World Holocaust Day

The official title is

World Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day

It comes on January 27 each year and was first established in 2005 through a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly.

The date was selected in memory of the largest of the Nazi death camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, which was liberated by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945.



I found this photo of Auschwitz at the Jewish Virtual Museum, a project of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and a wealth of information on the Holocaust.



Last year, in my post on this day, I listed the holocaust memoirs I had on my book shelf (virtual and otherwise).

I felt a calling to read the stories these survivors had penned. Since then, the need to fully grasp the horror that was the holocaust has only increased.  And, as it has, my list of holocaust memoirs that I’ve read  has lengthened.  Here, for you to choose from:

  1. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
  2. The Diary of Anne Frank — which needs no explanation
  3. Anne Frank’s Tales from the Secret Annex
  4. The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank, by Willy Lindwer
  5. Clara’s War: One Girl’s Story of Survival by Clara Kramer
  6. Outcry: Holocaust Memoirs  by Manny Steinberg
  7. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
  8. They Shall Not Have Me by Jean Helion
  9. A Gift from the Enemy (A True Story of Escape in War-time Italy) by Enrico Lamet, Peter Schults
  10. Wallenberg: The Incredible Story of the Man…  by Kati Marton
  11. Such Good Girls: The Journey of The Holocaust’s Hidden Children by R. D. Rosen
  12. The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Barbara Rosenblat
  13. All But My Life by Gerda Weissmann Klein
  14. The Last Jew in Treblinka: A Memoir by Chil Rajchman
  15. Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz by Olga Lengyel

My To Read list has also grown:

  1. Auschwitz #34207: The Joe Rubinstein Story
  2. Auschwitz Escape: The Klara Wizel Story
  3. Night by Elie Wiesel
  4. A Scrap of Time and Other Stories by Ida Fink
  5. The Journal of Helene Beer
  6. Beautiful Soul: Bella Kurant’s Memoir of the Nazi Era
  7. Rena’s Promise by Rena Kornreich Gelissen and Heather Dune Macadam
  8. Women Heroes of WW II by Kathyrn Atwood
  9. Things We Couldn’t Say by Deet Eman
  10. Boy 30529 by Felix Weinberg
  11. This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski
  12. All But My Life: A Memoir by Gerda Weissmann Klein
  13. Beyond Forgetting
  14. The Girl in the Green Sweater by Krystyna Chiger
  15. Heinrich Himmler
  16. The Hours After
  17. I Have Lived a Thousand Years
  18. In My Hands
  19. Our Crime Was Being Jewish
  20. Remember Your Name
  21. The Strange Ways of Providence in my Life
  22. Survival in the Shadows
  23. Where You Go, I Go

These are the stories of the survivors. And it is through their words that we come to know those we honor today.

Can you add other titles that you’ve read or want to read?

You might want to check out these links to The Jewish Eye and Goodreads for more more suggestions.

Let’s read all we can; let’s keep ourselves and the generations coming after us informed.

Let’s never forget.  And let’s learn from the past.

8 Responses

  1. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    It’s strange that yesterday I was thinking of the movie “Son of Saul,” and when I looked back, I had commented on your post last year that we were going to see it–and then I wrote a post about it. I had been thinking about heroes and resistance, and I thought of this rebellion that took place at Auschwitz.

    Knowledge and facts are important–now more than ever.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Indeed they are Merril. And committing to staying vigilant, not giving in to weariness, will be critical. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Susan Jackson
    | Reply

    Wow, you will be reading forever, let us know if there are big differences in the recollections.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I’m starting to sort through them based on country, Susan. The “Austrian” holocaust memoirs; the “Polish” ones, etc. and comparing within the countries: the towns, the dates, the weather even.

      A tad OCD you think?

  3. Tim Fearnside
    | Reply

    Thanks for the list, Janet. Perhaps as important, now, as they’ve ever been…

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Indeed, Tim. Not sure why I’ve been pulled so to read them; it’s been a few years now, before The D. But the similarities in how the populace have taken to him are striking. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Laurie Buchanan
    | Reply

    Janet — Due to my internet connectivity (or lack thereof) while on sabbatical, I’m a week behind, but appreciate this post nonetheless.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I understand totally, Laurie. It’s always good to have you stop in, whenever that is. I’ve had a few posts where the conversation has gone on throughout the week. That’s always welcome, of course. And you are always welcome. Enjoy your three month writing getaway. There are many, I’m sure, who are quite envious.

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