UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 133d > Books for Review Essays
teacher laempel from Max and Moritz Teacher Laempel from Wilhelm Busch's Max and Moritz (1865)

The Holocaust in German History:
Books for Review Essays

compiled for UCSB Hist 133d

by Professor Harold Marcuse (homepage)
contact: marcuse@history.ucsb.edu
page begun Jan. 21, 2008; last update: 5/27/10

1920s & 1930s
Memoirs & Biography

Sample Essays

133d Course Homepage

Important Notes (back to top)

  • May 2010: more book ideas
    • Cathie Carmichael, Genocide Before the Holocaust (New Haven: Yale University Press 2009), XI + 244 S. (panned in May 2010 Sehepunkte; amazon $35)
    • Daniel Goldhagen, Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity (2010), 672 pages ($14 amazon)
    • Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (Yale University Press, 2009), 352 pages ($20 at amazon)
  • Jan. 31, 2010: I've added some alternative genocide books, in "to add," below.
  • Jan 25, 2010: I've added a bunch of books & topics now.
  • Jan. 23, 2010: I haven't had time to add a bunch of new books to this page yet, so the list is by no means exhaustive. Please follow the guidelines on the book proposal handout about other ways of finding books! I'll email the class once this page is updated.
  • Although I give links to the amazon pages for most books below, YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON AMAZON ALONE TO OBTAIN YOUR BOOK. Be sure to check whether our library has it as well, so that you can start reading before your own copy arrives.
  • I DO recommend that you purchase the books (I really hate it when people mark up library books--and there are severe penalties for that), but in the past there have been problems with books students ordered taking more than 2 weeks to arrive. So you should have a back-up plan!

New Additions (Feb. 3) (back to top)

  • Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (New Haven: Yale, 2007), 606 text pages. (amazon)
    *Part III on the 20th century is about 180 pages long (393-570), and could be the focus of a good book essay when used with the introduction and epilog.
  • Benjamin A. Valentino, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century (Cornell University Press, 2004). (amazon; UCSB)
  • Adam Jones, Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction (Routledge, 2006)(amazon)
  • Steven K. Baum, The Psychology of Genocide: Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Rescuers (Cambridge University Press, 2008)(amazon)
  • Ervin Staub, The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence (Cambridge University Press, 1992)(amazon)

To add for 2011-12

  • Karin Finell, Good-bye to the Mermaids: A Childhood Lost in Hitler's Berlin (University of Missouri, 2006) (preview at amazon; publisher's page with media kit; google books)
    Finell, born in 1933, now lives in Santa Barbara.

Genocide (General, Namibia, Armenia) (back to top)

  • Firpo W. Carr, Germany's Black Holocaust, 1890-1945: The Untold Truth! (Scholar Technological Institute of Research, Inc., 2003). ($70 amazon; at UCLA & UCB)[mostly about Nazi era--3 interviews]
  • Eric D. Weitz, A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation, (Princeton University Press, 2005). (amazon)
  • Robert Gellately and Ben Kiernan (eds), The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2003). (amazon)[an anthology, but short & ok)

World War I (back to top)

  • Benjamin Ziemann. War Experiences in Rural Germany: 1914-1923. Translated by Alex Skinner. The Legacy of the Great War Series. (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2007). 320 pp.(H-German review, 3/09)
  • Roger Chickering, Imperial Germany and the Great War, 1914-1918, 2nd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2004). (amazon)
  • Jeffrey Verhey, The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth and Mobilization in Germany
    (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
    Standard work on the myth of the war enthusiasm.
  • Martha Hanna, Your Death Would Be Mine: Paul and Marie Pireaud in the Great War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006).
    Hanna's fascinating study analyzes the wartime experiences and correspondence of a French peasant turned artilleryman, Paul Pireaud, who served at Verdun and corresponded regularly with his wife back home over the course of the war.
  • Jay Winter and Antoine Prost, The Great War in History: Debates and Controversies, 1914 to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
    2005). {anthology only suited for advanced students)

1920s & 1930s (back to top)

Germany in the 1920s & early 1930s

  • Martin Gilbert, Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction (Harper Perennial, 2007). (searchable at amazon)
  • Alan E. Steinweis, Kristallnacht 1938 (Harvard University Press, 2009). (amazon)
  • Peter Jelavich, Berlin Alexanderplatz. Radio, Film and the Death of Weimar Culture, Berkeley: University of California Press 2006 ( Sehepunkte review)
  • Michael H Kater, Hitler Youth (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2004). DD253.5 .K28 2004 (amazon)
  • David Clay Large, Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936 (Norton, 2007). (amazon)
  • William Smaldone, Confronting Hitler: German Social Democrats in Defense of the Weimar Republic, 1929-1933 (Lexington Books, 2008). ($75 amazon or $20 kindle; not at UCSB, but ILL from other UC libraries); AHR review: lives of 10 socialist leaders
  • Raffael Scheck, Mothers of the Nation: Right-Wing Women in Weimar Germany, (Berg Publishers, 2004). (amazon)
  • Eric D. Weitz, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, illustrated edition. (Princeton University Press, 2009). (amazon)


  • Robert Jay Lifton, The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (Basic Books, 2000). (amazon)
  • Götz Aly, Peter Chroust, and Christian Pross, Cleansing the Fatherland: Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994). (amazon)
  • Horst Biesold, Crying Hands: Eugenics and Deaf People in Nazi Germany (Gallaudet University Press, 2004). (amazon)
  • Benno Muller-Hill, Murderous Science: Elimination by Scientific Selection of Jews, Gypsies, and Others in Germany, 1933-1945 (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1997). (amazon)
  • Robert Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis (Harvard University Press, 1988). (amazon)

Daily Life for "Aryan" Germans

  • Chad Ross, Naked Germany: Health, Race and the Nation (Berg Publishers, 2005). (amazon)(about nudism)
  • Irene Guenther, Nazi 'Chic'?: Fashioning Women in the Third Reich (Berg Publishers, 2004). (amazon)
  • Jeffrey Herf, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard University Press, 2008). (amazon)
  • Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (Yale University Press, 2009). (amazon)

1940s (back to top)

Concentration & Extermination Camps

  • George Berkley, Hitler's Gift: The Story of Theresienstadt (Boston: Branden Books, 1993).(amazon)
  • Laurence Rees, Auschwitz: A New History (PublicAffairs, 2005). (amazon)(not for Hist 133DR students)
  • Paul Neurath, The Society of Terror: Inside the Dachau and Buchenwald Concentration Camps (Paradigm Publishers, 2005). (amazon)
  • Harold Marcuse, Legacies of Dachau: The Uses and Abuses of a Concentration Camp, 1933-2001 (Cambridge University Press, 2008). (amazon, google books; UCSB: D805.G3 M353 2001 )[this is my--the professor's--book, but I'm interested in hearing what students make of it. You'd only have to do parts I & II; or III & IV if postwar]
  • Shlomo Venezia, Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz (Polity, 2009). (amazon; 10/09 H-German review)

Resistance & Rescue (Warsaw Ghetto)

  • Emmanuel Ringelblum and Jacob Sloan, Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto (IBooks, Inc., 2006). (amazon)
  • Israel Gutman, Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (Mariner Books, 1998). (amazon)
  • Anne Nelson, Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler, (Random House, 2009). ($18 at amazon; publisher's page with link to author's blog; google books)
  • Sebastian Haffner, Defying Hitler: A Memoir (Picador, 2003). (amazon)(great book!)


US & the Holocaust

  • Reinhold Billstein et al., Working For The Enemy: Ford, General Motors, and Forced Labor In Germany During The Second World War (Berghahn Books, 2004). (amazon). Note: this is an anthology, but acceptable.
  • Laurel Leff, Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper (Cambridge University Press, 2006). (amazon)
  • Michael J. Neufeld and Michael Berenbaum, The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? (University Press of Kansas, 2003). (amazon)
    note: this is an anthology, thus more difficult, but still acceptable (also as group project-2)
  • Fay, Jennifer. Theaters of Occupation: Hollywood and the Reeducation of Postwar Germany. illustrated edition. Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2008. ($22.50 at amazon; review in German; publisher's webpage with TOC)
  • David S Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941, Rev. ed. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985). (amazon)


  • Henry Ashby Turner, General Motors and the Nazis: The Struggle for Control of Opel, Europe's Biggest Carmaker (Yale University Press, 2005). (amazon)
  • Edwin Black, IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation (Crown, 2001). (amazon). This was a very controversial book. The author has a website.
  • Edwin Black, Nazi Nexus: America's Corporate Connections to Hitler's Holocaust (Dialog Press, 2009). (amazon)

World War II

  • Keith Low, Inferno. The Devastation of Hamburg 1943, London: Viking
    2007 (Sehepunkte review )
  • Jill Stephenson, Hitler's Home Front: Wurttemberg Under the Nazis (Continuum International, 2006). (amazon)
  • Raffael Scheck, Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940 (Cambridge University Press, 2008). (amazon)

Memoirs, Biography, Oral History (back to top)


  • see Resistance, above


  • Hans J. Massaquoi, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany (Harper Perennial, 2001).
  • Colette Waddell, Through the Eyes of a Survivor (TopCat Press, 2007). (amazon) about Nina Morecki, who settled in Santa Barbara and has worked with Prof. Marcuse, by a former student in this same course
  • Donald Niewyk (ed.) Fresh Wounds: Early Narratives of Holocaust Survival (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998). (amazon)

Children (note: some of these are not scholarly, and thus may need additional research)

  • Laurel Holliday, Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries (Washington Square Press, 1996). (amazon)
  • Deborah Dwork, Children with a Star: Jewish Youth in Nazi Europe (Yale University Press, 1993). (amazon)
  • Nonna Bannister, The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister, ed. Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin. (Tyndale House Publishers, 2009). (amazon)
  • Thomas Buergenthal, A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy, (Little, Brown and Company, 2009). (amazon)

Children of Survivors

  • Deborah Geis, Considering Maus: Approaches to Art Spiegelman's "Survivor's Tale" of the Holocaust (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2003). UCSB D810.J4 C665 2003 [this would only be acceptable with more research on Maus as well.}


  • Irmgard Hunt, On Hitler's Mountain: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood (William Morrow, 2005). (amazon; cf. Prof. Mahlendorf's book)


  • Traudl Junge, Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary (Arcade Publishing, 2005). (amazon) There is a film about this: Blind Spot. Also, Downfall is based on it.
  • Angela Lambert, The Lost Life of Eva Braun (St. Martin's Press, 2007). (amazon)
  • Ian Sayer and Douglas Botting, The Women Who Knew Hitler: The Private Life of Adolf Hitler (Carroll & Graf, 2004). (amazon)
  • Guido Knopp, Hitler's Women (Sutton Publishing, 2006). (amazon) six leading women
  • Jurgen Trimborn, Leni Riefenstahl: A Life (Faber & Faber, 2007). (amazon)
  • Alison Owings, Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich (Rutgers University Press, 1995). (amazon)(many interviews; do about half)


  • Tony Atcherley and Mark Carey, Hitler's Gay Traitor: The Story of Ernst Röhm, Chief of Staff of the SA (Trafford Publishing, 2007). (amazon)
  • Anthony Read, The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle (New York: W.W. Norton, 2004). 984 pages (searchable on amazon) appropriate for a group project (3 students)
  • Mark Kurzem, The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood (Viking Adult, 2007). (amazon) Nazi soldiers unknowingly "adopt" a Jewish boy
  • Jonathan Littell, The Kindly Ones: A Novel. (Harper Perennial, 2010)(Mar. 09 Nation review by Moyn; amazon)[note: this is a novel--fiction!--but based on much research, a prize-winning, engrossing read, also lots of pages, but as I said, I consider that)
  • Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 (University Of Chicago Press, 1966). (amazon)
  • Leon Goldensohn, The Nuremberg Interviews (Vintage, 2005). (amazon)
  • Mario Dederichs, Heydrich: The Face of Evil (Casemate, 2009). (amazon)


  • Timothy W. Ryback, Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life, 1st ed. (Vintage, 2010). (amazon)
  • Erich Kempka, I Was Hitler's Chauffeur: The Memoir of Erich Kempka (Frontline Books, 2010). (amazon)[not yet available]
  • Christa Schroeder, He Was My Chief: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Secretary (Frontline Books, 2009). (amazon)[short, you'll need some more background]
  • Heinz Linge, With Hitler to the End: The Memoir of Hitler's Valet (Skyhorse Publishing, 2009). (amazon)[will need additional background, e.g. chaps from Hitler biographies]

Post-1945 (back to top)

  • Jan Tomasz Gross, Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz: An Essay in Historical Interpretation (New York: Random House, 2006). DS146.P6 G76 2006 (amazon)
  • Genocide in Rwanda. There are a number of books that would be acceptable. I would expect that you be able to compare the causes of that genocide with the causes of the Holocaust as we investigate them in this course.
  • Atina Grossmann, Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany (Princeton University Press, 2007). (amazon)
  • Neil Gregor, Haunted City: Nuremberg and the Nazi Past (Yale University Press, 2008). (amazon; prof. has a copy to sell $15)
  • Kirsten Fermaglich, American Dreams and Nazi Nightmares Early Holocaust Consciousness and Liberal America,1957-1965 (Brandeis,2007, 2007). (amazon)

Page created Jan. 21, 2008; updated see header
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