12 Best Powerful and Moving Books About The Holocaust

After the end of the second World War, the interest of many authors leaned towards shedding light on one of the most tragic periods in history. Soon the holocaust became the trending genre of writing and various authors gifted us with amazing books that changed our perspective and gave us a clear vision. The books that are written on the holocaust consist of different themes, but most of them provide us with a heartbreaking story that leaves us wondering about the consequences. Holocaust affects the lives of people severely and do a lot of damage to mankind.

Mostly the books that are based on the holocaust are non-fiction in nature. The historical books reveal some unheard details concerning the dark period of history. With each turn of the page you will get a new perspective about the things that happened in the past that changed the era.

Below we have listed some best books that are written on the holocaust. These books are not only a great reading material but it will also inform you about the holocaust while giving you a clear picture. Check them out below:


1. The Book Thief


the book thief: books about the holocust


The book thief which is authored by Markus Zusak was originally published in the year 2005. The book is great for intensive reading and is said to be the most popular work of the Australian author. The book thief that is based upon the holocaust became an international bestseller since it’s release and sold about $16 million copies worldwide.

An interesting thing to note about the book thief is that it is translated in 63 languages and in 2013 a movie of the same name was released inspired by the book. The book contains all the great elements that show us the holocaust as it is. From cruel fate, sacrifice and heroism, the book has it all. It focuses on the life of Nazis and German people.


2. The Boy in Striped Pajamas



The Boy in Striped Pajamas is a 2006 book by Irish novelist John Boyne. The powerful book based upon the holocaust is a famous Novel of the genre and is known for bringing tears to the reader’s eye.

The book is about the time during world war 2 when an 8 years old boy had to leave his residence and move to an isolated area where he was alone. Through the fences, he starts a forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy of his age.Unaware of his surroundings and the reality of the world, the boy was living in his own world. But then tragedy hits and you’ll discover what happens next in the book.


3. The Nazi Officer’s Wife



The New York Times bestselling book, The Nazi Officer’s Wife is focused on the life of Edina Hahn. The survival story of Edina Hahn as the Nazi Officer’s Wife is going to give you chills.

The story of the book is a real account of her life. Edina, who was a Jewish Law student, goes underground after being sent to labor camp. She gets married to a Nazi officer and was disguising herself by hiding her identity. The story of her double life will amaze you.


4. The Last Jew of Treblinka



The Last Jew of Treblinka was originally published in the year 1945 in Yiddish language. It became an instant New York Bestselling novel since it’s release. The book by Chil Rajchman is the memoir of his life in which he has introduced us with the most chilling story.

Rajchman, who worked at a death camp, was one of the people who were kept alive at Treblinka. The death camp was basically a camp designed especially for mass murder. The reason why Rajchman was kept alive was to shave off the victim’s heads. He managed to survive to present us with his memoir that tells us about his life as a barber at Treblinka.


5. Rena’s Promise



Rena’s Promise is the survival story of two sisters written by Rena. Rena Kornreich Gelissen and Heather Dune Macadam. Rena, was one of the first few Jews to be sent to a camp at Auschwitz. At the camp, she meets with her sister. Now it is duty to take care of her sister as she promised her mother to do.

The horror that the two girls met with at the camp becomes an unforgettable experience even for the readers. The story beautifully presents us with how women can get through tough times if they stick together. The dark times in their life shows us how the Jews were treated at the camps. For people who love reading survival stories, this book is the one.


6. Night



Night by Elie Wiesel who, the New York Times called, “a slim volume of terrifying power.” The book presents us with the life of the author as a teenager who was sent to a camp in Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel has penned down his experience at the camp and how he was met with everyday horrors. He has also made us aware of the emotional state of those who were at the camp with him.

To know the history of World War 2 in its most honest form, you should refer to this book. It is one of the essential reads about the holocaust that will change your perspective about it.


7. Boy 30529



Boy 30529 is a memoir written by Felix Weinberg in which the author has recited his childhood in the German concentration camps. The chilling story of his life and the experience of people at the camp is the one that will give you horrors.

The people who experienced living in these camps have a chilling story to tell and similarly this story is the typical representation of the same. The personal narrative written by the author is an extraordinary memoir about the holocaust. The book shows us World War 2 with a different perspective and will touch your heart.


8. All But My Life



All but my life is again a memoir written by Gerda Weissmann Klein. In her story the author has represented her life as a six year old facing the Nazi cruelty at the camp. The unforgettable story of the author from her execution from her own home in Poland to facing the exploitation and surviving it miraculously to her liberation done by the American troops, the story will move you.

At times you will find it difficult to keep the book down and other times you will find it hard to pick it up. The book will introduce with the whole new definition of survival and is a worth read about the holocaust.


9. The Complete Maus



The complete Maus is the graphic novel by American cartoonist named Art Spiegelman. The publication of his book series lasted from 1980 to 1991. In his book the author is shown interviewing his own father about the holocaust. The father of the author was a Polish Jew who was a part of the camp.

The representation of different classes of people in his book as animals shows us the presence of postmodernist elements in his book, such as Jews are presented as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs. The interesting approach of this book is definitely a unique idea that will show you the effects of the holocaust in a newer way.


10. Five Chimneys



Five chimneys is the memoir by the author Olga Lengyel. The book was originally published in the year 1946 in French language with the name Souvenirs de l’au-delà. The author, Olga Lengyel, recited her experience in the book as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz.

Five Chimneys is bravely written by Olga Lengyel in which she has narrated the most horrifying story in its purest form. The book will introduce you with the horrors that one had to face being a part of these camps. The story of Olga is definitely a heartbreaking one, with this novel you will learn the importance of family and what happens when you lose your loved ones. After having lost her husband, her parents and two young sons to the Nazis she becomes a prisoner and has authored her life story in this book that is definitely worth your read.


11. Ponary Diary



 The Ponary Diary is the autobiography by Kazimierz Sakowicz published from 1941 to 1943.  The wartime diary of the author shows us the destruction of the polish jews by the Nazis. The mass destruction of the Jews in Lithuania killed about sixty thousand people.

The heartbreaking story of the mass murder of Jews will have you in tears. With each turning, you will be faced with a new horror experienced by these jews. 


12. Underground in Berlin: A Young Woman’s Extraordinary Tale of the Survival in the Heart of Nazi Germany



Underground in Berlin: A young woman’s extraordinary tale of survival in the heart of Germany is an autobiography by the author Marie Jalowicz Simon. The story shows us her experience in life that how she escaped the Nazi concentration camps by hiding in Berlin. 

During the Second World war, being a Jewish teenager, she was forced to work as a labor in a factory. The true account of her life and her chilling story of survival in the 1940s will give you goosebumps. The book shows the mental state of people and their experience of living at the Nazi concentration camps. 




These were some of the few books written on the holocaust. Each story is better than the other providing us with the survival stories of those who stayed at the Nazi camps. The dark period of history has taught us so much about survival and the value of liberty. 

These books are not only great as reading material but they also shed light on the horrors of the people who were a part of World War 2. The holocaust has affected so many people and changed so many lives and reading the books written on it will change yours too to some extent. 

These were some of the best books that are written on the holocaust, if you have read any other books on the same that you find great, do let us know in the comment section about them. Also you can ask any questions by commenting below, we will be happy to answer them. 

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