The Heart Has Reasons by Mark Klempner
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Holocaust Rescuers Bibliography: Books About Holocaust Heroes

See also: film/video/DVDs and Articles.

Whosoever saves a single life, saves the world entire...

The Holocaust is a history of overwhelming horror and enduring sorrow. Sometimes it seems as though there is no spark of human concern or kindness, no act of humanity, to lighten that dark history. Yet there were acts of courage and kindness during the Holocaust that can offer us some solace about our past and hope for our future. Archives such as those of the United States Holocaust Museum contain records of rescuers and those whom they saved; Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem, has honored tens of thousands of Holocaust heroes, and many additional cases await their consideration.

This partially-annotated bibliography lists works in English which discuss the lives and actions of these rescuers during the Holocaust, and recount their amazing stories. Individuals, groups, and in the case of Denmark, almost an entire country, reached out. Bulgaria was also active in protecting its Jewish population.

Rescuers such as Andre Trocmé, the minister and spiritual leader of the French village of Le Chambon, probably fit most closely to our stereotypes of those who will help. Trocmé was clearly motivated by ethical and religious convictions. Yet many others, who could have been expected to hold similar beliefs, failed to act. Less expected is an Oskar Schindler, the opportunistic businessman who made a fortune using Jewish slave labor—and spent that fortune again to save the lives of those in his factory. What did they have in common?

What was it that led some people to reach out and help others, while most of the population around them were bystanders? What was it, about individuals and societies, that led them to act on behalf of strangers? Perhaps, if we can begin to answer these questions, we can start to build societies in which there are more rescuers and fewer bystanders, and in which genocide is less likely to occur.

Holocaust Rescuers Bibliography

These bibliographies were orignally compiled by Mary Mark, who maintained them until November 2000.  They are now being maintained by Mark Klempner. Links are chosen based on the quality and quantity of information they provide. If you know of better links, or have other suggestions, corrections, or addtions, please contact Mark.

Last update: June 2011

©2010 Mark Klempner