Recommended Holocaust Books

Chanoch Ze’evi, the director of Hitler’s Children Film & The "Hitler's Children" Crew, compiled a list
of some of the best Holocaust related books. These books have influenced their work profoundly & provide more depth to some of the topics covered in the film.
Here is the list with a short note describing them from Chanoch.
Support ongoing Holocaust research by purchasing the books you want to read through the links below:
The personal story of Katrin Himmler that also makes an appearance in “Hitler’s children”. Katrin discovers by chance that her grandfather and her family were as enthusiastic a Nazis as Heinrich Himmler, The “black sheep” of the family. With a piercing gaze into a dark past, Katrin Himmler exposes with considerable talent the story of one Nazi family – her family – the Himmlers, without trying to gloss over any of the facts.
The Himmler Brothers: A German Family History
The personal story of Niklas Frank that also participates in “Hitler’s children”. Niklas was the son of the governor of Poland who was personally appointed by Hitler, and witnessed the coming and going of the Krakow Ghetto. From time to time he used to join his mother and their chauffeur to go “shopping” in the ghetto. Niklas remembers seeing the broken people in the ghetto as a child through the window of the official Mercedes without understanding then why they looked the way they did. He even remembers an occasion where he pulled out his tongue towards a neglected Jewish boy – an occasion that still keeps him awake at night. In his book Niklas chastises his parents, and raises severe accusation towards his father and the German people. He summarises by saying that as difficult as it may be for him personally he still cannot break the command to respect ones father and mother.
In The Shadow Of The Reich
After WWII Franz Stangl, the commander of the infamous Treblinka extermination camp managed to escape to Brazil. 20 years later, mainly due to the effort of the Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, he was captured and extradited to Germany. On December 22, 1970 Stangl was sentenced to a life sentence for his part in the murder of 900,000 Jews while at Treblinka. He died in jail six months later. The book “Into the Darkness” his the summary of more than 70 hours of conversation between Stangl and Gitta Sereny in jail a few months before his death.
Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience
Albert Speer was Hitler’s armaments minister and one of his closest aides. After spending many years interviewing him numerous times the historian and British journalist Gita Sereny attempts to “crack” the personality of the one man Hitler felt very close to.
Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth
The book “Eichman in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil” is the collection of the reports filed by Hanna Arendt from the Eichman trial while working as a journalist for the New Yorker magazine. The Jewish philosopher Hanna Arendt (1906 – 1975) was recognised during her lifetime as one of the most important, deep and original political thinkers of the twentieth century. At the time of its publication the book had worldwide impact, but also evoked deep anger and divisions in the Jewish community and especially in Israel. Arendt’s book raises some serious questions regarding the Eichman trial. Is Eichman, an functionary in a modern totalitarian state, was in fact the “Nazi monster” the prosectution portrayed him as? And irrespective, what is the nature of that “monster” and what is the nature of evil? Can Eichmam’s crimes be judged within the same categories normally reserved for crime, responsibility and guilt? Are Eichman’s crimes directed at the Jewish people or are they in fact a crime against humanity executed against the Jewish people? And many more philosophical questions.
Eichmann in Jerusalem (Penguin Classics)
In August 1945 Great Britain, France, the USSR, and the United States established a tribunal at Nuremberg to try military and civilian leaders of the Nazi regime. G. M. Gilbert, the prison psychologist, had an unrivaled firsthand opportunity to watch and question the Nazi war criminals. With scientific dispassion he encouraged Göering, Speer, Hess, Ribbentrop, Frank, and the others to reveal their innermost thoughts. In the process Gilbert exposed what motivated them to create the distorted Aryan utopia and the nightmarish worlds of Auschwitz, Dachau, and Buchenwald. Here are their day-to-day reactions to the trial proceedings; their off-the-record opinions of Hitler.
Nuremberg Diary
A self-portrait, composed by one of the greatest monsters of all time: Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant at Auschwitz, and the man who knew more than almost anyone about how Nazi Germany implemented the Final Solution. Captured by the British after the war, tried, and sentenced to death, he was ordered to write his autobiography in the weeks between his trial and his execution (which fittingly took place in Auschwitz itself). Hoess apparently enjoyed the task, and the most careful checking by researchers showed he took great pains to tell the truth. The result: a vivid and unforgettable picture of the 20th century's defining and most horrific event. Hoess's grandchild is one of the protagonists in our film "Hitler's Children".
Commandant of Auschwitz : The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoess
Based on exclusive and unrestricted access to more than 5,000 pages of personal writings and family photos, this definitive biography of German physician and SS-HauptsturmfuhrerJosef Mengele (1911-1979) probes the personality and motivations of Auschwitz's "Angel of Death." From May 1943 through January 1945, Mengele selected who would be gassed immediately, who would be worked to death, and who would serve as involuntary guinea pigs for his spurious and ghastly human experiments (twins were Mengele's particular obsession). With authority and insight, Mengele examines the entire life of the world's most infamous doctor.
Mengele: The Complete Story
A revealing portrait of a notorious Nazi henchman, the head of Germany’s Luftwaffe. In Goering, Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel use first-hand testimonies and a variety of historical documents to tell the story of a monster lurking in Hitler’s shadows. After rising through the ranks of the German army, Hermann Goering became Hitler’s right hand man and was hand-picked to head the Luftwaffe, one of history’s most feared fighting forces. As he rose in power, though, Goering became disillusioned and was eventually shunned from Hitler’s inner circle. Alone at the end, he faced justice at the Nuremberg trials and was convicted of war crimes and crime against humanity. He committed suicide in prison before he could be hanged. Within these pages, Manvell and Fraenkel bring to life one of history’s most complicated and hated characters. Goering's great-niece is one of the protagonist in our film "Hitler's Children".
Goering: The Rise and Fall of the Notorious Nazi Leader
Heinrich Himmler was Hitler's top enforcer, in charge of the Gestapo, the SS, and the so-called Final Solution. We can only wonder, as biographer Peter Longerich asks, how could such a banal personality attain such an historically unique position of power? How could the son of a prosperous Bavarian Catholic public servant become the organizer of a system of mass murder spanning the whole of Europe? In the first comprehensive biography of this murderous enigma, Longerich answers those questions with a superb account of Himmler's inner self and outward acts. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skilfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. Carefully researched and lucidly written, Heinrich Himmler is the essential account of the man who embodied Hitler's apparatus of evil. Himmler's great-niece is one of the protagonists in our film "Hitler's Children".
Heinrich Himmler: A Life