Holocaust Books...


Led by dictator Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Party in Germany in the 1930s and '40s believed that certain people — particularly Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and the disabled — were inferior and didn't deserve to live.

The Nazis were anti-Semitic, which means they hated the Jews. Although many Jews were doctors, lawyers, businessmen, bankers and teachers who contributed a great deal to German society, Hitler blamed them for Germany's economic problems. The truth was that Germany was going through a difficult time economically because it was badly defeated in World War I, which ended in 1918.

Hitler and his parliament passed laws that required Jews to give up their jobs, homes, businesses and rights. To enforce these laws, the police organization known as the Gestapo and an elite army corps known as the SS imprisoned, beat and even murdered Jews — simply because they were Jewish. Non-Jews who opposed the Nazis' authority suffered similar treatment. Many Jews and political enemies were sent to brutally run prisons known as concentration camps.

Hitler was determined to protect at all costs "German blood and German honor" for the country's Aryans, the name given to white, non-Jewish Germans. He also was determined to invade and take control of all of Europe.

In March, 1938, Germany conquered Austria and enacted harsh new laws stripping Austrian Jews of their rights. Then in September 1939, German troops invaded Poland. This caused Great Britain and France, who were allies of Poland, to declare war on Germany, triggering World War II. The following year, Nazi forces invaded and occupied the European nations of Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg. Then France fell, and Great Britain was battered by German air assaults. In December 1941, the United States entered the war and joined Russia, Great Britain and the Free French (an organization fighting for the liberation of France) to form the Allied Forces, which battled to stop the German war machine. Also fighting the Nazis in German-occupied territory were secret groups of brave citizens known as the Underground, the Resistance or the Partisans. They used sabotage against the German army and helped Jews escape. In addition, courageous non-Jews (known typically in the Jewish community as Righteous Gentiles) risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis.

As country after country fell under German occupation, Jews were singled out for mistreatment and lost their rights. They had to wear the six-pointed Star of David, a symbol of Judaism, on their sleeves, chests or backs to distinguish them from non-Jews. They couldn't walk freely in the streets or do many of the things Europeans took for granted. Signs in theaters, cafes, restaurants and other public places warned that Jews weren't allowed to enter.

During the war years, the Nazis created ghettos — small, sealed areas inside cities where Jews were forced to live in unhealthy and crowded conditions. Every month, tens of thousands of Jews were deported to forced-labor camps, concentration camps and death camps, where, unless they were useful to the Nazis, they were killed in gas chambers or murdered in some other way. It was all part of Hitler's "Final Solution" — the Nazi plan to eliminate all the Jews of Europe.

As the war came to an end in 1945, the Allies liberated the imprisoned Jews, although hundreds of thousands were barely alive because of Nazi cruelty. The world was shocked to discover that of the 9 million Jews who had lived in Europe before the war, 6 million had been murdered or had died from starvation or disease in Nazi camps. Another 4 million civilians, including 3 million Polish Catholics, died at the hands of the Nazis. Of the Jewish children who failed to escape Europe after 1939, more than a million and a half were murdered by the Nazis or were deported to camps where they died of illness or hunger. This horrific mass murder is called The Holocaust, a word from ancient Greece meaning "sacrifice by fire."

Allan Zullo's eBooks

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HOW TO ORDER ANY OF THESE BOOKS — The books below can be ordered through Scholastic by phone. Call 800.724.6527. Next, press 3 for "Other Educational and Instructional Products" and then 1 for "Classroom books, paperbacks and Other Supplemental Materials." Give the customer service agent the item number of each book you want. You'll find the item number after each book description below.

We Fought Back: Teen Resisters of the Holocaust

By Allan Zullo

This book features the incredible true stories of teenage Jews who fought back against the Nazis during the Holocaust. There is a mistaken impression among many people that the six million Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis were led to their deaths like sheep to slaughter without resisting. Although there was relatively little armed rebellion among the victims, it was mostly because the Nazis deviously hid their true intentions when they rounded up unarmed men, women and children and shipped them off to death camps. For most Jews, there was no choice whether to fight or not because they never had the chance to take up arms.

But by luck or fate, thousands of Jews-many of them teenagers-slipped out of dehumanizing ghettoes, concentration camps, and hiding places to join resistance groups known as partisans. Fighting primarily in Eastern Europe, these brave men and women wreaked havoc on the Nazis through guerilla warfare and sabotage. These warriors relished the opportunity to fight back. As Sonia Orbuch, a Polish-born partisan, explained, "If I was going to die, I was going to die as a fighter, not as a Jew." This book chronicles the experiences of Sonia and six other young Jewish partisans. These accounts are based exclusively on the personal, lengthy interviews with each former partisan featured in this book. Using real names, dates and places, these stories are written as factual and truthful versions of their recollections.

Item Number 385787
Also available as an eBook!

Escape: Children of the Holocaust

By Allan Zullo

This book features seven amazing true stories of brave boys and girls who escaped from the clutches of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Their compelling accounts are based on exclusive, personal interviews with the survivors. Using real names, dates and places, these stories are factual versions of their recollections.

You will read how a brave teenage boy who was shot by a Nazi guard still managed to escape the notorious Treblinka death camp... how a determined young girl who was repeatedly captured and tortured by the Nazis fled with her life time and again, including twice from a firing squad... how a 13-year-old boy with no possessions other than the clothes on his back survived for six months in Nazi-occupied territory... how a 12-year-old girl cheated death while she was being marched to the gas chamber... how a young Jewish girl talked her way out of a certain execution and then lived among the Nazis, pretending to be a Catholic... how a little boy survived a deadly Nazi ambush... how a young girl survived seven concentration camps, including the infamous Auschwitz II-Birkenau where she leaped out of a truck that was taking her directly to the gas chambers.

Their compelling stories reveal that even in the darkest days of humanity, when all hope appears lost, the strength of the human spirit still shines brightly.

Purchase this book from:

Scholastic Item Number 00966996
Also available as an eBook!

Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust

By Allan Zullo and Mara Bovsun

This book tells the incredible true stories of nine brave young Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. These gripping accounts — including real names, dates and places — are based exclusively on the personal, lengthy interviews with the survivors.

Survivors: True Stores of Children of the HolocaustIn a time of great horror, these nine children each found a way to make it through the nightmare of war. Some hid, some fled, some fought. Others endured unbearable agony in ghettos, death marches and concentration camps.

Although it's hard to imagine that anyone, especially children, could bear so much suffering from so much cruelty, this book is a celebration of the human spirit — of the will to overcome unspeakable horrors, the will to triumph over evil, the will to live. In fact, these survivors all shared a common trait — they believed in their hearts that they would live even when so many around them were dying. Not only did they survive but they grew up, got married and have enjoyed happy, fulfilling lives.

Their experiences reveal that in the most horrible and hopeless situations imaginable, young people can rely on their courage, faith, and smarts — and sometimes sheer luck — to pull them through. Their legacy of survival is a powerful testament to courage in the face of hatred.

Purchase this book from:

Scholastic Item Number 00966996

Heroes of the Holocaust:
True Stores of Rescues by Teens
By Allan Zullo and Mara Bovsun

This book features the compelling, true stories of brave young heroes of the Holocaust. These gripping accounts — including real names, dates and places — are based exclusively on the personal, lengthy interviews with each person.

Heroes of the HolocaustThese brave people were not gun-toting, grenade-tossing resistance fighters but rather everyday teenagers who did whatever they could — without weapons — to shield Jews from Nazi savagery. At a time in Europe when so many people looked the other way while innocent victims were being slaughtered, these teens willingly placed their own lives in jeopardy for the sake of saving Jews.

In a ravaged world that had lost its bearings, the heroes in this book were guided by their own moral compasses.

Although the teens came from different backgrounds, countries and religions, they all shared certain common traits. They acted out of compassion. They showed courage. They were clever. And they believed that one person could make a difference.

In fact, it was precisely because this belief was shared by people of conscience that some victims slipped through the Nazis' web of terror. The teens in this book are typical of countless unheralded heroes who, because of their unshakable values, took action during life-and-death situations to rescue or hide others who were in danger.

Despite the horrors they faced, this book is a celebration of the goodness in mankind — of the courage of one's convictions and the will to triumph over evil. The stories reveal that in the most horrible situations imaginable, young people possess the guts, faith, and smarts to aid others, despite great personal risk.

Item Number 00967608