to reconcile his life with his survival.

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A Scrap of Time and other stories - Fink, Ida (Poland)
Call Number: PG 7165 I44 S513
This is a collection of short stories about the horrors of the Holocaust in Poland.

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Everything is Illuminated - Foer, Jonathan Safran (USA)
Call Number: PS 3606 O38 E84
A young American man, tracing the history of his grandfather in Russia, hires a Russian guide to help him locate a now destroyed shtetl. In the search the young men discover that they share a previously unknown bond.

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Mr. Theodore Mundstock - Fuks Ladislav (Czechoslovakia)
Call Number: PG5039.16.U38 P3513
As the Czech deportations of Jews to concentration camps become more and more common, Mr. Theodore Mundstock prepares for the receipt of his deportation letter and tries in little but significant ways to help his neighbors. This is the story of one ordinary man in extraordinary times trying to be the best person he can be.

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See Under--Love - Grossman, David (Israel)
Call Number: PJ 5054 G728 A9713
This complex book with several interlocking stories chronicles the life of a young boy, Momik, the troubled son of Holocaust survivors, who must learn about the unimaginable cruelty of which men are capable.

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Snow in August - Hamill, Pete (USA)*
Call Number: PS 3558 A423 S66
Michael Devlin, the Irish-Catholic son of a widow, befriends a Rabbi who is a survivor of the Holocaust living in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Michael becomes the Rabbi's Shabbos Goy, performing tasks for the Rabbi that Jews are forbidden to perform on the Sabbath. When an anti-Semitic gang of hoodlums, terrorizes the Rabbi and the young boy and his mother, Michael strikes back, creating a Golem like the ones the Rabbi told him about, with predictable results.

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The Prince of West End Avenue - Isler, Alan (USA)
Call Number: PS 3559 S52
A man, living in a New York senior citizen apartment, comes to terms with his actions during the Holocaust as he and his neighbors work on a production of Macbeth.

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We Are on our Own - Katin, Miriam
Call Number: DS135.H93 K38
In this very moving graphic memoir, the artist relives her experiences as a three-year-old child during the Holocaust in Hungary. In the countryside, she and her mother posed as a peasant and her illegitimate child, in order to escape deportation to a concentration camp.

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Comedy in a Minor Key - Keilson, Hans (The Netherlands)
Call Number: PT2621.E24 K613
ISBN: 0374126755
Publication Date: 2010
When a young Dutch couple agree to hide a Jewish fugitive during World War II, what they least expect is that the gentleman for whom they have developed a fondness will sicken and die, leaving them with a dangerous mission. Get rid of the corpse.

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Schindler's List - Keneally, Thomas (Australian) *
Call Number: ) PR 9619.3 K46 S3
A wealthy German industrialist saves hundreds of Jews during World War II, placing himself at great risk. This novel is based on real events and was made into an award-winning movie.

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Fateless - Kertesz, Imre (Hungary)
Call Number: PH 3281 K3815 S6713
This novel describes the fate of a young Hungarian Jewish boy who is deported to a concentration camp. The author is the 2002 Nobel Laureate in literature, selected for his unblinking narratives about the fate of the Jews during World War II.

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Kaddish for a Child Not Born - Kertesz, Imre (Hungary)
Call Number: PH 3281 K3815 K313
A middle-aged survivor of the Holocaust explains to his friend why he cannot bring a child into the world in this novel by the 2002 Nobel Laureate in literature.

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Death in Rome - Koeppen, Wolfgang (Germany)*
Call Number: PT 2621 O46 T613
An inadvertent family reunion occurs in Rome in the early 50's when a young German composer's symphony is to be premiered. His rabid unrepentant Nazi uncle, his politician father, a cousin studying for the priesthood, a mad aunt, and his law student brother convene in a brutal look at post-war Germany and its Nazi past.

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A Feast in the Garden - Konrad, George (Hungary)
Call Number: PH 3281 K7558 K4713
A noted Jewish author and his friends relive their experiences in Hungary during the Nazi invasion and the Communist era.

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The Painted Bird - Kosinski, Jerzy (Poland)
Call Number: PS 3561 O8 P3
Separated from his parents during World War II, a young Polish boy wanders through the countryside enduring unimaginable cruelty at the hands of the peasants who assume he is Jewish because of his dark coloring.

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If Not Now, When - Levi, Primo (Italy)
Call Number: PQ 4872 E8 S413
A group of Holocaust survivors make their way across a war-devastated Europe, trying to get home.

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Moments of Reprieve - Levi, Primo (Italy)
Call Number: PQ 4872 E8 Z4713
These short stories from the Auschwitz Concentration Camp describe moments in which individuals acted with kindness.

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Darkness Casts No Shadow - Lustig, Arnost (Czech)
Call Number: PG 5038 L85 D3
A young Jewish man on a train to a death camp during World War II, jumps off somewhere within Nazi Germany, determined to survive.

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Indecent Dreams - Lustig, Arnost (Czech)
Call Number: PG 5038 L85 A2
In these three long short stories, three women in Prague observe the Nazi horror as the war is drawing to a close.

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Night and Hope - Lustig, Arnost (Czech)
Call Number: PG 5038 L85 N5
This is a novel about the Jewish children of Czechoslovakia who were transported from the Prague ghetto to a "model" concentration camp, Terezin where despite their innocence, the children knew that the worst was yet to come.

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The Property - Modan, Rutu; Jessica Cohen (Translator)
Call Number: On order PN6790.I73 . M6313 2013
ISBN: 1770461159
Publication Date: 2013
A young woman accompanies her grandmother to Warsaw, supposedly to recover her family's apartment, lost during the Holocaust. The grandmother actually has a different agenda.

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Night in Shanghai - Mones, Nicole
Call Number: PS3563.O519 N55 2014
ISBN: 9780547516172
Publication Date: 2014
An African-American pianist recruited to lead a jazz band in Shanghai in the 1930's falls in love with a young Chinese woman, befriends the Jews in the Shanghai ghetto and observes the split between the Nationalists and the Communists on the eve of World War II. The novel is a accurate portrayal of cosmopolitan Shanghai on the eve of war

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The True Story of Hansel and Gretel - Murphy, Louise (USA) *
Call Number: PS 3563 U7446 T78
In a reversal of the fairy tale, two Jewish children are abandoned by their stepparents and try to survive the Holocaust using the assumed names, Hansel and Gretel.

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The Messiah of Stockholm - Ozick, Cynthia (USA)
Call Number: PS 3565 Z5 M4
A disparate group of intellectuals search for the lost manuscript of Bruno Schulz, a Polish Jewish author who was murdered during the Holocaust.

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The Shawl - Ozick, Cynthia (USA)
Call Number: PS 3565 Z5 S5
To a survivor of the Holocaust living in the United States, a shawl symbolizes all that was lost.

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How I came to Know Fish - Pavel, Ota (Czechoslovakia)
Call Number: PG 5039.26 A9 A33
A young Jewish boy comes of age in Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust, spending his happiest times before the war fishing with his father and brothers.

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Far Above Rubies - Polansky, Cynthia (Netherlands)
Call Number: PS3616.O55 F37
This is the true story of a Dutch woman who voluntarily went to Auschwitz with her six Jewish step-daughters. It is a story of remarkable courage in the face of pure evil.

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The German Money - Raphael, Lev (USA)
Call Number: PS 3568 A5988 G47
When their mother, a Holocaust survivor, dies unexpectedly, her three children examine their relationships with each other and delve into their mother's mysterious past and the reason she left all of her untouched German reparation money to the eldest. The author is the child of Holocaust survivors.

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How Sweet It Is! - Rosenbaum, Thane Rosenbaum
ISBN: 1942134002
Publication Date: 2015
The son of Holocaust survivors, describes his strange life in Miami of the 1970's where is mother is the chief assistant to Meyer Lansky, head of the Jewish mob and his father talks to I B Singer while the son just wants to play baseball.

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The Last of the Just - Schwartz-Bart, Andre (France)
Call Number: ) PQ 2637 C736 D43
A young Jewish boy during the Holocaust is one of the legendary 36 just men who feel the pain of others who are suffering. This novel brings home the horrors of the Holocaust in an individual way.

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Max and the Cats - Scliar, Moacyr (Brazil)
Call Number: PQ 9698.29 C54 M3313
A young man flees political persecution in Nazi Germany, only to end up shipwrecked on a lifeboat with a jaguar as his only companion. The award-winning novel The Life of Pi was inspired by this novella.

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Austerlitz - Sebald, W. G. (Germany)*
Call Number: PT 2681 E18 A9513
A young man, who was rescued from the Holocaust, searches Europe for his lost memories of childhood and his lost family. This is a challenging metafiction about how much European intellectuals as well as ordinary people lost during the debacle of World War II.

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And the Rat Laughed - Semel, Nava
ISBN: 1876462655
Publication Date: 2008
Beginning with the horrific memories of an elderly woman's experiences during the Holocaust, this novel moves through time, genres (poetry, science fiction) and becomes an evocative narrative of what happens to memory as time alters people's perceptions. A truly amazing and different book about the Holocaust.

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The Rosendorf Quartet - Shaham, Nathan (Israel)
Call Number: PJ 5054 S3 R4813
Four Jewish musicians, who are fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany, form a brilliant quartet in Israel during the late 30's. The book is written in the form of a quartet with each member relating his or her story.

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In the Land of Armadillos - Shankman, Helen Maryles
Call Number: PS3619.H35474 A6 2016
ISBN: 1501115197
Publication Date: 2016
This is a series of linked stories about the experiences of the Jewish community in the Polish town of Wlodowa during World War II.
Suggested stories: "In the Land of Armadillos" "A Decent Man"

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When Eve Was Naked: stories of a life's journey - Skvorecky, Josef (Czech)*
Call Number: PG 5038 S527 A2
These are short stories that illuminate significant times in the author's life. Skvorecky has lived through some of the twentieth century's most calamitous eras including the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia, the Communist regime and exile in Canada.

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Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History - Spiegelman, Art (USA)
Call Number: D 804.3 S655
This is part one of a graphic novel about the artist/author's parents and their experiences as Jews caught up in the Holocaust. It is a chilling rendition of their indescribable experiences and how it affected their subsequent lives in the United States.

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Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began - Spiegelman, Art (USA)
Call Number: D 804.3 S66
This is part two of a graphic novel about the artist/author's parents and their experiences as Jews caught up in the Holocaust. It is a chilling rendition of their indescribable experiences and how it affected their subsequent lives in the United States.

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Metamaus - Spiegelman, Art
Call Number: PN6727.S6 Z465 2011
ISBN: 037542394X
Publication Date: 2011
The author of Maus describes the process of creating the graphic work. He discusses his parents' experiences during the Holocaust, his research,, the history of his experiences with graphic novels and explains how he created the work, frame by frame.

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Pictures at an Exhibition - Thomas, D. M. (Great Britain) *
Call Number: PR 6070 H58 P53
A young Czech Jew in a concentration camp uses rudimentary psychoanalysis to help a German camp doctor suffering from headaches. Years later in England a famous analyst (possibly the same man) is treating numerous famous patients from Thatcher's Britain.

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The White Hotel - Thomas, D. M. (Great Britain)*
Call Number: PR 6070 H58 W5
An opera singer who is being treated for her psychoses by Freud is later trapped in the Holocaust.

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The Book of Blam - Tisma, Aleksandar (Yugoslavia)
Call Number: PG 1419.3 I8 K5713
A Holocaust survivor walks the streets of Novy Sad recalling the Jewish residents who lived there before the war, remembering their lives and how they died, massacred by the fascist Hungarians in 1942.

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Mendelssohn is on the Roof - Weil, Jir� (Czech)
Call Number: PG 5038 W4 N313
A tale of how ordinary lives are changed during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.

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Night, Dawn, The Accident: Three Tales - Wiesel, Elie (Hungary)
Call Number: PQ 2683 I32 A2
These are three novellas of the Holocaust written by a survivor of Auschwitz.

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Mr. Mani - Yehoshua, A. B. (Israel)
Call Number: PJ 5054 Y42 M3413
Several generations of a Sephardic Jewish family struggle to overcome their self-destructive urges that resulted from a shocking act by the founder of the family.

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