Looking to add to your summer reading / watching list? Follow the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre social media channels this July and August for insightful and thought-provoking suggestions on books and films to keep your mind stimulated and inspired during these summer months.
Suggestions Include: (click here to watch video clips of these suggestions)
Bernie Farber, Publisher, Canadian Jewish Record, former CEO Canadian Jewish Congress
- The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (2020) by Eric Larson. This book takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.
- In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (2011) by Eric Larson. Set in Berlin in 1933-1934, the book tells the story of America’s first ambassador to Nazi Germany, William E. Dodd, and his daughter Martha, as they experience the rising terror of Hitler’s rule. At first Martha is enthralled by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich, with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence.
Ruthie Ladovsky, Co-owner United Bakers Dairy Restaurant
- The World That We Knew (2019) by Alice Hoffman. In Berlin, at the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. She finds her way to a renowned rabbi, but it’s his daughter, Ettie, who offers hope of salvation when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect Lea. Once Ava is brought to life, she and Lea and Ettie become eternally entwined, their paths fated to cross, their fortunes linked.
- The Windermere Children (2020). This is the stark, moving ultimately redemptive story of the bonds these children make with one another, and of how the friendships forged at Windermere become a lifeline to a fruitful future.
Rabbi Adam Culter, Adath Israel Congregation
- The Flat (2011). As a documentarian cleans out the flat that belonged to his grandparents – both immigrants from Nazi Germany – he uncovers clues pointing to a complicated and shocking story.
James Pasternak, Councillor, City of Toronto
- By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen. Winner of Canada Reads 2019, this memoir by Canadian Holocaust survivor Max Tibor Eisen, details the rural Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau, back-breaking slave labour in Auschwitz I, the infamous “death march” in January 1945, the painful aftermath of liberation, a journey of physical and psychological healing.
Gila Martow, Thornhill MPP
- The Accountant of Auschwitz (2018). Seventy years after the Second World War, Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving members of the SS, goes on trial as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
- My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes (2014). A heroic story that was all but lost to history, until now. The film recounts how WWII bicycling idol Gino Bartali, physician Giovanni Borromeo and other Italians worked with Jewish leaders and high-ranking officials of the Catholic Church, risking their lives by defying the Nazis to save thousands of Italy’s Jews.
- Anne Frank: Parellel Stories (2019). Through her diary, Anne Frank’s story is retold alongside those of five Holocaust survivors in this poignant documentary from Oscar winner Helen Mirren.
Dara Solomon, Executive Director, Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre
- I Want You to Know We’re Still Here: A Post-Holocaust Memoir (2020) by Esther Safran Foer. This memoir is the poignant and deeply moving story not only of Esther’s journey but of four generations living in the shadow of the Holocaust. They are four generations of survivors, storytellers, and memory keepers, determined not just to keep the past alive but to imbue the present with life and more life.