Commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day with Gale Literature

4 min read

| By Jennifer Stock |

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by Soviet troops in 1945. Between 1941 and 1945, more than six million European Jews and other groups—including gay people, Romani, and people with physical disabilities, among others—were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime.

The study of the Holocaust and other historical events through literature helps students see history as more than just a sequence of events but rather the story of real people who faced the struggles and challenges of their time. Gale’s literature resources offer a wealth of content that brings the voices and experiences of the Holocaust to life.

Sources for the study of Holocaust literature include Gale Literature Criticism, Gale Literature Resource Center, and Gale Literature: Dictionary of Literary Biography. Below is a list of recommended topics, authors, and works with select articles from Gale literature resources for further study.

Recommended Topics

Gale Literature Criticism features several topic pages relating to Holocaust literature, including:

Recommended Authors

Aharon Appelfeld

Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld was a young boy when in 1941 Romania’s Fascist government forces came to his small village, killed his mother, and sent Appelfeld and his father to a labor camp. Separated from his father, Appelfeld escaped and spent several years on his own before arriving in Palestine in 1946, two years before the founding of Israel. Appelfeld wrote more than forty books in Hebrew; they have been translated into many languages. Click on the links below to read more.

Primo Levi

A Jewish chemist born in Italy, Primo Levi joined a resistance group in 1943 but was arrested by the Fascist militia that same year. He was sent to an Italian prison camp and then deported to Auschwitz. Levi wrote about his experiences as a survivor of Auschwitz in such works as If This Is a Man and The Reawakening. Click on the links below to read more.

Nelly Sachs

Poet and playwright Nelly Sachs was a German Jew who fled to Sweden with her aging mother in 1940. She was forty-eight years old when she immigrated to Sweden and published her first volume of poetry in 1947. She won the Novel Prize for Literature in 1966. Click on the links below to read more.

Recommended Works

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is perhaps the most well-known work from the Holocaust. More information is available from the Anne Frank author page and Children’s Literature Review, Volume 189, both from Gale Literature Criticism.

La Nuit (Night) is Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel’s memoir. Wiesel was just fifteen years old when his family was first confined to a ghetto and then sent to a concentration camp. His father, mother, and youngest sister did not survive the camps. Learn more from Children’s Literature Review, Volume 192, available from Gale Literature Criticism.

Underground in Berlin: A Young Woman’s Extraordinary Tale of Survival in the Heart of Nazi Germany details the experiences of Marie Jalowicz-Simon, a German Jew who evaded capture by the Nazis. Listen to this NPR Weekend Edition broadcast about Simon and her book or read this Contemporary Authors profile, both available from Gale Literature Resource Center.

Read more Literature Diversity Series blogs >>

Meet the Author

Jennifer Stock is a senior content developer at Gale, a Cengage Company, where she has worked on a variety of projects, including eBooks and electronic databases, for K‒12 and academic audiences.

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