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(11 Posts)
DunbarsNumber Tue 28-Jun-11 13:15:44

DS has just finished GCSEs and will be doing AS next year, one of which is History. School run a competition (as an extra to the curriculum) for an essay on Auschwitz and DS wants to have a crack at it.

Can someone recommend a good book for him to read over the summer, please, bearing in mind that he already has the basics after two years on WW11 and wants to write a scholarly piece.


girlylala0807 Tue 28-Jun-11 13:32:22

I just wrote u a message and my phone deleted it. I'm not a teacher but have just done degree in history. Have a look at primo levi survivor of camp. Christopher Browning and Ian kershaw may be of use. Will have proper think when i get in from work.

DunbarsNumber Tue 28-Jun-11 21:47:15


Goblinchild Tue 28-Jun-11 22:02:06

I second the recommendation of Primo Levi, and Martin Gilbert has written extensively on the Holocaust.
What sort of of an approach will your DS want to take?

Yellowstone Tue 28-Jun-11 22:19:18

It's interesting that your DS's school runs this competition. Is it Auschwitz each year?

If at all practical I'd advise him to go to Auschwitz (Easyjet/ Kracow/ inexpensive) and having spent several hours there, select a few books from the bookshop.

DD2 did a dissertation on a particular aspect of the Holocaust in Y12, having visited Auschwitz with me and some of her siblings. She contacted a survivor who was very ready to help, very generous.

I would say the essay needs to be as original as possible, so much has already been written. Could he do that without visiting the camp?

tethersend Tue 28-Jun-11 22:25:03

Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl is very interesting.

Also Kitty Hart's Return to Auschwitz.

DunbarsNumber Tue 28-Jun-11 22:54:24

Thanks for your thoughts so far.
I don't know what approach he will be taking. I asked about a framework or guidelines but he said there weren't any. He has already been to Auschwitz with the GCSE group and found it deeply moving.

Yellowstone Tue 28-Jun-11 23:12:53

DD2's piece was sparked by something seen in a particular block. If your DS think back to his visit, was there anything in particular which moved or struck him most?

keepontrukkin Thu 30-Jun-11 21:54:53

The moral / emotional / personal side of Auschwitz has been very widely written of. Much less well-known is the economics of the camp system.

The camps were meant to be a self-financing agency - the implications of this largely shaped the mundane horrors of camp life. So the clothes, suitcases, watches, even hair, of the Jew victims were sold to pay for the hire of the trains that took them there in the first place; slave labour was rented out to factory owners etc (which is how Schindler was able to operate his famous list). The corruption was VAST.

Somehow that the camps were run for profit is worse than for ideology.

notthehippopotamus Sun 03-Jul-11 20:59:43

DJ Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners and Christopher Browning Ordinary Men are interesting recent works to compare and contrast, and make quite compelling reading. Goldhagen challenges Browning, so may be best to read Browning first.

Has he visited the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum? Very moving and effective, covering all different aspects and angles so might complement his Auschwitz experience, and the bookshop there would be a good place to find other resources.

lizzieloubee1 Tue 05-Jul-11 09:23:36

Lawernce Reece "Auchwitz, The Nazis and the Fina Solution" TV series is on Youtube as well.

Mikilos Nzyeli (sp??) "I was Dr Mengle's Assistant"

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